The latest public sector news, opinion and features

News and news analysis

Rotherham child abuse scandal prompts warning to 'leak-chasing' councils

Rotherham child abuse scandal prompts warning to 'leak-chasing' councils

The Times journalist who helped uncover the Rotherham child abuse scandal has attacked Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of previous inquiries and warned its successors not to be "tempted to chase leaks rather than act on their failings".

Hundreds of police social media slips brought to light

Hundreds of police social media slips brought to light

A senior comms figure has defended the use of social media by police after it emerged forces in England and Wales have conducted 828 investigations into the use of social media by staff over the past five years.

Aberdeen City Council embraces publicity over 'Newshite' blunder

Aberdeen City Council embraces publicity over 'Newshite' blunder

Aberdeen City Council has welcomed the global publicity generated by a "somewhat amusing" error on the cover of its magazine for housing tenants, Newsbite.

Moves to support Twitter-friendly council meetings get industry thumbs-up

Moves to support Twitter-friendly council meetings get industry thumbs-up

LGcommunications has stood in solidarity with new government moves to stop local authorities banning the public from tweeting or filming at council meetings.

Fire safety partnership drive "not a bad deal for the public"

Fire safety partnership drive "not a bad deal for the public"

The Department for Communities and Local Government is promoting its fire safety message for just £30,000 by teaming up with the marketers of kids' movie How To Train Your Dragon 2.

Matt Tee appointed as new press regulator's first chief executive

Matt Tee appointed as new press regulator's first chief executive

The Independent Press Standards Organisation has appointed Matt Tee, the former permanent secretary for government comms, as its first chief executive.

Government leaves Unity vacancy unfilled

Government leaves Unity vacancy unfilled

The Government will not be replacing Unity on its PR roster following the agency quitting in protest at what it dubbed a "fundamentally flawed" system.

Former COI team to help raise profile of Emergency Planning Society

Former COI team to help raise profile of Emergency Planning Society

Bob Wade Media has won a contract to provide a media and comms service for the Emergency Planning Society.

Jackie Brock-Doyle "walked into Glasgow 2014 office knowing everything"

Jackie Brock-Doyle "walked into Glasgow 2014 office knowing everything"

The challenge of the eleventh-hour arrival of Jackie Brock-Doyle to lead comms for Glasgow 2014 was eased by "years of planning", one of the Commonwealth Games' key PR figures has revealed.

Fishburn expands public affairs team with Downing Street hire

Fishburn expands public affairs team with Downing Street hire

Fishburn has expanded its public affairs team with the appointment of Downing Street press officer Ben Crosland as an associate director.

The Red Consultancy applies to replace Unity on government roster

The Red Consultancy applies to replace Unity on government roster

The Red Consultancy has applied to replace Unity on the government roster for PR contracts worth more than £100,000 after the latter's resignation yesterday.

Unity quits "flawed" government PR roster

Unity quits "flawed" government PR roster

One of the six agencies appointed to the Government's roster for PR contracts worth more than £100,000 has quit, accusing the system of encouraging "cronyism" and labelling it "fundamentally flawed".

Frank tasked with putting recycling back on the agenda

Frank tasked with putting recycling back on the agenda

Frank PR has won the pitch to promote a Government and Coca-Cola Enterprises-backed initiative encouraging the collection of plastic packaging for recycling.

Free access to PRWeek's iPad edition comes to an end for non-subscribers

Free access to PRWeek's iPad edition comes to an end for non-subscribers

PRWeek's iPad edition is becoming a paid-for product, although our subscribers will continue to receive free access as part of their package.

Opinion and features

Being an informal whistleblower should be part of the job description - in theory

Being an informal whistleblower should be part of the job description - in theory

Former Walsall Council senior press officer Dan Slee reflects on how public sector communicators should react to bad news such as the catalogue of sexual abuse uncovered in Rotherham.

Review: Salmond vs Darling debate lights up Scottish independence battle

Review: Salmond vs Darling debate lights up Scottish independence battle

The Scottish independence campaign kicked off for real last night with a TV debate between First Minister Alex Salmond and former Chancellor Alistair Darling.

Taking the fear out of networking

Taking the fear out of networking

Ex-european director of external communications at Coca-Cola Enterprises, Debbie Spitz, shares her tips on how to get the best from, and even enjoy, networking.

We are fishing out the hidden communicators

We are fishing out the hidden communicators

You don't need to be Machiavellian to rid departments of unaccountable 'embedded' communicators.

How today's select committees could be a formidable force

How today's select committees could be a formidable force

Select committees now have a high profile and an effect on public policy. But there's still room for improvement.

The three 'must-dos' for crisis communicators

The three 'must-dos' for crisis communicators

A council's reputation can be destroyed in a few hours if you aren't prepared and fail to move fast during a crisis.

Hague's 'Brangelina' stunt distracts public from the real issue

Hague's 'Brangelina' stunt distracts public from the real issue

'Team Hague' failed to make the right impression when its message got lost among 'Brangelina' fever

Seeing red: Local government needs to regain trust, not lose it

Seeing red: Local government needs to regain trust, not lose it

Stop telling us to 'spin' says Cormac Smith, chairman of LGcommunications.

Switching to part-time

Switching to part-time

London Communications Agency director Suzi Lawrence has worked three days a week since returning from maternity leave in May 2013. Here, she and LCA co-founder Jonny Popper discuss the process by which they have both made this work.

Comms teams must tackle the ugly side of World Cup craziness

Comms teams must tackle the ugly side of World Cup craziness

To improve public order during the World Cup, communicators need to change people's perspective and then their behaviour.

Peston's "bullshitters" attack was about more than just journalists versus PRs

Peston's "bullshitters" attack was about more than just journalists versus PRs

I imagine there was a great deal of tea spat out last Friday when it was reported that BBC journalist Robert Peston had turned on PR people, all guns blazing, describing them as "professional bullshitters".

Leaders in communications

6 November 2014, London

Designed by leaders in comms for leaders in comms, this event offers a unique opportunity to tackle the most persistent challenges faced at the very top of communications.

www.leadersincomms.com

Recent public sector people moves

Uber hires former top Obama aide Plouffe to oversee comms, policy

Uber hires former top Obama aide Plouffe to oversee comms, policy

David Plouffe "will be managing all global policy and political activities, communications, and Uber branding efforts," the company's CEO, Travis Kalanick, wrote in a blog post on the hire.

Huntsworth CEO Lord Chadlington: Why I am stepping down

Huntsworth CEO Lord Chadlington: Why I am stepping down

Lord Chadlington has denied that a shareholder revolt led to him stepping down as CEO of Huntsworth, stating he made the decision to depart last year.

Client budgets on the rise as agency optimism grows in Q2

Client budgets on the rise as agency optimism grows in Q2

New business and client spending are on the rise for PR agencies but over-servicing continues to present a problem, the PRCA's latest Consultancy Barometer has revealed.

Edelman brings on former senators Gregg, Conrad in adviser roles

Edelman brings on former senators Gregg, Conrad in adviser roles

Both will offer public policy advice and communications counsel to corporate, association, and nonprofit clients in the newly created roles.

Senior Tories take spads with them to new roles

Senior Tories take spads with them to new roles

Several special advisers including former Hanover consultant James Wild are following their senior Conservative bosses to new departments.

Hume Brophy hires former MEP Brian Simpson

Hume Brophy hires former MEP Brian Simpson

Hume Brophy has appointed Brian Simpson, the former MEP and chair of the European Parliament Transport Committee, as a senior consultant.

Former Treasury special adviser Julia Goldsworthy joins Hanover

Former Treasury special adviser Julia Goldsworthy joins Hanover

Hanover Communications has secured the services of Liberal Democrat politician Julia Goldsworthy, who was a special adviser in the Treasury for four years, as a senior policy adviser.