Birmingham City Council

PR and Comms (Public Health Officer)

10 Woodcock Street, Birmingham, B7 4BL
£27,741 - £34,728
08 Oct 2021
31 Oct 2021
Job Ref
Contract Type
Working Pattern


To contribute to the management of public health related news and to the proactive promotion of Council programmes, services, policies, and events through public relations activity which creates maximum positive impact for Birmingham, building trust between residents and the Council, driving service take-up, and ensuring effective communication with the public, staff, and stakeholders. A good understanding of comms, marketing, and social media. Working with us and our communities and different citizens to engage with and work through their preferred ways of being communicated too. 

This role will be drafting news releases, features, picture captions, web copy, media briefings, liaising with journalists, identifying, and supporting spokespeople, attending events as necessary to achieve maximum positive coverage for the Council and contribute to Birmingham’s good Reputation. Ensuring access and equity in all we do. Building that trust between residents and the Council, driving service take-up and engagement with Public Health campaigns and important news / updates including managing the well-established Healthy Brum accounts including the YouTube channel.

Public Health Function

The Public Health Division works across the council plan and is responsible for providing strategic leadership to develop the Council into a local authority that actively promotes population health. This will be achieved by being able to visualise and describe what a healthy Birmingham looks like and then equip others to share our vision and take action. We achieve this by championing the improved health and wellbeing of all citizens, but especially the most vulnerable.

Our vision is to improve and protect the health and wellbeing of Birmingham’s population by reducing inequalities in health and enabling people to help themselves.

The work of the public health team is underpinned by three values:

  • Equity
  • Prevention
  • Evidence based practice

The Public Health Division has a significant and diverse portfolio of areas of activity including core products such as the Annual Director of Public Health Report, the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and the work of the Health and Wellbeing Board and its sub-forums. There are also some important partnership collaborations which are innovative and delivering positive impact for citizens including the Birmingham and Lewisham African and Caribbean Health Inequalities Review, the Birmingham Poverty Truth Commission and the international collaborations with the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, Delice Network, and the Global Healthy City Partnership.

Through the Covid Pandemic the Public Health Division has invested heavily in engagement and partnership working and demonstrated the importance of the Healthy Brum corporate brand for health improvement information dissemination as a trusted source for partners and citizens. These posts will build on this learning and embed a formal matrix communication and PR function working between the Public Health division, managed by the Head of Office, and the Corporate Communications function accountable within the communication structure.



  1. To build and maintain regular contact with journalists across all platforms, including specialist press and bloggers, and with communications peers in relevant external organisations, and to work to maximise the value of these relationships through positive coverage of Council programmes, services, policies, and
  2. To use a range of appropriate methods – e.g., drafting news releases, features, picture captions, web copy, media briefings, liaising with journalists, identifying, and supporting spokespeople, attending events as necessary in order to achieve maximum positive coverage for the Council and contribute to Birmingham’s good
  3. To deal with breaking news and reputation/crisis issues as part of routine media management
  4. To work as part of a coordinated team to deliver a comprehensive news service 24 hours/365 days on a rota basis, including the production of a daily news briefing
  5. To contribute to the regular and accurate monitoring of the impact of the service, including through collection and analysis of data
  6. To work with officers in the wider unit (Campaign Communications, Design etc.) to support marketing campaigns through public relations activity which maximises the value of campaigns in the Corporate Communications forward plan
  7. To act as account manager/business lead for a number of Council portfolios in relation to news management and public relations, including attending briefing meetings and contributing to formal reports as necessary
  8. To deputise for the Press & PR Manager as required
  9. To place and approve orders on Voyager, chase payments and queries, and receipt goods.
  10. To ensure the efficient production of all associated reports and briefings and to ensure systematic documentation, evaluation, monitoring and appraisal of activities, meeting any audit
  11. To contribute to the wider work of the Service as
  12. To ensure that allocated budgets are spent in accordance with City Council Financial Regulations and are carefully monitored and accurately
  13. To observe the Council’s equal opportunities policies with regard to employment and service delivery.
  14. To ensure that health and safety standards are maintained and monitored in all areas of the work and responsibilities of the
  15. To carry out such other associated duties as from time to time arise, develop, or are assigned.



Accountable to:

  • Public Health Division Head of Office
  • Corporate Communication Press & PR Manager
  • Key officers

reporting to the post:                   N/a



  • Hours: 36.5 hours per week
  • Workplace: Woodcock Street & Council House, Birmingham and some remote working as business moves to agile working

The jobholder will be expected to carry out his/her duties at such times and upon  such days as may be most effective in respect of the task in hand. This will inevitably involve reassessment of the working week and attendance during the evening, at weekends and bank holidays, and at performances and other events. Financial recognition for this is reflected in the basic grade of the job.

There is a need to provide out of hours cover for which appropriate payments will be made in line with the Birmingham Contract



Birmingham City Council will ensure that all existing and potential employees receive equal consideration and is committed to the elimination of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, disability, colour, ethnic and national origin, nationality, sexuality, marital status, responsibility for dependants, religion, trade union activity and age.

It is the intention of the City Council that its workforce, at all levels, should reflect the composition of the City's population, to achieve this the Council will take active and positive equality on employment.

Additional Information

Special Conditions:

  • This vacancy is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
  • Observance of the City Council’s Equal Opportunities Policy will be required.

Interviews for this post will take place virtually via video conferencing. Shortlisted candidates will be provided with further information.

For an informal discussion regarding the role, please contact:

Thomas Harwood, Head of Office Public Health, Public Health Birmingham. 


Ref: BCC002289

Interview Dates: Interviews to be held in November

**Please note that CVs will not be considered**


When applying, you are strongly advised to pay attention to the person specification and job description when completing your supporting statement.


We welcome applications from people with caring responsibilities and flexible working options will be considered.

Right to work in the UK documentation will be fully checked for all applicants.  All non-UK applicants (excluding Ireland) may require a Certificate of Sponsorship from Birmingham City Council and must have an approved visa from the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) before any employment offer can be confirmed. Unless they are an EEA or Swiss citizen or their family members, already living in the UK by 31 December 2020, then they will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) instead.

Supporting documents
Job Description
Person Specification

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