Public Affairs: Soap Box - George Pascoe-Watson is changing jobs

George Pascoe-Watson - GPW to his legions of admirers - is changing jobs.

After a lifetime at The Sun, he joins Tim Allan's Portland PR to boost its Tory credentials ahead of an expected Cameron victory next year. GPW was instrumental in getting The Sun to switch its support from Labour to Tory the morning after Gordon Brown's big speech.

He is not the first journalist to go into PR, especially from the local papers. Why stay on the treadmill of golden anniversaries, baby shows and amateur dramatics when you can double your pay with the PCT or council press office? National hacks often cash in their chips ahead of news desk downsizing.

Many ex-hacks thrive in their new habitat. They can spot a good news angle for their clients, and see an impending shuttle crash. But for some, the switch spells disaster. After years of being courted by the great and good, they find their calls go unanswered. After working in a small newsroom, they're part of a corporate empire. They must justify time spent in El Vinos or at the Cinnamon Club. They must earn fee income week in, week out.

In a PR agency, no matter who you are, you're only as good as your last winning pitch or successful campaign.

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