In a world of intriguing career opportunities, this has to rank as one of the top jobs.
News that the smart money is on the next Director of Communications for No 10 coming from the ranks of the BBC’s top journalists just goes to show how highly regarded the post now is.
Gone are the days of a distant Downing Street press office managed by anonymous civil servants. Alastair Campbell successfully transformed the role into one at the heart of Cabinet, signalling the importance of clear and professional communication in delivering Government strategy.
More recently however, the role has not been a happy place, with reports of a ‘toxic’ and ‘dysfunctional’ working environment inside No 10.
So, as the Prime Minister weighs up the candidates, what key attributes will the new incumbent need?
Nerves of steel
If you’re going to put your head above the parapet in the most high profile comms job in the land, you’re going to need bravery in buckets. Everyone from political pundits to keyboard warriors is going to have an opinion on your performance, so this role will take serious inner strength.
A clear head
With dozens of departments, hundreds of programmes and thousands of projects – not to mention the dreaded Brexit negotiations – whoever steps into former DofC Katie Perrier’s shoes will need to be a supreme strategist, able to deliver consistently high quality comms and manage the diverse requirements of the world’s media.
In the seemingly shabby world of politics, it surely cannot be easy for anyone to hold onto their own moral compass, but in this role personal integrity is absolutely vital. The rise of the phrases ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’, especially in conjunction with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer should serve as a warning bell to anyone holding such a public office – stray from the values of truth and honesty at your peril.