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News and news analysis

No. 10 seeks political comms operative to lead White House-style press briefings

No. 10 seeks political comms operative to lead White House-style press briefings

Downing Street has begun the search for a £100,000-a-year political press spokesman to “communicate with the nation on behalf of the Prime Minister” in televised briefings from the autumn, with several industry names under consideration.

Controversial ex-Government comms chief joins anti-extremism campaign

Controversial ex-Government comms chief joins anti-extremism campaign

Former journalist and government comms chief Kirsty Buchanan has joined anti-extremism organisation Mainstream as its campaign director.

COVID-19 to be used as ‘teachable moment’ as PHE unveils major health campaign

COVID-19 to be used as ‘teachable moment’ as PHE unveils major health campaign

Public Health England (PHE) has unveiled an integrated behaviour-change campaign, under the brand Better Health, to increase public resilience to COVID-19 and other diseases. It will begin by attempting to tackle endemic obesity in the UK.

Government comms professional appointed as minister’s press secretary

Government comms professional appointed as minister’s press secretary

Government comms professional Harry Wingfield has been appointed press secretary to the housing minister, Chris Pincher, at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), PRWeek has learned.

Network Rail appoints specialist PR agency for architecture brief

Network Rail appoints specialist PR agency for architecture brief

Network Rail has appointed Sandford, a specialist PR agency in the built environment and design sector, to deliver comms to support the infrastructure organisation’s Buildings and Architecture team.

Government comms man achieves escape-velocity for space agency role

Government comms man achieves escape-velocity for space agency role

The UK Space Agency has appointed Ben Hemington, a former chief press officer for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as its head of comms.

‘Industry first’ as brands line up to support Government’s 'Enjoy summer safely' campaign

‘Industry first’ as brands line up to support Government’s 'Enjoy summer safely' campaign

Famous brands including Boots, Greene King and McDonald's are supporting an integrated Government campaign, calibrated for the post-lockdown phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, to kickstart the economy safely.

Power grab or rationalisation? Government plans huge reduction in comms personnel

Power grab or rationalisation? Government plans huge reduction in comms personnel

A seismic shake-up of Government comms teams will see the current cohort of 4,500 people across more than 20 departments slimmed down to hundreds by next year.

Courts & Tribunals service names new comms chief

Courts & Tribunals service names new comms chief

Georgia Jerram will replace Ed Owen as director of comms at HM Courts & Tribunals Services (HMCTS) when he leaves in July, PRWeek has learned.

Mountain rescuers hang banner on beauty spot to launch summer fire-prevention campaign

Mountain rescuers hang banner on beauty spot to launch summer fire-prevention campaign

A fire and rescue service has launched an integrated campaign to prevent deliberate and accidental fires this summer by using a mountain rescue team to drape a banner with its key messages on a popular climbing and beauty spot.

Rankin celebrates ‘incredible’ NHS staff with portrait series for anniversary campaign

Rankin celebrates ‘incredible’ NHS staff with portrait series for anniversary campaign

Fashion photographer and director Rankin has captured a range of powerful portraits of NHS staff who have been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in a campaign launched today to celebrate the service's 'birthday'.

Behavioural science informs agency's mental-health campaign for NHS

Behavioural science informs agency's mental-health campaign for NHS

NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group has launched a summer campaign, driven by behavioural insights, to tell people about the mental-health resources on offer during the pandemic.

‘Uncertainty’ for Government comms teams as two departments merge

‘Uncertainty’ for Government comms teams as two departments merge

Comms professionals at two departments are facing uncertainty over their jobs after the Government announced that the Department for International Development (DfID) will merge with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Exclusive: Which government departments have been best at using social media during COVID-19?

Exclusive: Which government departments have been best at using social media during COVID-19?

The ability of government departments to communicate with the people they serve has always been of paramount importance, and it takes skill and creativity to be heard above the clamour via the medium of social media – even in normal circumstances.

Opinion and features

Five tips for running a campaign on zero (or near-zero) budget

Five tips for running a campaign on zero (or near-zero) budget

As a communications professional in the public sector, it’s not unusual for me to be asked to take a problem, find a solution, plan a campaign and make sure it’s successful with zero pounds to spare.

The COVID-19 Diaries: Blame and division, but we want a better future

The COVID-19 Diaries: Blame and division, but we want a better future

PRWeek continues its ongoing partnership with strategic insights consultancy BritainThinks to gauge the public mood on COVID-19.

Having a diverse workforce isn’t just about hiring BME people, it’s about keeping them

Having a diverse workforce isn’t just about hiring BME people, it’s about keeping them

Recently, I saw a video of former West Indies cricketer Michael Holding, reflecting on the racism faced by his parents in the UK, in which he breaks down in tears.

This is what governing like you’re campaigning looks like

This is what governing like you’re campaigning looks like

What are the three most important things we know about election campaigns? First and foremost, they don’t change anyone’s mind.

It forced me to cancel my wedding, but COVID-19 has proved the resilience of all police communicators

It forced me to cancel my wedding, but COVID-19 has proved the resilience of all police communicators

Everyone has their own story to tell about this exceptional time in our living history, sometimes desperately sad, sometimes just frustrating, but we are lucky – or unlucky, depending on how frazzled you are feeling – in policing communications to have a had a unique insight into the pandemic as it unfolded.

The Government’s Brexit preparedness campaign is a 'new start' built on old lies

The Government’s Brexit preparedness campaign is a 'new start' built on old lies

The ‘Let’s get going’ Government information campaign is now all but unavoidable.

Industry employers: overlook itchy feet at your peril

Industry employers: overlook itchy feet at your peril

Even though companies are now looking at getting back into the office post-lockdown, the road to normality feels like a long one.

TikTok is an authentic earned content space for brands – but for how long?

TikTok is an authentic earned content space for brands – but for how long?

New social media channels are constantly entering our ever-evolving media landscape.

Believe it or not, the pandemic is a perfect time to set up a new agency

Believe it or not, the pandemic is a perfect time to set up a new agency

It sounds counterintuitive, but if you have been thinking about creating your own PR agency or going solo, then now is a great time.

Redundancy comms: compassion and clarity, not a thesaurus, are vital

Redundancy comms: compassion and clarity, not a thesaurus, are vital

“Tim, we’ve decided to adapt your role in a strategically streamlined way.” Do people really speak like this when announcing job losses to their colleagues?

‘Build back better’ is a neat phrase; it would look good on a baseball cap

‘Build back better’ is a neat phrase; it would look good on a baseball cap

The PR industry has always been a sucker for a good imperative. 'Just Do It', 'Make Poverty History', 'Think Different' to name just a few.

Recent public sector people moves

Movers & Shakers: Edelman, Portland, Teneo, Fleet Street, APCO, Nestle and more

Movers & Shakers: Edelman, Portland, Teneo, Fleet Street, APCO, Nestle and more

PRWeek's weekly roundup of industry hires, departures and promotions. This column for the week commencing 6 July.

Exclusive: Cicero/AMO hires Chancellors' former adviser

Exclusive: Cicero/AMO hires Chancellors' former adviser

Cicero/AMO has hired Sonia Khan, who was a special adviser to two recent Conservative Chancellors, as a director working across its public affairs and corporate comms teams.

Number 10 special advisor joins MHP

Number 10 special advisor joins MHP

Downing Street special advisor Nick Vaughan has joined MHP’s 20-strong public affairs team as an associate director, PRWeek can reveal.

Exclusive: DfID appoints new comms chief as predecessor returns to journalism

Exclusive: DfID appoints new comms chief as predecessor returns to journalism

Judith Porter has been appointed director of communications at the Department for International Development (DfID), replacing Tim Singleton.

Sajid Javid's former special adviser joins Grayling

Sajid Javid's former special adviser joins Grayling

Grayling has hired a former special adviser to the ex-Chancellor as an associate director in its public affairs and corporate affairs team.

Chancellor picks top political journalist as comms chief

Chancellor picks top political journalist as comms chief

Former ITV News national editor Allegra Stratton has been appointed director of strategic communications to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak.

Movers & Shakers: Coca-Cola, McKinsey & Company, Firstlight, AxiCom and more

Movers & Shakers: Coca-Cola, McKinsey & Company, Firstlight, AxiCom and more

PRWeek's weekly round-up of industry hires, departures and promotions.