28/06/2010 Leave a comment
I was a bit disappointed to see that the appointment of Jill to be the interim Head of Communications at Suffolk County Council had been leaked to the press, if the intention of whoever did it was to damage the reputation of the Comms team at Suffolk County Council and make her job all the more difficult when she arrives then they have achieved that, very well done.
In the difficult times ahead the Council needs to have a strong Comms team to communicate the messages about what is before us in terms of the cut in our budgets from Central Government and to enable us to make sure we are listening to peoples concerns and explaining to Residents why we are doing this and not that.
We are facing unprecedented cuts to our funding that will impact on the services we deliver. The need to communicate effectively is more important than ever. It is essential that we engage with the public and keep them fully informed of these changes as they emerge. By taking on an Interim Head of Communications, she can start work immediately and ensure the structures are in place to deliver the savings amounting to £500,000.
Communication will be making savings in the region of £500,000 which when set against what we will be paying means she will save us a small fortune, of course reading the papers there are those who say we don’t need to bring in someone form outside to make the savings surely we can do that internally.
There are those councillors who have internally and through the press and indeed the press themselves who have questions the appointment it seems to me on two basic points firstly the cost of hiring her, to some extent in each article or letter or email I have seen they have ignored the fact that we would have a head of that department anyway who would cost a considerable sum to employ and indeed why bother with having a person in charge at all, after all who needs a spin doctor!
OK why bother with having someone at a senior level in charge of a department at all just let them get on with it to deliver the savings. Really it seems to me this is all about having the right people in place, in the right positions in the organisation to deliver.
Jill is being appointed to reorganise the department, to make it better at what is does and to cut costs, she is not a spin doctor she is a Corporate Director of Communication a function that is a lot more than just dealing with the press its about running a department that has a wide variety of messages it needs to present and services it needs to promote, and running a team of people to achieve it.
Once the job is done, cuts made and department re-organised she will leave and a permanent Head of Communications will be appointed, this is sound business practice.
Of course there are those who wish to dream or for the sake of political expediency say this would have happened on its own, it would not.