A change coming at the top of HSBC’s PR function, presenting an opportunity, perhaps.
HSBC needs a new director of communications – Pierre Goad is leaving at the end of June to a well-earned retirement.
The thud of hats being thrown into the ring can be heard across Canary Wharf, I’m told.
From the perspective of hacks, the opportunity is for HSBC to become less inward looking. From the outside, it seems like the civil service, a place where Sir Humphrey would prosper.
Does HSBC want to explain itself to the world? Or does it want to create an echo chamber where the CEO’s wise words reverberate? Its choice for this job might tell us something.
In fairness to the bank, perhaps one reason why it is harder to PR is simply because it is so large. Hundreds of departments. More than 50 press officers for commercial, retail, wealth, regional, global banking and corporate arms of the bank (and some I’ve forgotten).
For hacks what this means is that is hard to get to the person who knows the answer and can brief sensibly.
Sometimes HSBC has got a kicking because it completely deserved one.
And sometimes the commentary around it has been harsher than it might have been if we’d just understood what it was up to a bit better.
This is one of the very biggest jobs in PR. It would be interesting to know who wants it and who lands it.