The latest public sector news, opinion and features.
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News and news analysis

Exclusive: Robbie Gibb on the Downing Street years, Johnson's Brexit strategy and Naga Munchetty

Exclusive: Robbie Gibb on the Downing Street years, Johnson's Brexit strategy and Naga Munchetty

In his first major interview since leaving his government role to join Kekst CNC, Sir Robbie Gibb - Theresa May's former official spokesman - talks exclusively to PRWeek's public affairs bulletin about his comms legacy, the row over the BBC's Naga Munchetty and his advice to Boris.

Exclusive: DfID head of media departs for top UN comms role

Exclusive: DfID head of media departs for top UN comms role

Zoe Paxton, head of media at the Department for International Development (DfID) and a rising star in the Government Communication Service, is leaving for a top comms job at the United Nations, PRWeek can reveal.

Shared fire and police comms team takes shape with senior hire

Shared fire and police comms team takes shape with senior hire

Heather Challinor, head of marketing and comms at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, has been appointed senior comms manager for engagement and campaigns at Staffordshire Police.

'It was horrific': Exclusive interview with Thomas Cook comms chief Alice Macandrew

'It was horrific': Exclusive interview with Thomas Cook comms chief Alice Macandrew

Thomas Cook group comms director chief Alice Macandrew talks exclusively to PRWeek about her team's efforts to maintain confidence in consumers and suppliers until a last-ditch failure to secure government support scuppered rescue plans.

Royal seal of approval for historic mental health campaign

Royal seal of approval for historic mental health campaign

The government's biggest campaign on mental health to date, backed by the Royal Family, was the victim of its own success last night after the campaign website crashed due to the sheer weight of demand.

NHS membership body launches first comms traineeship

NHS membership body launches first comms traineeship

NHS Providers, which represents hospital, mental health, community and ambulance trusts in England, has taken on its first communications trainee - a move it hopes will provide a solid foundation for a career in NHS communications and prompt change across the NHS.

Health specialist returns to lead comms for ambulance service

Health specialist returns to lead comms for ambulance service

The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust has appointed Lois Hough as head of external communications amid a major shake-up of its five-strong comms team.

Case study: Fire service campaign blazes through targets to boost home safety checks

Case study: Fire service campaign blazes through targets to boost home safety checks

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue (SYFR) used a multichannel approach for its drive to improve fire safety among vulnerable older people, which boosted the number of fire safety checks it carried out by nearly half during the campaign period; accidental house fires dropped by one fifth.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to appoint three PR agencies to £3m services framework

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to appoint three PR agencies to £3m services framework

The Birmingham Organising Committee for the 2022 Commonwealth Games is planning to launch a framework for creative services, including PR.

PR storm erupts over Brexit 'propaganda' screened on school digital noticeboards

PR storm erupts over Brexit 'propaganda' screened on school digital noticeboards

A company has been caught in a public relations nightmare after conflicting sides in the Brexit debate seized on images shown in primary schools that purported to promote Prime Minister Boris Johnson's standpoint.

Emoji campaign encourages women to talk about vaginas and smear tests

Emoji campaign encourages women to talk about vaginas and smear tests

One in three young women miss their smear test. A new campaign, devised by The Romans, aims to tackle this through the use of emojis.

Government comms caught between a rock and a hard place with £100m Brexit campaign

Government comms caught between a rock and a hard place with £100m Brexit campaign

Government comms professionals are wrestling with dilemmas over purdah, propriety and keeping the public informed with the £100m 'Get ready for Brexit' campaign, PRWeek has learned.

Loose Women star joins 2019 Stoptober campaign to urge smokers to quit

Loose Women star joins 2019 Stoptober campaign to urge smokers to quit

TV presenter Nadia Sawalha will front the eighth annual Stoptober campaign from Public Health England as it kicks off next week.

Awesome Movement Day uses comms to promote respect for emergency services

Awesome Movement Day uses comms to promote respect for emergency services

London Ambulance Service (LAS) led activity to mark the debut Awesome Movement Day, which aims to boost recognition of the work of the emergency services.

Opinion and features

Why internal comms is as important as external in an age of purpose

Why internal comms is as important as external in an age of purpose

Why is it that internal comms is so often external comms' poor relation - the place where half-baked creativity goes to die? It makes no sense.

My PR failures: What have they taught me?

My PR failures: What have they taught me?

Working in an industry that's often voted one of the most stressful, PR has opened me up to my share of failures, and I'm certain that there are more to come.

Local government faces unprecedented comms challenge amid political chaos of Brexit

Local government faces unprecedented comms challenge amid political chaos of Brexit

Whatever happens on 31 October, local government comms professionals will have an essential role in dealing with the wide-ranging impact of Brexit.

When the health of the nation is at stake, are scare tactics the best place to start?

When the health of the nation is at stake, are scare tactics the best place to start?

If there's an especially vicious strain of flu on the horizon, the best way to mobilise people to get vaccinated is to hit them with the fact that flu can kill, right?

Seven guaranteed ways to annoy a journalist with your pitch

Seven guaranteed ways to annoy a journalist with your pitch

As a journalist, I receive more than 200 pitches in my inbox every day and when you're wading through swathes of emails, you become cut-throat.

Why Lynne Franks is wrong about influencer marketing

Why Lynne Franks is wrong about influencer marketing

"Influencer marketing is just meaningless and will burn itself out," says Lynne Franks in yesterday's PR Week article.

The Government is on a fool's errand telling the NHS to toe the line on Brexit comms

The Government is on a fool's errand telling the NHS to toe the line on Brexit comms

Arms-length body (ALB) PRs are well used to Whitehall edicts, not to mention a mountain of red tape if they want a ministerial blessing for large announcements, but on the face of it, the warning to stick to the Brexit script looks like micromanagement on steroids coming from No 10.

Asking journalists to sign NDAs before you give them a story is illogical - and has wider implications for news

Asking journalists to sign NDAs before you give them a story is illogical - and has wider implications for news

Have you heard the one about a PR who asked a journalist to sign an NDA? It made a good story...

Police social media officers - what's the point?

Police social media officers - what's the point?

What does a police social media officer do all day, and is it of any value? A recent article by The Sun suggests not, and the response to it shows others have their doubts.

The secrets of work-life balance at virtual agencies

The secrets of work-life balance at virtual agencies

Today, the notion of trust is constantly questioned in multiple ways and this lack of trust, in people and eco-systems, is seeping into the workforce - cue 'the crisis of confidence'.

Flop of the Month: Home Office chicken shop knife crime campaign leaves bad taste

Flop of the Month: Home Office chicken shop knife crime campaign leaves bad taste

It's a crying shame the hugely important Home Office campaign against knife crime has been dominated - and partly undermined - by a major PR misstep.

Recent public sector people moves

Cascade Communications makes trio of senior hires

Cascade Communications makes trio of senior hires

Public policy, campaigning, development and planning specialist Cascade Communications has created a new senior advisory consulting team.

Google hires Portland's Brexit head

Google hires Portland's Brexit head

Former Portland partner Victoria Dean has joined Google's public policy team.

Former London Labour Party director joins BECG

Former London Labour Party director joins BECG

Communications consultancy BECG has appointed Ali Craft as an associate director working from its London office.

Top of the Month: The CAA's handling of Thomas Cook's collapse has been first class

Top of the Month: The CAA's handling of Thomas Cook's collapse has been first class

The Civil Aviation Authority's handling of the Thomas Cook collapse has earned plaudits from those in the know, specifically travel PR professionals, and there's good reason.

Theresa May's former comms chief Sir Robbie Gibb joins PR agency

Theresa May's former comms chief Sir Robbie Gibb joins PR agency

Sir Robbie Gibb, former Downing Street comms chief under Theresa May, has joined Kekst CNC as a senior adviser to the agency.

Smarts makes senior hires from Karmarama and Steely Fox

Smarts makes senior hires from Karmarama and Steely Fox

PR and content agency Smarts has doubled the size of its London office with several new hires, including director Becky Rawlings and communications director Katie Tazzyman.

Brexit Secretary's special adviser joins Headland as associate director

Brexit Secretary's special adviser joins Headland as associate director

Consultancy Headland has poached Kenny Ferguson from his role as special adviser to Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay MP.