EDITORIAL: Disappointing PR hire for Lib Dems

The appointment of Horse & Hound assistant editor Elizabeth Peplow as the Liberal Democrats’ director of press and broadcasting should be a source of deep disappointment for the public affairs community. Peplow has barely three years PR experience in the distant past and none at all in the political sphere.

The appointment of Horse & Hound assistant editor Elizabeth Peplow

as the Liberal Democrats’ director of press and broadcasting should be a

source of deep disappointment for the public affairs community. Peplow

has barely three years PR experience in the distant past and none at all

in the political sphere.



Four months ago Jeremy Browne’s departure to Edelman threw down the

gauntlet for an able PRO to handle the undoubtedly challenging task of

making the Liberal Democrats sexy. It seems few in the PR world fancied

their chances.



Without wishing to launch a personal attack on Peplow - who is

undoubtedly a talented individual - it is a sad state of affairs that

the existing PR community threw up not a single person willing and able

to handle media relations for a major political party less than a year

from a general election.



Where are today’s Colin Byrnes, David Hills and Charles Lewingtons?



Given that Peplow has been a party member for more than 17 years, her

commitment to the Lib Dem cause cannot be questioned. But up against the

combined skills of Labour’s Millbank Tower and the Tories’ revamped

central office ’war room’, is this enough?



In our leader on Browne’s departure (PR Week, 21 April), the post he was

vacating was described as ’either a unique opportunity or a poisoned

chalice’. Too many good candidates clearly decided it was the latter.



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