Carthew said profile-style articles would be used to position Hughes as 'someone who cares about what party members think and feel, and with whom they can have an open and honest relationship'.
He added: 'We will show the party's armchair members that Hughes is energetic and enthusiastic – something activists know from his 23-year record as an MP.'
Fellow candidate Chris Huhne is using ex-Alzheimer's Society fundraising director Martin Horwood MP as his spokesman alongside Boni Sones, of consultancy Effective Communication Strategies.
Jake Rig, formerly at agency Camargue, is Huhne's researcher.
Ex-BBC correspondent Sones said Huhne would be positioned as 'experienced and intellectual, with a wide enough grasp of policy to take on Gordon Brown and David Cameron'. She added that Huhne, a one-time columnist and leader writer for various national newspapers, would also use his own media contacts.
The other leadership contenders, Sir Menzies Campbell and Mark Oaten, lined up their PR advisers last week (PRWeek, 13 January).
Meanwhile, WWF's top lobbyist David Norman will join the Lib Dems as director of policy and comms next month (PRWeek, 8 December 2005).