LEADER: On top of events at Downing Street

The recent influx of people with media backgrounds into 10 Downing Street - catalogued first in these pages - has caused quite a furore.

Danny Rogers, Editor, <em>PRWeek</em>
Danny Rogers, Editor, PRWeek

There has been an assumption by political journalists that certain factions within Gordon Brown's team have been 'leaking' stories to PRWeek and 'briefing against' rivals.

Number 10 in talks with Mark Penn

Heaven forbid that PRWeek's professional team of journalists might simply have been working hard to stay abreast of devel-opments in government and uncovering good stories through intelligence, senior contacts and hard graft.

It is hardly surprising that a Prime Minister facing difficult times with the economy and in the polls, and with a general election looming, should bolster his strategy with some of the best minds in British business.

The more negative take on this - a Brown regime 'obs-essed with spin' and an 'old guard fighting the new' - was always ready to be written. And it will be written again.

To some extent it is true. Any pressured organisation where the stakes are high, and which employs talented and ambitious people, encounters disagreement and rivalry. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as that organisation continues to move forward as a unit.

Individuals such as Stephen Carter and David Muir - and Mark Flanagan last week - were selected by Brown because they are regarded as the best in their fields. And Brown will need all their intellect and rigour to win over a sceptical British public, and defeat a resurgent Conservative Party.

Many commentators will interpret this as an administration preoccupied with image and poll ratings rather than policy, but these constituencies would be the first to slam the Prime Minister for personal gaffes or inconsistencies in message.

The latest hires just show how critical strategic communication is to the business of modern government. This magazine will continue to celebrate the fact and bring you the very latest developments.

Email: danny.rogers@haynet.com

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