The latest public sector news, opinion and features.
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News and news analysis

The Independent's campaign and image of dead child 'rebalances' debate on refugees and migration

The Independent's campaign and image of dead child 'rebalances' debate on refugees and migration

Europe's refugee crisis has taken centre stage - three PRs give their views on how it happened, and what it means for the debate as a whole, and for charities and businesses wanting to speak out.

'We are very sorry': HIV clinic makes Twitter apology after confidential data released

'We are very sorry': HIV clinic makes Twitter apology after confidential data released

A sexual health and HIV care clinic in London has issued a public apology via Twitter and contacted individuals affected after confidential patient data was accidentally shared on email.

Drop criminal sanctions for lobbying breaches, Scottish lobbyists tell Government

Drop criminal sanctions for lobbying breaches, Scottish lobbyists tell Government

Public affairs firms have warned the Scottish Government to drop criminal sanctions as part of measures to be introduced in a new Lobbying Bill.

Farage won't lead EU 'Out' campaign but he's not out of the picture, say public affairs experts

Farage won't lead EU 'Out' campaign but he's not out of the picture, say public affairs experts

The UKIP leader's announcement that he does not want to spearhead the official campaign for the UK's exit from the EU still leaves room for him to make noise ahead of the referendum, public affairs consultants say - although they differ in their views of the implications of this.

Hack turned council PR man pens racy novel - about hack turned council PR man

Hack turned council PR man pens racy novel - about hack turned council PR man

The comms manager at a Kent council has published his debut novel, a tale of sex, scandal, intrigue, politics and death whose central character's career mirrors that of his PR man author.

Met Office comms chief will emphasise non-BBC activities after contract loss

Met Office comms chief will emphasise non-BBC activities after contract loss

The Met Office head of comms says she will emphasise the broader role the weather forecasting agency plays in UK life after the well-publicised loss of its BBC contract - but says there is no need for a major overhaul of its PR strategy.

Last chance to complete gender pay gap survey

Last chance to complete gender pay gap survey

Today is the final chance to complete our gender pay gap survey.

Take part in the PR and comms gender pay gap survey

Take part in the PR and comms gender pay gap survey

There is still time to take part in an industry-wide gender pay gap survey, organised by the PRCA, Women in PR and PRWeek.

NATO signs five-year comms services agreement with Agenda and Engine

NATO signs five-year comms services agreement with Agenda and Engine

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has awarded Washington, D.C. public affairs and comms firm Agenda and global marketing and comms group Engine a five-year framework agreement covering various comms activities.

How widespread is case study fakery in the PR and comms industry?

How widespread is case study fakery in the PR and comms industry?

The 'sweaty-gate' affair together with the Department for Work and Pensions' fictional case studies might suggest such fakery is alive and well in PR and comms land, much to the chagrin of the industry. But journalists are also complicit in this game, leaving readers to guess whether the subjects of so-called 'real life' stories are just playing a part. How widespread is the practice and can it ever be justified, asks Ian Griggs.

New comms chiefs appointed at Cabinet Office and Department for Education

New comms chiefs appointed at Cabinet Office and Department for Education

Both the Department for Education and the Cabinet Office will bring in experienced Whitehall figures as their new heads of comms in the coming weeks.

DWP admits to using fake case studies to communicate impact of welfare changes

DWP admits to using fake case studies to communicate impact of welfare changes

The Department for Work and Pensions has been forced to admit to using comments and images from fake claimants in a leaflet designed to demonstrate the positive impact of a controversial government policy.

Government increased comms spend by 20 per cent in pre-election year

Government increased comms spend by 20 per cent in pre-election year

Annual government spending on comms increased by nearly 20 per cent in the year running up to the general election, bucking the trend of cuts in this area since 2009/10.

You wouldn't do this at home: Council launches 'visceral' anti-litter campaign

You wouldn't do this at home: Council launches 'visceral' anti-litter campaign

Kingston Council in London is launching an ad campaign, which includes a defecating dog and a man urinating into his fireplace, to dissuade littering and foster a new relationship between council and residents.

Opinion and features

Extremism is at the top of all our agendas

Extremism is at the top of all our agendas

David Cameron has pushed the issue of extremism on to the national social agenda, meaning PRs cannot afford to ignore it.

Welcome to the world of competitive PR pitches

Welcome to the world of competitive PR pitches

You wouldn't treat your tailor or your new lover this way so why is it OK in competitive pitches, asks Hamish Thompson of Houston PR.

Social media get serious when it comes to crisis planning

Social media get serious when it comes to crisis planning

Social media may be the latecomers to the party but they have established themselves more quickly than any previous media, and getting the serious side right could be a matter of life and death, writes Nightingale's Lorraine Homer.

Are public sector comms pros unhappy? You won't find me crying in my soup

Are public sector comms pros unhappy? You won't find me crying in my soup

Every sector of the public purse is being squeezed and fire service comms is no exception, creating a challenge for practitioners, writes Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service's head of comms Bridget Aherne.

Getting the efficiency mantra right in the NHS

Getting the efficiency mantra right in the NHS

NHS and healthcare messaging must take into account the importance and political implications of the service's efficiency agenda, says Jenny Ousbey, an associate director at Lexington Communications.

HMRC threat of reputational damage may do more harm than good

HMRC threat of reputational damage may do more harm than good

HMRC's threat to 'name and shame' tax avoiders is not the best way to motivate them to pay up and could even backfire, writes Simon Maule of Linstock Communications.

How to pitch to journalists: It's the story, stupid

How to pitch to journalists: It's the story, stupid

For PR professionals who are tired of having their pitch shot down in flames by journalists, it's a good idea to get the basics right before making contact, writes Hanover PR consultant Charlie Simon.

Jeremy Corbyn is running the smart PR campaign for the Labour leadership

Jeremy Corbyn is running the smart PR campaign for the Labour leadership

Jeremy Corbyn's campaign is an exemplar of how to use your position as the underdog in a political campaign.

Where are the support networks for gay PR people?

Where are the support networks for gay PR people?

The PR world has always had a large number of gay practitioners but support networks for this community remain notably absent.

Professional associations for internal comms are the living parody of the Cheshire Cat

Professional associations for internal comms are the living parody of the Cheshire Cat

For the past decade "IC is at a crossroads" has become a clich├ęd topic in books, conferences and online discussions.

Brands are failing women's sport

Brands are failing women's sport

The success of the England team at the recent FIFA Women's World Cup has only further increased my ire because it highlights the great brand hypocrisy of our time: why aren't brands investing in women's sport?

Recent public sector people moves

In brief: Wrapped launches, Cubitt works with .tickets, PRCA Conference coming soon, JPES Partners, Bubble & Squeak, Claremont, Cartwright

In brief: Wrapped launches, Cubitt works with .tickets, PRCA Conference coming soon, JPES Partners, Bubble & Squeak, Claremont, Cartwright

Wrapped launches with Clark leading PR, Cubitt booked by .tickets domain operator, PRCA Conference keynote announced, Asset manager AllianceBernstein appoints JPES Partners, Claremont wins forestry brief and more from PRWeek UK.

30 Under 30's Andy Silvester returns to Institute of Directors from TaxPayers' Alliance

30 Under 30's Andy Silvester returns to Institute of Directors from TaxPayers' Alliance

TaxPayers' Alliance campaign director Andy Silvester - one of the PRWeek 30 Under 30 for 2015 - will return to the Institute of Directors on 9 September as its head of campaigns.

Maitland partner George Trefgarne quits to set up financial comms firm

Maitland partner George Trefgarne quits to set up financial comms firm

George Trefgarne, a partner at Maitland, has left to set up his own financial comms firm, which will be launched later this year.

Director of media relations at BIS to step down after 10 years

Director of media relations at BIS to step down after 10 years

Aileen Boughen, director of media relations at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, is to step down from her role in the autumn after 10 years.

Edelman hires Naheed Mehta from the Foreign Office to lead government comms

Edelman hires Naheed Mehta from the Foreign Office to lead government comms

Edelman has hired Naheed Mehta, former chief press officer at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to head up its global government comms division.

FleishmanHillard hires Teneo's Michelle di Leo to head new standalone public affairs arm

FleishmanHillard hires Teneo's Michelle di Leo to head new standalone public affairs arm

FleishmanHillard is to split its UK public affairs and corporate arm into two divisions, and has appointed former Teneo SVP Michelle di Leo to lead the new standalone public affairs team.

Wigan Council suspends head of PR following embarrassing ITV documentary

Wigan Council suspends head of PR following embarrassing ITV documentary

The head of PR at Wigan Council has been temporarily suspended from his duties pending a council investigation into its participation in an ITV documentary.