THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Do Alastair Campbell’s PR skills live up to the hype?

Having helped NATO, Campbell is believed to be advising the European Commission on its PR

Having helped NATO, Campbell is believed to be advising the

European Commission on its PR

Roy Greenslade

The Guardian

’Alastair was a terrific journalist and he’s transformed himself into a

brilliant press secretary. He knows PR has to be proactive. He

approaches everything strategically and understands what the message

should be and how to get it across. These kinds of skills are in short

supply and only a few people like James Carville, Mike McCurry and

Alastair have them and they have cornered the market. It’s something

other people are going to have to learn.’

Charlie Whelan

Radio 5 Live

’Yes. He understands what the media want and he’s got the populist touch

Labour really needed. But you’re only as good as the minister you’re

spinning for and Labour’s got the right policies and a strong leader. He

might not be so good if he was spinning for Hague.’

Romola Christopherson

Media Strategy

’Alastair is undoubtedly a star. He has the power, which comes from the

Prime Minister - it could be argued he is effectively the deputy prime

minister. And he has tabloid instincts and enormous driving energy. But

the danger (in working for NATO and the European Commission) is that

it’s stretching him to the point where he’s vulnerable on the home

front. Votes in this country are won on domestic issues and not world

affairs. You take your eye off the domestic ball at your peril.’

George Jones

The Daily Telegraph

’He’s one of the most efficient and talented Downing Street press

officers I’ve come across. He’s very focused - he knows the message he

wants to promote and works tirelessly to do so. He knows what newspapers

want and how the lobby operates and he’s very forceful. But there’s a

danger that, like the Prime Minister, he’ll spend too much time on

foreign affairs. He’ll find a more appreciative audience abroad.’

Luke Blair

Design Council

’Whatever mud is flung his way - some journalists hate him because they

hate the feeling of being controlled - Alastair stands his ground and

has an extraordinary eye for detail. At close quarters in the lobby,

he’s an impressive act, especially when squaring up to those who try to

take him on. I’m looking forward to seeing him grab the European

Commission where it hurts - it’s going to be his toughest job yet.’

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