Spotlight on: Leeds City Council's Danni Clayton

Name: Danni Clayton (@danni_brear)

Job: Communications and marketing business partner, Leeds City Council

How long in the role?

This one technically 2 years following a reorganisation for a new model, but in reality since 2011

What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office in the morning? 

Make a cup of tea! and check my emails and calendar

What couldn’t you do your job without?

Again, I’d probably say tea features quite heavily! as well as my lovely colleagues and team. And my laptop, which I couldn’t function properly without as 99% of my work is done through it – even our phone calls get routed through our laptops now.

What advice would you give your younger self who was just starting out in comms?

Trust your instincts – they’re usually right

What are your biggest day-to-day challenges?

As with most people working within local government I’d imagine, resources – how to stretch them; being creative with/without them; and prioritising, prioritising, prioritising…

What piece of work are you most proud of?

It’s a while ago, but in 2013 we hosted the Rugby League World Cup. Expectations were quite low as to our spectator numbers for our matches, given the draw of the teams playing in the city. We worked in partnership with the RFL and Leeds Rhinos / Leeds Rugby, but our role at the council specifically was to attract new audiences to rugby.

We devised a teaser campaign based on the bird names of the two teams staying and playing in the city – the Kiwis (New Zealand) and the Kumuls [birds of paradise] (Papa New Guinea), and did a lot of outdoor advertising using it with straplines like ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a Kiwi’ and even engaged the New Zealand team in our social media campaign ‘Do Kiwis Tweet?!’

The result was we had a sell-out match and a record attendance not involving a host nation, and the RFL and Leeds Rugby went on record to praise our efforts in attracting new audiences with the number of people who attended who hadn’t previously bought rugby tickets before (myself included!) The atmosphere at the matches was amazing also, and it just felt like the best of Leeds and Yorkshire coming together to show everyone what a proper Yorkshire welcome was.

And what do you wish could have gone better?

A couple of things, where we’ve done really good comms work such as developing a brand or an app or a website, and given it to teams to implement themselves and they results have been disappointing because sometimes people don’t appreciate the work doesn’t stop there, it’s not a case of ‘if you build it they will come’ and you actually have to continue to work quite hard afterwards to engage people and keep them engaged!

Tell us about a recent campaign that grabbed your attention

I’ve been keeping track of Doncaster Council’s social media campaigns – they do it so well, their recent ‘Binvasion’ campaign about the new blue bins was hilarious, and I still can’t forget their winter gritter naming campaign that resulted in the magnificent ‘David Plowie’ and the unforgettable ‘Gritsy Witsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Anti-Slip Machiney’!

What’s the best part of your job?

The variety – no two days are the same, and the ability to work on and be a part of some of the massive fantastic events, developments and campaigns happening within Leeds


We want you to tell us about your job - email your answers to 'Spotlight on' to


Posted on 20th August 2018