How much do you get paid? It’s a bit of a taboo subject, and of course we would all say not enough. But here’s the thing – have you noticed how increasingly ‘all over the place’ comms salaries are becoming?
by Jonathan Phillips
Like many comms professionals, I follow @comms2point0 and comms2point0.co.uk to see the latest job opportunities out there, but more and more lately it seems that there is an increasing disparity in how much we are paid.
For example, how is it that a Comms Manager in one Council can be paid £20k more than another in a council down the road, or a Press Officer anywhere between £20k and £35k for what is seemingly the same job description?
Of course different councils have different pay structures, but this disparity seems to be at every level and I can’t help but wonder is this the same for other public sector professions - Would a planner, a licensing officer or a member of the finance team face such a difference in salaries between different authorities, or is it that their role is simply more clearly defined?
Part of this issue could be that as local authorities we don’t really know what value to put on comms.
To some we are offer critical high level strategic insight, to others we are the press release department, or as we were described by a senior manager at a former authority I worked at ‘the people who advertise stuff’.
Maybe this then means we need to do more to really demonstrate the value of good communications and challenge and tap into the issues that really matter.
We used to talk about the importance of having a ‘seat at the top table’, but how many of us can truly say that this is currently the case?
Perhaps as PR professionals we need to do some PR on ourselves.
Let me know your thoughts and observations on pay levels in public sector comms right now via @comms2point0 and @MrJonPhillips - hashtag #comms2point0pay
Jonathan Phillips is communications manager at North Essex Garden Communities
image via Tullio Saba