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
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.