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

Can #Milifandom give Labour the edge?

Can #Milifandom give Labour the edge?

Labour leader Ed Miliband received a surprising boost in popularity this week after the #Milifandom hashtag took off on Twitter. But will this digital support translate into votes come 7 May?

Public affairs tactics will need to change radically after the general election

Public affairs tactics will need to change radically after the general election

Notwithstanding a sudden surge in the fortunes of one of the major parties, the general election is likely to result in either a slim Parliamentary majority of the kind not seen since Sir John Major's ill-fated 1992-1997 administration nearly 20 years ago, or a minority government. This in turn presages a radical change in the tactics employed by public affairs agencies to influence the Government's legislative programme. PRWeek speaks to three public affairs professionals to get their insight on the opportunities and challenges presented by the composition of the next government.

Tory party co-chairman denies "bonkers" Wikipedia editing claims

Tory party co-chairman denies "bonkers" Wikipedia editing claims

Conservative Party co-chairman Grant Shapps has dismissed reports that he masterminded edits to Wikipedia to improve his public image and smear party rivals.

Bell Pottinger releases social media tool to track general election

Bell Pottinger releases social media tool to track general election

Bell Pottinger has launched a social media dashboard, which aims to offer daily insight into the general election campaign.

TV is top medium for grabbing attention and influencing voters

TV is top medium for grabbing attention and influencing voters

Politicians should rethink outdated campaigning techniques such as billboard advertising, according to a new 'Election Engagement Index' from Weber Shandwick and Research Now.

Conservatives top 'Polifiller' manifesto check with 200 clichés

Conservatives top 'Polifiller' manifesto check with 200 clichés

The Conservative Party's 'Big Society' mantra came out on top after Houston PR ran all available party manifestos through its 'automated political cliché removal tool'.

The language of politicians is turning off voters, according to poll

The language of politicians is turning off voters, according to poll

Research by Golin, in association with the polling organisation Toluna, found that a third of the British electorate trust candidates less when they lapse into buzzwords and "politician-speak".

Labour pledges to end "scandalous" long-term unpaid internships

Labour pledges to end "scandalous" long-term unpaid internships

Labour's plan to end long-term unpaid internships if it wins the election has been welcomed by the PRCA.

The eight public affairs professionals standing to become MPs

The eight public affairs professionals standing to become MPs

Staff from Bell Pottinger, Hanover and FleishmanHillard are among those from public affairs agencies standing as parliamentary candidates at the general election, PRWeek has learned.

UK among seven out of 19 EU nations to regulate lobbying, says anti-corruption watchdog

UK among seven out of 19 EU nations to regulate lobbying, says anti-corruption watchdog

Only seven out of 19 European countries have measures in place to regulate lobbying, according to a comprehensive report by Transparency International (TI).

Camelot holds competitive pitch for public affairs brief

Camelot holds competitive pitch for public affairs brief

Camelot, the operator of The National Lottery, is to hold a competitive pitch for its public affairs representation.

Support for Ed Miliband rises as #nondom trends on Twitter

Support for Ed Miliband rises as #nondom trends on Twitter

Labour leader Ed Miliband's plan to scrap the non-domicile tax status has received widespread support on social media, generating 20,000 conversations with the hashtag #nondom used 4,000 times.

Adrian Graves Organisation merges with Keene Communications

Adrian Graves Organisation merges with Keene Communications

Keene Communications, the corporate and public affairs agency, has merged with specialist agency Adrian Graves Organisation (AGO).

William Hague's former adviser Chris White joins Bellenden

William Hague's former adviser Chris White joins Bellenden

Bellenden has hired William Hague's former special adviser Chris White to join the senior management team at its public affairs arm.

Opinion and features

Winning the election will be the easy part for the next Secretary of State for Health

Winning the election will be the easy part for the next Secretary of State for Health

The 'lucky' winner of the post of next Health Secretary will take over a service facing unprecedented but not unpredictable demand for NHS care from a population living longer (often with increasingly complex health and care needs), and with little spare cash to pay for it.

Today's communicators need an appetite for disruption

Today's communicators need an appetite for disruption

Changing minds requires a jolt as well as a nudge.

Mental ill-health: It's time for us to grow up and talk about this problem in PR

Mental ill-health: It's time for us to grow up and talk about this problem in PR

When I read the PR Week/PRCA survey on Mental Wellbeing, I did so with a sense of relief.

Macmillan Cancer Support's Lynda Thomas trains her lens on comms

Macmillan Cancer Support's Lynda Thomas trains her lens on comms

The charity chief says her background in comms means it is high on her agenda in helping Macmillan stand out.

Why looking down is killing creativity in PR

Why looking down is killing creativity in PR

The historian Simon Schama said in The Guardian recently that we have become the "look down" generation.

Showcase: The Office for Estimation

Showcase: The Office for Estimation

Smart Energy GB, an independent organisation promoting the use of smart meters, teamed up with Third City, ad agency AMV, PHD and the Daily Mirror to launch an April Fool's campaign to highlight their benefits when it comes to utility bills.

No, no, trust me: the purpose of PR is dead

No, no, trust me: the purpose of PR is dead

Gosh, what a load of hand-wringing fuss about Robert Phillips' book Trust Me, PR is Dead.

How and why to campaign on your organisation's reputation

How and why to campaign on your organisation's reputation

Trust is earned when reputation becomes central to every business decision, but it is a job that requires constant refinement and evolution.

Six tips for better global communications

Six tips for better global communications

I recently did some research for the Public Relations Consultants Association to determine best practice models for international comms teams. There were a number of insights:

The leadership debates: No clear winners, but some losers

The leadership debates: No clear winners, but some losers

Punters, pundits and political obsessives were all looking for a knock-out blow, but in the end the great leaders' debate did not quite deliver.

The Beeb was right to sack Clarkson

The Beeb was right to sack Clarkson

I actually quite enjoy Top Gear. I like the easy camaraderie and mocking that occurs between the three leads as it only can between people who've been actual friends for years.

Recent public sector people moves

Portland hires head of digital comms at No 10 Anthony Simon

Portland hires head of digital comms at No 10 Anthony Simon

Portland has appointed Anthony Simon, who heads up digital comms at the Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet Office, to join the agency's international team.

UKIP woos second BBC producer to boost its comms team

UKIP woos second BBC producer to boost its comms team

UKIP has appointed former BBC producer Sarah White as a press officer ahead of the general election in May.

Change.org hires Tom Bage from Pagefield as UK comms director

Change.org hires Tom Bage from Pagefield as UK comms director

Change.org, the petition website, has hired Tom Bage from corporate comms agency Pagefield as UK director of comms.

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith hired by Westbourne Communications

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith hired by Westbourne Communications

Westbourne Communications has hired former Labour Party Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to chair its public affairs practice.

Portland unveils content publishing unit and hires 'digital diplomat'

Portland unveils content publishing unit and hires 'digital diplomat'

Portland has broadened its offer with the launch of a content production unit and the hire of 'digital diplomat' Scott Nolan Smith from the British embassy in Washington.

HMRC makes three senior 'heavyweight' appointments

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced three new "heavyweight" senior external appointments to its comms team, including to the expanded role of head of comms for enforcement and compliance.

Karma's Charles Watson to chair Teneo International and eyeing major London expansion

Karma's Charles Watson to chair Teneo International and eyeing major London expansion

Former Karma Communications chairman Charles Watson has been appointed to chair Teneo International, the international division of Teneo Holdings, and is targeting major growth in London as a priority.