In their words

“Jan worked with our Head of Brand Management on a wide variety of projects. She also worked with me on a corporate reputation project and was an integral member of my management meetings, away days and workshops. Jan is an experienced professional in this important area.”

Chris Hopson
Chief Executive, Foundation Trust Network
(former Director of Communications,
HM Revenue & Customs)

In brief

When two large public sector organisations go through a merger, there is a challenge in forging a united brand, communicating it clearly across such a large range of media, and keeping everyone feeling enthusiastic and engaged. For ten months, I helped steer that process on behalf of the newly formed HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

As has often been the case, my work with HMRC evolved to fit circumstances over time. The relationship began when I worked alongside the Inland Revenue’s Head of Brand Management and design company Lippa Pearce on the roll-out of a new brand identity. When the Inland Revenue subsequently merged with HM Customs and Excise to form HMRC, I was invited to work as the in-house brand consultant, supporting the Director of Communications and Head of Brand Management. I also became Acting Head of Brand Management to cover a sabbatical period.

The main challenge was to help lead the development and implementation of the new HMRC identity, both internally and to the public. That involved direct responsibility for commissioning external agencies in an unusually wide range of disciplines, including signage, interiors, digital, exhibition, print, uniforms and strategic consultancy. I acted as the central point of contact for each business unit to ensure consistency across applications, as well as directing some key corporate reputation projects.

None of the internal brand team had been part of such a far-reaching programme before and resources were thin and spread across three locations. So my responsibilities extended to managing internal recruitment and developing a creative programme to support new staff, as well as coaching key individuals directly.

It was gratifying to see the merger being managed successfully and to play so many different roles as the partnership evolved.