Five leading PR figures were named in the 1998 New Year’s Honours
List. The highest honour was awarded to Romola Christopherson, director
of press and publicity at the Department of Health, who becomes a
companion of the Order of the Bath.
In a distinguished 35-year career Christopherson has held communications
posts at six Whitehall departments outside the Department of Health,
where she has worked since 1986. She said: ’I don’t know whether it’s a
reward for survival or competence. I have to tell myself it’s for
competence.’ Prior to taking on the DoH job Christopherson spent a
period as deputy press secretary to Sir Bernard Ingham, who was then
press secretary to Margaret Thatcher.
Receiving OBEs are Keith Howell, head of publicity at the Office of Fair
Trading, and Peter Lipscomb, external affairs director of Diageo,
created last year from the merger of Guinness and GrandMet.
Two PR practitioners receive MBEs. They are Peter Hunt, external affairs
adviser for Coca-Cola Great Britain and a former IPR president, and
Peter Smith, head of PR at the Association of Metropolitan Authorities
from 1974 until its closure last March.