Over the last year I have been supporting the committee to plan the annual APComm Academy. I volunteered my support after having attended my first Academy last year. While at the event I noticed not only the lack of fellow PCC communicators attending as delegates but also a gap in the programme for PCC communications related issues. I wanted to make the APComm Academy more relevant to PCC communicators to encourage them to attend so I have worked closely with the committee to put PCC communications firmly on the programme this year – securing a Police and Crime Commissioner as a key note speaker and delivering a workshop on PCC and force communications integration. This has resulted in more than four times as many PCC communicators attending this year’s Academy compared to last year.
With differing priorities and demands, there’s often a breakdown between PCC and force communicators. However, I believe if there was a PCC communicator on the committee it would continue to drive forward greater integration and help break down barriers between the two teams. If I were elected to the role of Vice Chair, I would encourage further engagement between APComm and PCC communicators, ensuring their views are represented while also supporting APComm members from territorial forces with PCC related communications issues, using my expertise gained from working closely with both the PCC and the Chief Constable to offer professional guidance and advice.
In terms of my skill-set as a communicator, as well as leading on all strategic and operational communications activity for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Cheshire, I am passionate about delivering reputation management and have experience of dealing with high profile reputational issues from working in previous communications role. After cutting my teeth in busy news room, I enjoy working in the pressurised environment that crisis communications can bring with it. I believe the ability to work under pressure would enable me to manage the commitment of becoming an APComm Vice Chair alongside my day-to-day job role.