FROM THE EDITOR: Cameron scores home victory

While Gordon Brown tries to sort out the world's big problems over in Hokkaido, Japan, David Cameron is very cleverly getting down to the nitty gritty back home.

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

While the Prime Minister allows contradictory media messages to appear on consecutive days - surely the definition of an ill-disciplined comms strategy - Cameron drives home a consistent message on public morality.

A year into office for the Prime Minister and this contrast in PR strategies has reached its nadir.

So we had Brown telling us to eat up our crusts on Monday, with a plea on food wastage, only to be pictured being wined and dined at the G8 summit. This only exacerbates existing public scepticism about these summits, not helped by the apparent largesse and celebrity obsession that undermine efforts to tackle worldwide starvation.

Meanwhile Cameron is grabbing the real headlines in UK newspapers with calls for more personal responsibility in society, contained in consecutive hard-hitting statements on obesity and crime.

Now it may be part of Brown's comms strategy to help solve the globe's mega-problems, but it is a high-risk electoral approach.

Certainly there is evidence that many people see through Cameron's 'tell them what they want to hear' approach, with a slight fillip for Labour in the latest polls, but Brown looks more distant than ever to key marginal voters.

The Prime Minister seems to lack advisers with a natural media instinct, unlike Cameron's comms man Andy Coulson. Although political strategy chief Stephen Carter is often described as a 'PR man', he has never actually been a press adviser. And chief spokesman Damian McBride has little journalistic experience, unlike much of Cameron's team.

The worrying thing for Brown is that Cameron is increasingly resembling Tony Blair in 1996-97. He seems to be striking exactly the same note with the aspirational working classes on social change and personal responsibility.

It will be a long trip back from Japan for Brown and his team, and could be an even longer journey back to electoral success.


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