This week’s big question: Are communications directors worth their salaries?

Unilever is the latest business to offer more than pounds 100,000 for its top PR job

Unilever is the latest business to offer more than pounds 100,000

for its top PR job

Olly Grender, Shelter

’I think the growing gap in salaries is morally wrong. I am genuinely

surprised by the figure, but frankly more irritated by men who look

about 12 years old, work in the City, and boast about grossing pounds

100,000 last year before bonuses.’

Philip Henslowe, Professional practises committee, IPR

’It’s dependent on the sort of organisation, the expectations of the

management and the responsibility involved. Unilever is a huge


I would have thought yes. It might be pushing the upper limits but if

they’re prepared to pay that then they are looking for the best. People

of that calibre are there but you’ve got to hunt them out.’

Jane Ageros, Abbey National

’The answer has to be yes - certainly if you’re sitting where I’m

sitting! For highly visible companies such as Abbey National and Merrill

Lynch the job is now about far more than simply handing out press

releases or overseeing the staff magazine. The communications director

is usually in on the decision-making process and the role is often about

giving objective advice. With increased media scrutiny, the position is

now up there with sales or marketing director and the salaries being

paid are reflecting this.’

Anna Barlow, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital

’In the voluntary sector a salary of pounds 150,000 for a PR director,

or anyone else for that matter, would be outrageous. The PR director

would lose touch with the client group he or she represents, and would

lose all credibility within the organisation. Can you imagine a public

relations chief earning pounds 150,000 a year to raise awareness of

poverty? Recognition is important but it does not have to be through a

huge salary.’

Lynn Beaumont, The Foundry

’If an individual is effectively guardian of the corporate reputation of

a substantial world-wide business, reporting in at chairman level,

heading up a sizeable team and managing a multi-million pound budget,

one could argue that a salary of pounds 150,000 was low. Consultancy

heads often earn in excess of this.’

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