Monday 7 September 2009

GovNet Communications - Something To Hide?

First, a little background to this post, started by a posting on FT dot com with the title 'Are MPs value for money', which prompted curiousity, on my part, in respect of certain other MPs.

Having accessed the latest Registration of Member's Financial Interests, purely as a 'trial'I picked Rt. Hon. Hilary Armstrong - memory having been 'jogged' by her involvement with SITA - and noticed she received between £5,000 & £10,000 from something called GovNet Communications. 
It will be noted that another MP, Eleanor Laing, is listed on the Advisory Board, who also admits to receiving upto £5,000 from the same organisation.

Now, this is where it starts to get extremely interesting!

The last Director's Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2007, filed with Companies House, signed by Joanne Walsh and dated 31st October 2008, state that GovNet Communications has been 'dormant' for the previous two years, not having traded.

This begs the question that if the 'company' has not traded, and therefore been 'dormant' for two years, how did it pay Hilary Armstrong and Eleanor Laing and for what work? Yet the website of GovNet Communications 'boasts' of '10 years track record'! How, in 2009, can it have a '10 year track record' if it has not traded for the past three years? It shows 'images' of 'Awards' being presented to Pauline Prescott; of Keith Vaz speaking; of having six magazines 'covering the public sector' - all this from a company which has been 'dormant'?

It is quite possible that the organisation who pays her is not the registered company. The organisation "GovNet" might be an unincorporated body, which as a separate exercise, registered "GovNet Communications" to 'protect the name' - if so, why? If you look closely, nowhere on the website does it actually say "GovNet Communications Limited", which it would have to do by law if the organisation behind the website is in fact limited - at least I can't find any information.

Purely as a matter of courtesy, prior to submitting a Freedom of Information request to GovNet Communications, I have e-mailed both Hilary Armstrong and Eleanor Laing asking for their comments on this post.

Needless to say, I await their comments with the utmost interest!

Afterthought & Postscript: If Ms Armstrong & Laing care to 'spread the word', I shall now 'plough through' every MP's declared 'Financial Interests' - this having 'wetted my appetite'!


Mark Wadsworth said...

Excellent work.

I Googled "Govnet Communications Limited" and came up with this, which clearly suggests that they are a limited company (which is not dormant and not just registered to 'protect the name'):

Govnet Communications Limited is a private limited company registered in the UK No. 04970168. Govnet specialises in event management and magazine publishing for the public sector.

So either they are (and in breach of Companies Act because it ain't mentioned on their website) or they aren't, in which case they are lying.

Witterings from Witney said...


Having just checked with Companies House, as you will see GovNet Communications Limited:

is also a 'dormant' company!

Witterings from Witney said...

Added point:

Either by stating that the remuneration has not been provided by GovNet Communications Limited the two MPs have 'misled' the HoC and have not told the truth on a 'legal' submission, or if they did; the HoC have commited an offence by not providing the entire information on what is, again, a legal document.

Apart from the obvious fact that this appears to be yet another self-serving Quango from Hell, there is definitely questions to be asked in respect of what is the truth!

Anonymous said...

have you looked for "Partnership Media Group Limited" ? they trade as Govnet Communications

Anonymous said...

To say its a QUANGO would imply it has some sort of Government weight; this is a private sector, commercial, money making company with a turnover in excess of £10m P/A. A QUANGO is a government department which does not report to a Central Government department or Minister - this gives them far too much gravitas.

Anonymous said...

Stumbled accoss this late...Govnet is Partnership Media Group. 5 out of 6 print titles have recently ceased publishing.

Anonymous said...

Get a life everyone there is no Govnet Communications Ltd. Govnet Communications is a trading style of Partnership Media Group Ltd. The ex-ministers have done nothing wrong.
Could anon explain why they say they are 'extremely devious' - probably not.
Its just a public sector focused media company, no harm in that surely.

Witterings from Witney said...

Anonymous - Methinks it is you that needs to get a life, or go check for yourself. This is definitely 'fishy' and yes, it stinks too!

Anonymous said...

GovNet is a toilet of an organisation. They employed an overweight, homosexual bully called Richard Holloway who enjoyed picking on other members of staff in order to feel good - due to his own low self worth.

Eventually the two egos collided and Joanne Walsh fell out with him, and he was dismissed.

They went to court in January this year and GovNet was ordered to pay compensaton of 250,000 pounds...which Mr Holloway is legally bound to keep confidential, which of course he has not honoured.

More to come..

Anonymous said...

I suggest you do some more digging.
GovNet needs to be brought down, they are a nasty organisation who don't deserve to be in business. Whilst their are many organisations like GovNet out there, they have to be the worst.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Anonymous: By heavens, you have been reading 'back'! May just take up your suggestion, when I have time.....

Anonymous said...

Hi, I used to work at Govnet and they are a good company. I was well looked after when I was there. Regards Paul Sherwood

WitteringsfromWitney said...

A aka PS: you too have been reading back a tad.....!

Pleased you enjoyed your career amongst the movers and shakers.....

Anonymous said...

As a serving borough councillor I am bombarded by e mails from Partnership Media Group / Gov Net inviting me to all sorts of conferences & events (at considerable cost).

In these financially difficult times for local authorities I wonder how much public money is being pi**ed away sending Councillors and Council Officers to these local government jollies?

I feel some FOI requests coming on.........

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Anon: Thank you for that and yes an FOI will now be submitted to my County and District Councils,

You may like the update:

Anonymous said...

i used to work there and had to call public sector decision makers to attend the paying conferences - they are very expensive and we were taught to give them the hard sell. In a lot of cases these people booked tickets (sometimes several) and forgot to attend, there must be thousands lost each year due to this

Anonymous said...

I used to work for gov net and the whole process was deceitful from the outset. We were told to say we were working closely/alongside the secretary of state for x on project x, tackling issues related to the conference. We then tried to get the private companies related to the issue to part with obscene amounts of money to sponsor the event, and in some cases they didn't even know who we were because we didnt tell them.........
What kind of business operates under these conditions??? A shady one.

And don't get me started on Joanne Walsh.....

Anonymous said...

If anyone has any more feedback on working there please post more info.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Unknown said...

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Anonymous said...

Apparently people have been let go as well, hopefully their crumbling as everyone realised they aren't 'working closely' with parliament at all...

Anonymous said...

This all makes for interesting reading. I've just been accepted for a job at Govnet starting end of Feb at the Blackburn office. I was wondering are these issues based out the Manchester office?

J finch (govnet sales) said...

Hi mate, I work in the Blackburn office. Don't listen to these lot, govnet is a class place to work. It's hard, and they are correct in saying we cold call companies, but it's a sales role. For those companies that understand what we do its a great opportunity to profile themselves and make use of the publicity. For those that don't we apologise and don't call back. Simple.

Anonymous said...

I have also been accepted for the Sales role in the Blackburn office! I have to admit all this is making very intresting reading, also making me feel a,little apprehensive?
Is it worth going into employment with an organisation where feedback does not appear to be very nice??

Anonymous said...

We get called regularly as a small company selling into the public sector.

They misrepresent themselves to get through to decision makers. They lie.

They've been asked by several people to remove our details from their databases with no effect.

Please stop wasting our and your time.

Anonymous said...

Extremely devious company. Called my organisation a number of times now claiming to be working alongside various government departments.

After doing research ive realised that these departments are only being represented at these events. Not actually working with Govnet.

Id avoid at all costs I receive constant emails and calls despite being asked to be removed from their systems. Each call appears to be from a different person every time, claiming to be working as a project manager on a confidential matter.

Ironic that they claim to be a government communications body when in recent years the government have made plans to crack down on nuisance callers which Govnet and their "project managers" almost certainly are.

Anonymous said...

malicious, bullying organisation to work for.

I advise all to never to accept a job from this organisation. Unless you wish to loose your sanity, be treated like a child and told that you should devote the whole of your person to a greedy body.

In regards to the events they are a success for the organisaations that attend and want to get something out of it. please dont give the callers a hard time because you really dont know how they are treated in the office, they are doing their job just like you are doing yours and if you wish to pay for marketing that can be arranged. In all honesty the organisation is a complete disgrace - they hire students because they know they can bully them and either sack them or they manage you out so that you have to leave(many have strong grounds for constructive dismissal.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog a few months ago having started at the company last year and wanted I actually wanted to defend it... however I have left the company recently as they (when I say 'they' I mean the pit-bull CEO) is completely out of order.

I am dumbfounded that a company can threaten you with all her wealth and tell you to basically leave, tell you you're pond weed/poisonous, swear at you in the open office, tell you you can't take you ENTITLED lunch hour.... Obviously all the crap she gave us about her wealth was a threat to say she has the money and power if you wanted to take her behaviour further..

The company is living in the past, they/she needs to be told she can't get away with this sort of behaviour. Yes it is a sales environment, yes is a telesales job, but you do not have to behave/speak to your colleagues like that... It's ILLEGAL... and I can't believe there is nothing to protect us against people like her. Oh and Joanne; "... you'll all be in dead end jobs by next year..." Don't you think a TELESALES job is DEADEND?! See how many people walk in and out your door EVERY WEEK to move on to better things...

The management (bar one lovely guy) are all SALES PEOPLE... ever heard of the term... you don't need to be a good salesman to be a good manager? They could all seriously be brought down a peg or two.

As for the comments above, they are all totally right, we lie to get to the right people, yes it is a great/expensive platform to market your service/product, but it isn't an honest sell.

I really hope GovNet and the CEO get what she deserves... For someone that dealt with 'employment law' she is the most unprofessional, two faced, bully I have ever met.

Myself and my colleagues would love to take this further... Where to start.....

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I've worked here for about 6 months now. I am genuinely sorry for all the people I have called and lied too. You have no idea how much pressure we are put under, and we are made to believe it is for your own good. If you don't wish to be called by us just say and we usually fire an email round the office asking our colleagues not to call you. The problem is there is no data base with all previous calls made, so we do our own research and make 50 calls a day to different companies, so if you offer a lot in the sector we'll think we have found a good lead often only to find you have been called and then we switch to apology mode. I do not agree with how they treat the staff. The management openly take the 'mick' out of previous staff, its an 'if-you-face-fits' organisation. I agree with the comments above, so many grounds for constructive dismissal. The job is advertised and portrayed at interview completely differently to the actual job. They feed you with alcohol and sweets in the first few weeks to sweeten you up or something they can use against you when you are not hitting their standards.

I agree with the comments above, if it wasn't just a telesales job I might be inclined to take it further. People that work their have children and lively hoods that could be destroyed. How they get away with is is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks guys for all your honest opinions. I was almost making a call for a phone interview today.....Glad I didn't :)

Anonymous said...

Worked here for 3 months this year... in the end I had to leave on moral grounds... I could not stand their old school way of selling, the complete mis-management, lack of proper training and the fact that everything I was told at interview was completely untrue.

My personal experiance with Jo Walsh was fairly plesant and to be frank I have known worse bosses to work for. I think her main issue is the lack of comprehension she has of "good and proffessional" telesales.

The problem here is 3-fold:
1 the management are all internally bred and as experianced/honest/professional sales people tend not to stick with GovNet for long this is the 1st real sales environment job any of them have had.
2 The recruitment/interveiw/training process is a farce and needs a complete overhaul. They need to be honest and open at interview, recruit hardworking & experianced people and read some books on sales and come up with an actual training programme with some level of structure.
3 The management need to set business objectives and align them with the directors. These objectives need to be followed through with structure support and ongoing training for employees (i'm still in wonderment as to what they do in their daily hour long meetings - definitely not management training)

I actually had the opportunity to visit all three offices and one of the events. I was also lucky in that I had the more decent manager of the lot.

The product is actually pretty decent as long as the events have a good turnout and whilst there are some disgruntled people complaining about getting calls, there are a number of companies who book GovNet events more then a few times a year - presumably these companies do get an ROI.

The event I attended had a good turnout, delegates were conversational and enthusiastic about what they had learnt and the sponsorship clients were satisfied with the business done on the day.

My personal opinion is that the company (already making good money) could actually be even more successful if it was managed properly, had a structured sales force and tried honesty and integrity instead of decietful and underhand selling tactics.

That said, in its current form I couldn't stand another moment working there and actually left half way through the day on a Monday with no other job to go to. My only regret was n ot being more open and frank with them before I left so if any current employees come across this please feel free to pass on to Jo Walsh/Ed (sales director).

Anonymous said...

I left Govnet recently and felt as though it was worth to put my two cents in on the company too.

Now from the outset I was lied to about the role available. Ironically I was told in my interview that openness and honesty was the main ethos on which Govnet prided itself. Well, the only time in my time there when I didn't felt like I'd been lied too was when I first started and everybody introduced themselves.

So the training began which is basically a week of sitting around the office being told the formula on which to sell. Now, according to the good folk at Govnet if you follow this formula then you will be successful. Wrong!
During my time there did i not once actually see anybody gain success from the formula at all. Most of the time it seemed like pot luck that people managed to make a sale. Or that the people who had been sold too were unlucky enough have not come across Govnet before so accepted the idea of going to one of their shows.

Now I can see the positives in the product that Govnet sell. It's the technique in which they sell the product I don't agree with.
Firstly you're told to say you are working with a Government department and that you've been working on a project that a company may find interesting. After doing through a rather pointless need find you then present the company with the opportunity of attending a conference for vasts amount of money. At this point companies would usually back out sighting the extortionate rate being charged. Fairplay to them. It is expensive.

Now, as also mentioned in a previous post the majority of the sales managers at Govnet have never actually been in a proper sales position before. Now I say proper sales because I class proper sales as being open and honest to companies straight from the off. Not claiming that you're working on a secret project.
Anyway, the management can't really be classed as management as they don't really do any management. They just fling themselves around smiling and giving confident boosting speeches in a desperate bid to get some cash on board. Seriously, one of the managers there gives such cringey confidence boosting speeches they could quite easily land themselves a role in a sports film where they have to give a morale boosting inspirational half time talk. But anyway im waffling. The management are just very poor, and pretty untrustworthy aswell. The manager of my time was very shady, quite small minded and in essence abit of a bully.

Which brings me on to the loveable Head of HR. Now, I understand that the main role of an in house HR is to protect the company. Not the employees. However, I also understand that they need to be the type of person an employee can go to if they have a grievance or need some advice. Well, nope. Not this HR Rep. Personally I feel that if this HR Rep spent more time actually researching the role of a HR Rep on the internet rather then spending a good proportion of the day skipping around the office and Jo Walsh like a pixy to dust they could very well be an effective HR rep.

I could rant on for a while about my experience at Govnet. But im actually boring myself to death just thinking about the offices atmosphere. So I shall end this little essay here.

Anyway, if you're looking for the kind of role that will remove any sense of well being from you. Then Govnet is the role for you!

Anonymous said...

They are not trading legally.

Anonymous said...

Beware of the manager that shall only be known on here as LM

Anonymous said...

....similar then in business and personal - there are certain parallels. people are starting to avoid her because of the bitchy at best caustic at worse (sad for sure) comments she makes, about random people some of whom are supposed to be her "friends", What she says is beyond belief and no one takes them seriously so she ought to really just shut up and keep her unwanted and nasty views and so called pieces of advice to herself.

Anonymous said...

I had the misfortune to work at GovNet also. There is no doubt that Jo Walsh has severe mental issues and is a deeply unhappy individual who gains her pleasure by making others miserable. Avoid her at all costs.

Anonymous said...

I would like to add to the above about the dubious practices that GovNet employ regarding staff. The treatment my partner received at the hands of Jo and her underling 'HR manager' could have been taken up at an ET for constructive dismissal had he not been so demoralised by them and too hacked off to fight them. Jo regards employment law as not applicable to her organisation. They have no policies in place regarding disciplinary action and no development plans to encourage or motivate employees. They threaten and bully staff and refuse breaks, aside from lunch hour. I also believe that plying staff with alcohol on duty to be dubious and in breach of health and safety standards, although I'm sure staff gratefully receive it to take the edge off. I urge anybody working in this company to join a relevant union and read up on employment law and your rights and ACAS guidelines. If you feel you gave a case, then take them to law under Employment Tribunal, if you manage to get two years continuous employment out of them that is. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to see so many disgruntled ex employees. Maybe one of them signed up our company to an event without our consent. It's nearly a year that we are trying to make them see the evidence but it looks like they still want to go to court. It's a real shame as to be honest all the salespersons we talked to, many as apparently they change often, have always been very nice and the events have been organised very well. We are anyway very pleased to go to court and win but I just wonder if there are other companies out here that received the same service or it's just us being very unlucky.

Anonymous said...

I took a job there a couple of years ago and left after a couple of months. It was the worst experience of my life and I can't seem to recall why I endured the horrible, bullying work culture of that office.

What upsets me most is how prevalent the negativity seems to be. I wouldn't be surprised if they're still openly humiliating people into securing sales to this very day. I can't tell you how many times colleagues and myself were reduced to tears in the loo by some of the things that were said on the shop floor.

I'm sure if one were to dig a little deeper a common thread of vulnerability would be apparent. So many of the people I worked with were in precarious places in life and were desperate for a pay packet with or without commission. It is truly sad that so many people have been hurt by that awful woman and the vile work culture she demands.

Anonymous said...

Having worked at GovNet, I urge anyone considering to work there NOT TO. I've never worked in such a horrible environment. They do not care about their staff, despite pretending that they do with "free alcohol".

They try to sell you the company by saying all things good about it, but in reality, it's the complete opposite. I fell for it. They do regular recruitment drives where they employ about 12 sales people. ALL of them are gone within 2 months. Time and time again.

Don't waste your time working for them.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Govnet back in Manchester back in 2009 or so. I had a very similar experience to many posting here at the hands of 'the little black cloud in a dress' that is Jo Walsh. Since leaving there I had a near three year spell at a much more responsible and pleasant (yet equally demanding) company which I thoroughly enjoyed. Now I run my own busines, employ 25 people and have come to realise quite how much potential I had all along. For anyone suffering at the hands of a dreadful company such as Govnet please remember - you may not be the useless piece of **** they make you out to be. Leave immediately with your head held high and do something, anything else. Once you have rebuilt your shattered confidence and broken spirit you may be surprised what you can achieve.

Anonymous said...

Where to start with GovNet Communications?

I don't think there's much I can say that hasn't already been said by other previous employees. However, I can offer a London perspective on the organisation for anyone thinking that the tales mentioned above are specific to Manchester and Blackburn offices.

The company is run by Jo Walsh, who in most dealings with you will be perfectly pleasant - if a little crazy. However from time to time she shows her nasty side and is extremely unpleasant, thinking nothing of belittling her staff - including her much beloved inner circle of cheese-scoffing, wine-guzzling 'lovey-darlings'.

Beneath her she has a couple of poor saps working for her initials YZ and EI (by the way if you're ever being sold to by John from GovNet you can rest assured that isn't his actual name and it is in fact EI). If you've ever watched 101 Dalmations picture Cruella Devil and her henchman Jasper and Boris. These two chaps act as if they run the business but are constantly on the phone to Jo taking direction. There is no chance of anyone getting any autonomy in this company, even these two. Some of the commercial decisions made are beyond ridiculous, defying logic and going against industry standard at virtually every strategic juncture. If it wasn't so easy to put an average event out, market it in the most limited fashion possible, sell it in an immoral way and make a tidy profit this business would have gone under years ago.

There is an underlying arrogance about everything done at GovNet - some call it the 'GovNet way'. They believe the public sector is a particularly complex market and there is a code to cracking it and making money. Absolute nonsense. It really is very very simple, as proven year in year out by these clueless morons.

I think sometimes Jo Walsh has a realisation that her organisation is a shambles. As such, early in 2015, in the London office, there was a sustained recruitment drive to bring in experienced people from other businesses in the industry instead of the tried and trusted strategy of hiring young grads and training them in the GovNet way, that is until they realise how insane it is and leave. Anyway, needless to say literally every one of those hired in the first half of 2015 have since resigned - many with no job to go to. This has to be the biggest warning to any prospective employee. People who have experienced other organisations have joined GovNet, seen how crazy it is, and left with no job to go to.

I'll leave you with a final tale to set you on your way. A second-jobber was interviewed and offered a role to join GovNet. On the Friday afternoon (before a Monday start) HR contacted the hiring manager to say that unfortunately the prospective employee had failed their references. On the Monday the prospective employee duly contacted the hiring manager to ask if there had been a mistake as they had checked with their referees and none of them had been contacted by the organisation or the recruitment agent they had gone through. Seems that somebody within GovNet had changed their mind about wanting to hire in this role. This sums the organisation up - a complete shambles, who think they're bigger and better than anybody else.

I'm very confident that they'll get what they deserve soon enough.

Anonymous said...

I have also worked in the London office and can say that everything mentioned above is completely accurate.

Thankfully I got out after a few months but I have never witnessed such a shambles of an organisation in my entire life. The skill set of the people that work there is very low, anyone with a shred of intelligence is able to see straight through the bullshit and leaves quickly. They treat their staff like dirt and as such the turn over is insane (I believe around 80% a year).

I actually found this blog before I accepted a job there but dismissed it, how wrong I was. Please anyone who is reading this and considering working there - Don't do it! you WILL regret it and end up leaving and all in all it will be a complete waste of time. With the budget cuts to the sector I imagine they won't last for much longer anyway.

Anonymous said...

I worked here in the Blackburn office a few years ago. Sharon Azam who works there is vile nasty piece of work.

Anonymous said...

Shocking organisation to work for! I am constantly swirlied here! Like everyday! I run home crying to wash the toilet blocks out of my hair only to return and be swirlied again followed by wedgies and noogies.

When I tried to tell HR, she just laughed and said "prepare the toilet" to her colleague. She was the worst of all! Multiple swirlies whilst being wedgied... I was actually impressed by her strength as I am 6ft 4 and on the portly side.

Who do you go to for help in this situation? When I ask my colleagues, they just laugh at me and join in.

Hope somebody on this thread can help me

Anonymous said...

The company is a joke. Ed Irving is a complete coward but thankfully I see less of him now. Don't get me started on clowns like Matt Child, Sam Nixon(thankfully he's left, Ben Moody and Constantina Christophides.

Can't wait to get out of here.

Anonymous said...

The level of incompetence at Govnet knows no bounds. Lucky its easy otherwise Id have left after 1 month.

The directors are all rubbish and thick and treat people like dirt. Tbh I dont know how any of them get to director level. Mostly through kissing Jo Walshs rear end.

Disgraceful organisaiton but as I said just incredibly easy so why would I stay.

Anonymous said...

All of the above comments are so true! It is soooooo bad it's unreal. I left after 4 months and it's the best decision I ever made. I had dealings in people with London too who said it wasn't much better. Absolute s**thouse of an organisation.

Anonymous said...

Oh and I should add, Jo Walsh is a massive bully and has Ed Irving and the other directors wrapped around her little finger. That coward would never say a cross word to her. I can only hope he is treated better at home!!

Anonymous said...

I have dealt with Govnet as an attendee at one of their events. It is probably the biggest mistake I have ever made.

I was badgered to pay by an incompetent jobsworth even though we were paying as promptly as possible. This led me to think the company may have money issues.

The event itself (an Inside Government Healthcare conference) was fine. But since then I have been inundated with marketing emails and sales calls despite never actually agreeing to receive marketing communications. I have tried to unsubscribe (both online and verbally) numerous times and am now taking up my grievance with the ICO.

The comments above from disgruntled employees explains a lot about the whole process. I feel genuinely sorry for the people I've dealt with.

Whatever you do don't attend their events - it simply is not worth it!

Anonymous said...

I worked in marketing at Govnet until earlier this year. A lot of the stories about the London office are true. It's a fairly chaotic environment where the plan which is imposed upon you by the directors gets changed every week. This made it interesting but ultimately very frustrating as I don't believe the people pulling the strings have a clue how to actually produce and market events.

I started looking for a new role fairly shortly after joining as I could see that it was never going to be somewhere I could tolerate for long.

I saw this blog before I started and decided to ignore it/think I could overcome the issues. I was wrong, it's a poor organisation from the top down and I would strongly advise people who are considering working there to look for something better.

That said, if you think you can handle it and are happy to nod and agree with absolute nonsense from the directors then you will progress quickly in terms of job title and not quite so quickly in terms of money. A very large percentage of employees are looking for new jobs so at least you will be amongst like-minded people.

Anonymous said...

Everything already said is true. It's demoralising, demeaning and depressing.


Anonymous said...

It's not that bad here and it seem like loads of bitter people on here. I love the company and will do anything to help my company.

If my director ask me for information on my friends and guarantee me more money or a promotion, then of course I am going to get information that they need.

On my team (IG) we have a great chemistry. We enjoy plenty of beers and share good times but they don't pay my wages, the important directors do so my loyalty is with Youv.

Sure it is cutthrough, but who wouldn't guarantee they're career right? So many bitter people on here. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comments. I recently withdrew an application to Govnet based on the above. I've since got a job I'm really happy with so I really appreciate this blog. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

The comments above are hilarious. We're a sales-led organisation so obviously profit is the focus of everything we do.

All that the directors are focused on is gross profit/net profit and rightly so - that's the way business should be done.

If you don't think you are cut out for a sales-led environment then working here probably isn't for you. However if you do think you would fit then it is a brilliant place to work full of lovely people.

As the old saying goes, "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!".

Anonymous said...

I recently left GovNet and the company is a shambles. The CEO is a vile piece of work along with her cowboy directors. I highly recommend if you are considering to work for them the DO NOT DO IT

Boe Jarlow said...

Whilst I've put on some serious poundage working here, I've also gone on to make some serious poundage. I've also dished out some serious poundage ;)

Seriously though, it's a great place to work! Ignore all of these comments.

Anonymous said...

I am still getting swirlied daily by HR - why is nobody helping me...

Daz Howe said...

tHESE commants are halarious!!!!!

Derek Huff said...

I don't understand the pure jealousy and rage expressed on this blog post. I've worked with Govnet for years and they are great. Don't take my word for it, I'm only the VP of the biggest executive-helicopter-leasing company on the Western Seaboard.


Anonymous said...

I worked here for 3 years and have had to pay an absolute fortune in physiotherapy due to the chronic back pain the chairs have caused.

I am now wheelchair bound and struggle to order food at McDonalds as the counter is too high.

P.S. Say what you want about JW, but she knows how to have fun. To compensate me for my injuries she took me sailing just off coast of Antigua. Getting around the boat in a wheelchair was difficult but by the end of it that little cabin was steamier than a kettle if you know what I mean lads. By the third week we were drilling holes in the roof just so we could breath.

Anonymous said...

Had to change their name of the company a couple of times. Have gone "bump" a few times and come back as other companies.
Public sector . Net was the old one.
Good articles and events. Just private company companies need to steer way clear of the. No bang for buck

Ned from data said...

Now over at the project room
Oh! They really pack 'em in
The IG crowd say it's cool
To dig this chanting thing
But as the wind changed direction
The UMG band took five
The Manchester office caught a wiff
Of that crazy data jive

The shareef don't like it
Ned from data!!
Ned from data!!
The shareef don't like it
Ned from data!!
Ned from data!!

Noah Sand said...

Seems like a lot of immature and bitter ex-employees on this page. As profits grow year on year it seems like the business is better off without them anyway!

Anonymous said...

To all the bitter people who have written mean things about me.... You wanna hurt me?
Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I'm an easy target.

Yeah, you're right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you... but I don't like to hurt people's feelings.

Well, you think what you want about me; I'm not changing. I like... I like me.
My husband likes me. My customers like me. 'Cause I'm the real article. What you see is what you get.

JW x

Anonymous said...

I've seen recently that there was an planning application to convert the London offices at 10 Buckingham Place into a single residential dwelling. I wonder if they are considering downsizing the London operation and moving the majority of positions to Manchester? It would make sense as a cost-cutting exercise certainly.

Anonymous said...

So, as I recently left the company I think it would be right to give a balanced view.

Personally, all this shit about JW I never experienced, every dealing I had with her was genuinely interesting, she's a knowledgable woman and she's done very well for her self in business, and you cannot take that away from her.

So I worked in the London office and recently resigned after four months. I worked in the Expo Sales department and answered directly to SA.

Now, GovNet were a good company to work for, their pay was okay, their commission structure was fantastic. The lads in the office were brilliant. But, you know, people don't work for companies, they work for people. Right SA?

Now whilst I was there I saw four people in and out of that sales room. People left every Friday and started every Monday. To say it was a revolving door was an understatement, but such a hard sale isn't for everyone.

The culture was very 'ladish'. Very much a case of tell the customer what they want to hear. Now on every sales floor you're going to get people bending the truth, but these guys bent them so hard they snapped. I went to do rebookings at one of their Expos and a lad from the Blackburn office literally said "I'm so nervous to talk to some of these companies, if lied through my teeth to get them on and now I'm meant to rebook them" I mean jeeeeesus, that must put in into perspective.

Now back to 'people work for people' my sales director, SA. Fucking awful. Over promoted internally and was quite possibly the worst boss i've ever had. She made me and all the lads feel shit at our jobs, and in a sales role you need someone who motivates you. Not demotivates you. Her targets made no sense, 2.5K below the rate card, but targeted on 1 deal a week. WELL LET ME PITCH IT AT 6.5K!!! She repeatedly said 'sorry for being a bitch'... like weekly, one day I said to her 'SA, you don't need to apologise for what you find acceptable, you're apologised for being a bitch every week this month, so you obviously find it acceptable, so don't apologies' that wasn't met with the best reaction, but hey-ho.

Honestly, I cannot put into words how awful she was.

But all in all, a good company, just a shit manager who belittled you and threatened to fire you as she though 'fear of loss' was an suitable tool for motivation.

Honestly, if you've got thick skin and balls the size of melons you'll be fine here. If like me, you need a boss who is level headed, structured, knowledgeable and motivating, do not work here.

SA, JW, if you're reading this you probably know who I am by now. I hope you'll agree the above is only an accurate description.

Anonymous said...

If you are going to post about Govnet Communications can you at least make sure what you post is factually correct?

The post about turning 10 Buckingham Place into a single residential dwelling is bordering on libellous.

If the poster had done any research they would know that the application was withdrawn almost immediately and of course there are no plans to move out of London.

Anonymous said...

I am looking at a job with GovNet's Manchester office working on their magazines. The above comments appear to mostly refer to the sales team, so can anyone confirm whether the publishing division is any better?

Anonymous said...

Anon, I work in London so not on the magazines. The whole organisation is rotten and quite small. Even if your direct line manager is not a bully you will be affected by the horrid culture.

Strongly advise you to find something else. I will be resigning early in 2017.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I've actually just googled a telephone number of someone that has left me a message called Stephanie, and ended up finding this post. I'm always suspicious of 0161 number as it's usually GovNet or one of it's other names such as PM Group.

I'm constantly called by this organisation. Claiming to be working with "X" Government body, having seen that we work them. It's all bullshit, we've never attended any of their events and we never will. Complete false representation.

I've even had one person saying they'll go over my head and talk to my CEO as it's vitally important we attend this "x" event.

Avoid like the plague.

Anonymous said...

Lets talk about their recent internal upsets...

Anonymous said...

I have just recently seen these posts about GovNet and wanted to put my side to this. I used to work at GovNet which I was grateful for because it opened the first door to my career. I worked there for 4 years and didn't get any recognition for my work I had no promotions same job for 4 years. I still didn't moan because I thought if I stay loyal then I might get somewhere. But it didn't happen I because like old furniture and felt I got targeted and push out y well I was late 1 min and got 2 warning for them because JW wanted to make a point. People are scared of JW in there they all say yes to her no matter what she wanted. Funny thing is they would be all friendly towards her but behind her back they would back bite and these are people that are close to her in GovNet. I should have seen that loyalty means nothing but I was young and being helpful. Anyways always spoke to my manager (and there were maybe 4 or 5) how I can impress JW so I can get pay rises and I done everything she asked and still didn't get any raise. The website says they are passionate about helping hard working people but this is BS!!!

I remember days when JW was in a bad mood and she will make everyone else pay for, I wouldn't call the professional would you JW?

The whole company seems to good on the outside but inside the company is currupt with no loyalty. JW thinks she is liked but truthfully she buys people attention and her husband well I won't say too much because I don't want to get personal but all Mr Faukner says is "yes Jo".

The atmosphere could be good but then JW could get in a mood and the atomospher will then change. She controls everything and makes people reward people or make people pay according to her moods.

Just to summerise. to get far in your career in GovNet you need to suck up to JW ( jo you know this is true) once your in her good books she will help you no matter what. But if your like me...small part of the company that has been there for 4 years you are just dirt on her high heel shoes and will wipe you off when she wants (we are just like puppets and JW has all the strings and they could be cut whenever she wants)

JW has done well to get where she is and I am no way jealous about your success I actually applaud where the company has got to. I understand you need to be tough in business but I just feel the people at the top of the organization including JW do not care about the people that make the business tick (people at the bottom - the grafters)

Anyways I was forced out the company but would like to thank the company for opening the first door to my career. Maybe if I wasn't forced out I probably would be where I am. Things always happen for a reason that's what I believe. There were 2 people in the company who are genuinely good people dont want to say there names because they still work there and are close to JW. even they try to stay away from JW when she is pissed but even they are say Yes to her to everything she says.

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

Lol what would these be??

Unknown said...

Haha this had made my night reading all this 😂

Unknown said...

Haha this had made my night reading all this 😂

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

So GovNet are on a recruitment drive again, does anyone from their offices want to weigh in on current moods for 2017?

Anonymous said...

Re. Anon. You can guess the mood here. JW on the warpath. Not giving our new CEO any opportunity to work on her own ideas. Nobody is suprised.

Anonymous said...

The GovNet office has become a place of total misery. Staff are leaving at a rapid rate, with approximately 30% of the London office having left in the past few months. Overall, staff are miserable - morale is down overall. If you come across this blog, take my advise and do not apply for a job at GovNet. It will be the worst decision you make in your career

Anonymous said...

I have just found this blog. Can I ask if all these comments are relevant to all the divisions of GovNet? I'm considering making an application to one of their divisions - I won't say which one - but I want to know if this is all relevant to the entire company??


Craig Cammalan said...

Slightly concerned how this page is slipping down the rankings on Google. I'm no marketing guru so can somebody tell me if this post will help bump this page up the rankings?

Sir Froggy Woofter said...

Hi Craig Camelham

I believe it should.


Sir Froogy Woofter

Anonymous said...

Hello Writer, I have worked for the Sales Director for many years and can share that you are clearly misinterpreting and falsely promoting your experiences.
There are various people across the sales dept that have worked for ‘SA’ for a number of years. I think your personal experience is a petty one and one which if you were not
performing should not be sharing on public networks.
Our rebooking process and sales process is highly productive. You clearly didn’t understand the proposition of discounting processes.
For anyone that reads this ridiculous website, it’s only fair to say that it occupies trolling from those people who were not the people the company should have hired in the first place.
Advice to a govnet, invest in hiring the right people.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon!

Anonymous said...

Jo Walsh has her favourites but it seems this isn't based on aptitude or intellect as JW seems to pick the least intelligent, most terrible people to be part of her inner circle.

I can assume therefore that she just picks people who are too cowardly to say anything in disagreement to her.

JW is absolutely pathetic - perhaps even more so than the chumps that follow her.

Anonymous said...

All quiet on the Western Front. Maybe JW and Co. have cleaned up their act?!

Anonymous said...

Just look at the number of posts on here over so many years, all saying broadly the same thing. Why? Because it's true.
Ignore the odd fake post from within the Govnet organisation, the reality is that Govnet is all about Jo Walsh and Jo Walsh is all about Govnet.
No matter what promises are made, or how they tell you lessons have been learned - don't believe a word of it. Nothing will ever change - it's the fiefdom of a dark and manipulative mind. Avoid.

Anonymous said...

I haven't worked at Govnet for about 18 months or so now but have followed news of the company's progress with keen interest.

Like the previous commenter said, the number of negative posts over the years tell the story. The company will never progress whilst Jo Walsh there. Because if Jo Walsh is there the company will continue to be run by an unstable psychopath no matter who is appointed as the latest MD/CEO/Director.

I can't help but feel everybody (including JW) would eventually be better off if Govnet were to simply cease trading.

Anonymous said...

So GovNet are now on Glassdoor. There you will find the usual combination of honest reviews highlighting the culture there which results in their appalling staff retention record- and of course the fake reviews praising the place to the rafters.
A new innovation is the company replying via the COO (the owner's son), making all the right noises about learning from the unremittingly damning reviews posted by employees past and present. He even claims that the latest in the long line of senior figures leaving after short and turbulent tenures is a response to this feedback. All nonsense of course. GovNet are having a tough time recruiting anyone as the word is very much out on them - so they're trying to put on a more human face as they can't bully Glassdoor. Do not be fooled.

Anonymous said...

The characterisation of Jo Walsh as a manipulative bully/tyrant/psychopath isn't without truth and speaks to many previous and current employees' experience of dealing with her.

However, it's perhaps a bit simplistic. If you want to get into her pysche and understand the way she does business and the working culture she promotes, first and foremost you need to remember she's a lawyer. (And a proper trial lawyer who's actually been in front of juries, not scanning documents and drafting contracts into the early hours.)

The reason this is important is because in criminal law and trials, there is an innocent party and a guilty party - black and white. The job of the lawyer is to prove beyond reasonable doubt the innocence of one or the guilt of the other, by means of passionate, lengthy speeches to the jury and gruelling interrogations of witnesses.

JW applies exactly this approach and philosophy to her business and, like the best defence or prosecution barristers, goes above and beyond to prove the angelic innocence or demonic guilt of the marketer/event head/director from her company that she favours or wants rid of at any given time.

In the exhibitions and conferences industry, when a show does badly it's often due to a blend of bad marketing, boring content, and a weak proof of concept, and the failing show is often disappointing rather than catastrophic, and offset by many other successful shows. Put simply, many people contribute to the failure, which isn't ever really business critical anyway.

But in JW's angels and demons mindset, a show that's a bit low on attendees is a Chernobyl-esque melodrama that has one arbitrarily-selected culprit, who is then relentlessly hounded out of the company. The aim of the game for anyone working for her is to make sure that person isn't them, which is where the toxic blame culture comes from, and how you create a company where everyone throws each other under the bus and no one takes responsibility.

Anonymous said...

I'm considering taking a job at Govnet - can it really be as bad as everybody says? What are the warning signs I need to look for?

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting reading. There is no easy answer here but the new cohort of senior management all seem to think they can make it better. JW's son joined as COO and he has hired a new CMO, CTO, Head of People and Head of Operations. They all seem to know what it was like here and legitimately want to make it better.they brought in another company to do full on employee surveys and focus groups and seem to listened. Theyve got new systems, theyre updating our IT and benefits and they're talking about training and the plans seem legitimate. There was the first annual company conference last week where they spoke about the strategy, told us about new initiatives and the company vision. I hope they aren't just being naive because they all seem like genuine people.

Personally, I'm having a great time and so are all my colleagues, we are given the room to learn and HR promised we would have clearer career plans as the feedback told them it was needed, I hope that removes some of the favouritism. JW seemed nice enough to me but she doesnt really get involved in my division because we are doing well, I know some of the other decisions find her quite scary and some of the Manchester people said she will publicly pull them up on things, but she will be equally be a total sweetie the next hour. I've been told she is always looking for why something has gone wrong and goes on and on until she decides on someone to blame. God knows what goes through her head.

I'm happy and have been since I joined around 6 months ago, I hope that continues and everything they've said is true and happens, and based on everything above i dont want to get on JWs bad side

Anonymous said...

There are lots of new people at the top who want the company to be successful. We had a confernece at a manor in Hertfordshire a few weeks ago and it was really good getting to know each other and finding out what the company wants to do. Sounds like there's loads going on and they spoke about how important the people are and how they want us to be happy and improve our benefits and all that stuff. There is so many good employees and they're all very smart.

But I hate going to work, it makes me stressed, Jo Walsh is like a little troll walking around looking for someone to troll. We were all excited after the conference and then she came in and got worked up about petty things, it's always something petty, and decided to start having a go at my colleagues for nowt. Shes so spiteful, she doesn't stop once shes started, it's all about how she is being disrespected in her own company and how disrespectful someone is for wearing the wrong thing, she moans about ripped jeans but shes a hypocrite, she wore ripped jeans last Friday. You never know what shes going to decide to moan about. She has calls with the London office and stomps around the Manchester office shouting at people on the phone, everyone knows what shes saying and everyone knows who shes talking about all the time. It's like she always wants everyone to know she is there and she is in charge and she is powerful, shes completely self obsessed. I don't know how James came out so well with her as an example. I hope she doesn't push him out like she did the other CEO's she claims were all bad, they probably were if they has to deal with her. This time it will be her son. Everyone is so much happier when she isn't there.

Anonymous said...

I never wear ripped jeans. JW.

Anonymous said...

JW is at it again. I think the boss has gone cray cray. Today she was marching around the office telling us all how to wash our hands and threatening to close the kitchen if the toilets get blocked from the hand towels. Does she think we are stupid? Is she even allowed to lock the kitchen? Isn't that like a human rights violation? She talks to us like she is the only person that knows how to wash her hands or knows what coronavirus is, as if we don't have the intelligence to understand anything unless she tells us about it. It's like just so patronising.

Anonymous said...

Oh don’t be so ridiculous. You and I both know there’s no such thing as “Human Rights”. Oh and by the way, I know everything about the coronavirus because I read about it online. JW.

P.S Wash your hands.

Anonymous said...

Enjoying my Christmas break. Can't wait to get back to it to lead the business to further glory :)


Anonymous said...

Me again. I did lead the business to further glory. Sir Robert was so proud of me that he took me to his private villa in the South of France for a WHOLE month. We had so much fun ;)