PRWeek UK Power Book 2020: Top 10 in public sector comms

PRWeek's UK Power Book reveals the PR pros who lead the way in their respective areas. Today, we rank the big players in public sector comms.

(l-r) Helm, Aiken, Stuart-Lacey
(l-r) Helm, Aiken, Stuart-Lacey

1. Simon Baugh – Director of comms, Home Office 

Appointed in February with one of the most demanding roles in government comms, Baugh is ultimately responsible for Home Office messages on crime, security and immigration in a department that’s rarely out of the news.

 2. James Helm – Director of comms, Metropolitan Police

With arguably the most intense role in policing comms, for the country’s biggest force, Helm’s job involves dealing with the comms around everything from violent crime to terrorist attacks.

3. Alex Aiken – Executive director, Government Communications Service

A champion of diversity and networking, Aiken co-ordinates comms work across government departments, and engages their teams in continuous improvement and upskilling.

4. Helen Bower-Easton – Director of comms, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Bower-Easton returned to the FCO in 2017 after a long stint at Number 10, including as the PM’s official spokesperson, before leading comms for the powerful government department.

5. Simon Enright – Director of comms, NHS England and NHS Improvement

A veteran journalist and NHS operator, he holds one of the most senior roles – recently expanded to take in NHS Improvement – in public sector health comms today.

6. Poli Stuart-Lacey – Director of comms, HMRC

On a mission to redefine the public’s image of the department from ‘The taxman’ to a helpful, 21st-century service, Stuart-Lacey has a wealth of experience across government to draw upon.

7. Matt Brown – Director of news and external relations, TfL

The former City Hall comms pro moved to Transport for London three years ago. His role was expanded to oversee all external stakeholder and government relations in his new brief.

8. David Holdstock – Director of comms and strategy, Local Government Association

As local authorities wrestle with the effects of austerity, Holdstock’s role is to help them articulate their needs to central government and convey their ambitions to stakeholders.

9. Carl Newns – Director of comms, Ministry of Defence

The understated but powerful departmental comms chief has one of the biggest comms teams in Whitehall under his command.

10. Tashi Lassalle – Director of communications, Church of England

As the Church struggles to remain relevant in modern Britain, Lassalle has applied the considerable expertise that she built up in financial comms to the modernisation of the CofE’s presence across digital media.

More from the 2020 Power Book:

Who's in? PRWeek launches UK Power Book and lists lead players in each sector

In Pictures: PRWeek UK Power Book 2020 launch

PRWeek UK Power Book 2020: Consumer PR – Top 10 creative directors & their favourite campaigns

From the editor-in-chief: Putting the most powerful PR pros under the spotlight

PRWeek UK Power Book 2020: Top 10 in sport comms (agency)

PRWeek UK Power Book 2020: Top 10 in corporate and financial comms (agency)

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