The latest public affairs PR news, opinion and features.

Portland's Martin Sheehan departs for new Trainline role

Portland's Martin Sheehan departs for new Trainline role

Trainline, the online rail and coach booking and information platform, has hired former Portland international managing director Martin Sheehan to the new role of chief corporate affairs officer.

News & analysis

'Shrewd move' for Conservative Party as it appoints new comms chief

'Shrewd move' for Conservative Party as it appoints new comms chief

The Conservative Party has appointed Alex Wild, the former research director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, as its director of comms, PRWeek has learned.

PLMR acquires Midlands agency in seven-figure deal

PLMR acquires Midlands agency in seven-figure deal

Communications agency PLMR has acquired Midlands-based Advent Communications as part of a seven-figure deal, it announced today.

‘Welcome to Planet Boris’: Public affairs pros react to Johnson's conference speech

‘Welcome to Planet Boris’: Public affairs pros react to Johnson's conference speech

Boris Johnson delivered a confident speech to the party faithful at the Conservative Conference in Manchester on Wednesday lunchtime, during which he sought to define the party’s central policy of ‘levelling up’ while simultaneously launching attacks on the Labour Party, to the delight of his audience.

Female comms chief 'attacked' at Conservative Party conference

Female comms chief 'attacked' at Conservative Party conference

Clementine Cowton, director of external affairs at Octopus Energy Group, told a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference yesterday that she was attacked in her hotel bar earlier that day by a drunk man who was a delegate at the event.

Labour Party’s ex-comms chief to join Lexington

Labour Party’s ex-comms chief to join Lexington

Ben Nunn, the Labour Party’s former director of comms, will join Lexington as senior counsel next month, the agency announced this morning.

Former Vote Leave media chief among special advisers to survive reshuffle

Former Vote Leave media chief among special advisers to survive reshuffle

Robert Oxley, a former press secretary to the Prime Minister, and Lucy Noakes, ex-associate partner at Finsbury, have survived last week’s cabinet reshuffle in which many spads lost their jobs when their ministers were sacked, PRWeek has learned.

Industry trade bodies split over Boardman lobbying review

Industry trade bodies split over Boardman lobbying review

Industry bodies are divided over the findings of the Boardman review’s recommendations on lobbying, with the PRCA welcoming them while the CIPR says they ‘do not go far enough’.

Public affairs people from leading agencies form comms plan to help Labour win power

Public affairs people from leading agencies form comms plan to help Labour win power

Labour in Communications has created a plan aimed at helping the party win the next general election, which calls for Labour to simplify its messaging and win back public trust in its management of the economy.

Former Conservative rebel joins Instinctif

Former Conservative rebel joins Instinctif

Former Conservative minister David Gauke has been appointed senior public policy adviser at Instinctif Partners.

PRCA writes to government urging reform of 'utterly unfit' lobbying rules

PRCA writes to government urging reform of 'utterly unfit' lobbying rules

The PRCA has sent an open letter to the government calling for reform of lobbying rules, PRWeek has learned. It comes as the Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists launches an inquiry into ex-Chancellor Lord Hammond’s email activity.

Opinion & features

In a polarised world, comms must be used to counter ‘certainty’ of people's beliefs

In a polarised world, comms must be used to counter ‘certainty’ of people's beliefs

The recent bout of panic-buying at the petrol pumps is a reminder of how important good communication is in a crisis.

Autumn brings a sense of foreboding for public affairs and political comms people

Autumn brings a sense of foreboding for public affairs and political comms people

First it was non-essential shops, then restaurants, bars and sports stadiums, as nature began to heal and venues were able to reopen after the lifting of restrictions, but this autumn - to the excitement of political wonks - it will be the turn of party conferences, at least in part.

I love a reshuffle and, as a public affairs professional, so should you

I love a reshuffle and, as a public affairs professional, so should you

As the dust settles on last week’s reshuffle, I’ve been thinking about how the regular moving around of the ministerial deckchairs impacts those of us with the professional responsibility to help our clients understand and navigate the ever-shifting sands of government relations.

The BBC must work fast to restore its reputation and stave off privatisation

The BBC must work fast to restore its reputation and stave off privatisation

The BBC’s response to the Martin Bashir scandal has been to announce a “Review of Editorial Policies” and an investigation into the re-hiring of Bashir by the Corporation in 2016.

Defining ‘levelling up’ will be the biggest post-COVID-19 comms challenge for No. 10

Defining ‘levelling up’ will be the biggest post-COVID-19 comms challenge for No. 10

Whether it's been badged as "rebalancing the economy", or as Theresa May's short-lived "industrial strategy", the concept of 'levelling up' has been at the centre of political and economic thinking for years.

Spare us the flag-waving; that’s only one of the five ‘Fs’ in political comms

Spare us the flag-waving; that’s only one of the five ‘Fs’ in political comms

Whenever you see a UK Government minister nowadays, you invariably see a flag. What’s going on?

Cameron has botched crisis comms basics in Greensill scandal

Cameron has botched crisis comms basics in Greensill scandal

Given his previous role as director of corporate affairs for Carlton, now part of ITV, you would be forgiven for thinking that David Cameron would be well equipped to handle his own personal PR crisis.

Cameron lobbying scandal: was it a warning or a promise?

Cameron lobbying scandal: was it a warning or a promise?

When David Cameron famously warned 11 years ago that lobbying would be the 'next political scandal', many of us hadn’t realised he was not sounding a warning, but making a promise.

PRWeek UK Power Book 2021: Top 10 in political comms/public affairs

PRWeek UK Power Book 2021: Top 10 in political comms/public affairs

The Information

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

Rishi Sunak: The Movie was too long for voters and too short for fans

Rishi Sunak: The Movie was too long for voters and too short for fans

Imagine the scene. You’re the Chancellor’s comms Spad, and you’ve had a great idea: a video – the story of the young, popular Rishi Sunak, tracing his progress from unexpected Chancellor to author of a generation-defining Budget; the Budget that will get us out of the COVID-19 crisis.