Quick facts
  • What we do:
    It is the centre of marketing and communications excellence for government. Our clients are other Government departments.
  • Year established:
  • Website:
  • UK locations:

About Central Office of Information

FROM CHARLEY THE cat cautioning children not to go off with strangers, to warnings that "Coughs and sneezes spread diseases" and "Watch out! There's a thief about!", the Central Office of Information (COI) has always excelled at getting its message across. It can also be proud of the close relationship it has with its 650-strong workforce.

The COI was established in 1946 to replace the Ministry of Information, which had organised wartime publicity and propaganda, including the Careless Talk Costs Lives campaign. After the second world war, the organisation helped mobilise the labour force to rebuild priority industries and encouraged immigration with promotional films such as A Journey By a London Bus.

It marked its 60th anniversary in 2006, having grown to become the UK's biggest advertiser. Spread across eight sites around the UK, the COI co-ordinates the government's £540m annual marketing and communications spend. Working for a body at the hub of the government's communications machine means there is rarely a dull moment for employees (69% positive). They find their jobs fun (76%), stimulating (75%), and love what they do at the COI (72%).

With an average age of just 34, this young and dynamic workforce views the COI as a perfect place to gain valuable experience (77%) — the top score for medium-sized organisations. People agree the job is good for their personal growth (73%) and feel they can make a valuable contribution (76%).

Only one other medium-sized public body has a higher satisfaction rating among staff for pay and benefits (71%). The COI offers various work options including job sharing, flexitime and term-time only contracts. The average salary is a competitive £36,000.

The chief executive, Mark Lund, reports to the minister for the Cabinet Office, who is accountable to parliament and its select committees for all COI activities. The minister sets the organisation's yearly goals for efficiency, quality and financial performance. Staff are inspired by Lund's leadership (63%), saying he runs the operation on sound principles (69%). Managers regularly show their appreciation when staff do a good job (70%). Employees, who enjoyed summer and Christmas awards ceremonies last year, are also confident in the skills of the senior team (64%).

Good teamwork naturally follows on from good leadership and COI staff say few of their colleagues are disruptive (69%). In fact, people go out of their way to help each other (75%) and being in their teams gives them a buzz (66%).

What is it like to work for Central Office of Information

Personal Growth
Personal Growth
People in the Central Office of Information are sometimes surprised by how quickly the various teams within the organisation can identify a person’s individual and unique skill set and use them to their strengths whilst encouraging them to share their knowledge and help to develop others. Training and development is a top priority and the staff themselves have a say and a direct input into the type of training that goes on.
The Central Office of Information have their own welfare officer who can offer advice on topics such as stress management whilst annual health checks help employees to monitor their overall health. Employees are encouraged to maintain a fit and active lifestyle through cycle to work schemes, gym memberships and free fitness sessions.
Fair Deal
Fair Deal
The pay system is very transparent throughout the organisation and everyone knows what they need to do achieve certain levels within the appraisal process which is directly linked with the pay each year. There are plenty of great schemes and benefits in place to reward employees for the work they do including fitness sessions, language sessions, a pension fund, childcare vouchers and various clubs and societies.

Learn more about the 8 factors of workplace engagement here


  • Holidays

    Companies offering a minimum of 25 days annual leave

  • Gym

    On-site gym or subsidised gym memberships

  • Childcare

    On-site nursery or vouchers

  • Maternity

    At least 10 weeks' leave on full pay

Company Statistics

  • Graduate Vacancy Locations:


  • Staff Turnover:


  • Average Age:


  • Male : Female:

    44% / 56%

  • Staff:


  • Earning £35,000+:


  • UK sites:



Want to get on the list or be accredited?

Start your engagement journey today and find out what you need to do to earn a Best Companies accreditation or a place on the Best Companies lists.