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Government social media position valued higher than Lord Chancellor?

Alex Christie

23 February 2009

Tax payers across Britain are up in arms today after The Telegraph reported that a senior position within the Government's Digital Engagement team, has a higher starting salary and benefits than what the Lord Chancellor is eligible to before allowances. The role would involve communicating through social media sites Facebook, Bebo and Twitter and has a starting salary of £120,000 plus 30 days holiday.

On the one hand it is a positive move to see the government opening its communication channels through such 'accessible' social media sites, however questions are being raised as to how the department can justify such a relatively high salary, for what in corporate terms, would be described as a brand engagement measure.

Thinking back to my days spent in a business marketing classroom, there have been a number of studies carried out which show the need to increase customer engagement during times of economic difficulty, especially during a recession if a business is to victorious when we all 'come out at the other end'. Essentially, voters could be classed as the government's customers and therefore explain why the need and therefore reward for such an important exercise is so great. However, where tax payers money is involved, the Government should consider that voters are particularly sensitive to where there £GBP are being spent. Therefore, what voters consider as 'non-essential' activities during a recession, could be seen to have a negative impact, before the position has even been filled.

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