Oxfam creates comms director post ahead of private sector blitz.

Oxfam is to radically restructure its PR function, and will give its new director of comms a seat at the top table for the first time.

Vietnamese: affected by climate change
Vietnamese: affected by climate change

The NGO wants to step up communications with the private sector, and bring its digital and media teams closer together. It is putting all communications teams into one division to increase integration between brand advertising, digital and media.

Oxfam has created a director of comms role to oversee the department and become the seventh member of the board. It has yet to appoint someone to the position. The move signals the charity's growing recognition that PR is crucial to generate public support and should be involved in shaping the charity's strategic direction.

The comms director will be directly in charge of four posts: head of media Sam Barratt, director of brand and communications Julie Wood and head of digital Joseph Sivell, who joined in June.

Oxfam also plans to recruit a head of corporate PR to increase its profile and influence in the corporate sector.

Barratt said: 'We are very strong on news media, but we want to do more on specialist media, especially on philanthropic and corporate media.'

He added that the restructure was designed to bring the media and digital teams closer together. 'We need our media and digital teams to work together. It will help on our new digital programme to amplify poor people's voices globally,' he said.

Director of fundraising and supporter marketing Cathy Ferrier stressed the importance of corporate comms: 'We are strong in the public sector and government affairs but there is less understanding in the private sector. Businesses are increasingly important players in alleviating poverty.'

Picture credit: Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

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