DIARY: Spin doctors fail to raise concern with the public

The nation’s scribblers may be losing sleep over the growing power of political spin doctors but for the general public it is a non-story. An exclusive poll for PR Week by NOP last weekend showed that only one third of the sample had even heard of the term.

The nation’s scribblers may be losing sleep over the growing power of

political spin doctors but for the general public it is a non-story. An

exclusive poll for PR Week by NOP last weekend showed that only one

third of the sample had even heard of the term.



However, most of those regarded them as influential - 44 per cent said

they had some influence on politics and 35 per cent said they had a lot.

This compares to 17 per cent who said they had very little or no

influence.



Of those who had heard of the term spin doctor, just over half (54 per

cent) believed their role was to manipulate the media to put the best

gloss on things for the party. One- third saw them in a more neutral

light as someone who works behind the scenes advising the party on how

to present its policies effectively.



Despite the concerns raised by some in the Labour Party about how far

spin doctors are actually dictating policy, only five per cent believed

their role was ‘to make and formulate party policy’.



Spin doctors do, however, remain an unpopular feature of modern

politics. Over half (58 per cent) of those familiar with the term spin

doctor believed politics would be better off without them.



The results are based on a poll of 1,000 people as part of NOP’s weekend

telephone Omnibus survey ‘Telebus’.



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