EDITORIAL: Public is aware of political PR battle

The results of the inaugural Access/BMRB omnibus survey offer a glimpse into an increasingly sophisticated target audience for communicators of corporate and political messages alike.

Asked which side had come out on top in the PR battle surrounding last week's state visit to the UK by US President George W Bush, a slim majority came down on the side of Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair. Those who thought the anti-war lobby had emerged victorious only just outnumbered the 'don't knows'.

And yet, a majority of those that expressed a view on the second of the two questions - to what extent the state visit and its timing reflected badly on the British government - asserted that it did.

The picture to emerge is of a public increasingly conscious of the PR battle for their hearts and minds, even as it is being waged. They sensed that those in power were in control of the news agenda and getting their messages across, but still thought the visit reflected badly on them.

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