The body set up to regulate infertility treatments and human embryo
research is to take a more pro-active communications stance in response
to growing public curiosity about the subject.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is advertising for its
first director of communications to spearhead a new PR strategy. In the
longer term it aims to hire a consultancy.
The authority has been thrust into the media spotlight over issues
including frozen embryo storage and its initial refusal to allow Diane
Blood to export her dead husband’s sperm, which was overturned by the
Court of Appeal. The recent debate about the ethics of human cloning is
also indirectly related to its work.
Two years ago the HFEA brought in consultancy Pearce Lee to advise on a
coherent strategy but little action has been taken owing to budgetary
restraints. Nevertheless the authority’s escalating media profile has
heightened the need to bolster its PR resource.
The HFEA is offering a salary of #25,000 for the new position. It is the
first time it has looked externally for a public relations
’We’ve known where we want to be for some time but need the PR mechanism
to get there,’ said Mark Salmon, the HFEA’s manager of policy and
Salmon said that the PR budget this year would be taken up by the new
appointment but next year it would like to bring in high level strategic