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

PRCA urges agency to rethink 'incredibly unwise' appointment of peer

PRCA urges agency to rethink 'incredibly unwise' appointment of peer

The PRCA has criticised the appointment of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords by Charlotte Street Partners as a consulting partner, and urged the agency to reconsider.

Ex-government comms chief returns to private sector as agency founding partner

Ex-government comms chief returns to private sector as agency founding partner

Toby Orr, former director of comms and marketing at the Department for International Trade, has joined fledgling agency Shearwater Global as a founding partner.

Case study: Ambulance TV series breaks comms records

Case study: Ambulance TV series breaks comms records

London Ambulance Service capitalised on the primetime exposure it received from the BAFTA award-winning BBC One series Ambulance in the autumn, boosting its own comms ratings.

Official figures reveal £1m spend on best paid government comms professionals

Official figures reveal £1m spend on best paid government comms professionals

A number of PR professionals working in government are among the highest-paid officials in the country, according to new Cabinet Office figures.

National Archives shed light on No.10’s first steps towards digital government

National Archives shed light on No.10’s first steps towards digital government

Newly released confidential files reveal the behind-the-scenes discussions held by senior officials over the creation of the first Downing Street website.

High-profile doctor slated for attack on NHS comms managers

High-profile doctor slated for attack on NHS comms managers

PR professionals and senior healthcare figures have criticised negative comments from a high-profile doctor about NHS communications managers. Dr Meenal Viz tweeted that "we don't need to pay someone £30k to update the hospital Twitter feed".

Freuds' health chief reveals senior hires and a blueprint for expansion

Freuds' health chief reveals senior hires and a blueprint for expansion

Julia Bainbridge, head of Freuds’ health and behaviour-change unit, has spoken to PRWeek about senior appointments to the team and her strategy for next year, while warning of the temporary ‘halo effect’ enjoyed by the pharma sector.

Government comms veteran brought out of retirement to steady ship at MoD

Government comms veteran brought out of retirement to steady ship at MoD

Government comms heavyweight Simon Wren has been called out of retirement to lead comms at the Ministry of Defence until a permanent replacement for Carl Newns is appointed, PRWeek has learned.

MoD comms team ‘acted as if’ blacklisting policy existed, official review says

MoD comms team ‘acted as if’ blacklisting policy existed, official review says

Individuals working in the Ministry of Defence comms team blacklisted a media outlet, contrary to government guidance, after they misinterpreted a comment by their former boss, according to a review commissioned by defence secretary Ben Wallace.

Police comms stalwart rises up the ranks

Police comms stalwart rises up the ranks

Joanne Hunt, a 30-year veteran of police comms, has been appointed head of digital and engagement for West Midlands Police, PRWeek has learned.

Case study: London's public sector comms shows united front to boost COVID-19 testing

Case study: London's public sector comms shows united front to boost COVID-19 testing

Comms teams across the capital joined together for a 'Keep London safe' campaign that has resulted in a surge in people getting tested for the coronavirus.

New comms chief for Church of England announced in run up to Christmas

New comms chief for Church of England announced in run up to Christmas

The Church of England has appointed Mark Arena as its director of comms, following the departure of Tashi Lassalle after more than two years in the role.

Government comms veteran reinforces NHS Test and Trace

Government comms veteran reinforces NHS Test and Trace

Marina Pirotta, dubbed the ‘godmother of local government PR’, has been appointed to the interim role of deputy director, external affairs at NHS Test and Trace.

MoD comms chief departs after five-year tour of duty

MoD comms chief departs after five-year tour of duty

Carl Newns has left his job as director of comms at the Ministry of Defence after five years in post, PRWeek has learned.

Opinion and features

Most major news websites give reporters a byline, so why doesn’t the BBC?

Most major news websites give reporters a byline, so why doesn’t the BBC?

Working in a 24/7 news environment presents an array of challenges, most notably when coverage of a story contains inaccuracies or lacks sufficient balance.

Normal is over and trust is paramount: the year ahead in public sector comms

Normal is over and trust is paramount: the year ahead in public sector comms

I approach this article with a slight sense of nervousness because, given the year we have just had, making predictions for 2021 can seem a bit foolhardy.

Failing to apologise? That’s criminal

Failing to apologise? That’s criminal

Given there’s been plenty to be sorry about in 2020, it’s no surprise there’s been plenty of apologies flying around.

Honest, grudging, or non-existent: The PR apologies of 2020

Honest, grudging, or non-existent: The PR apologies of 2020

If a mistake has been made and people are angry or upset because of it, the best way to move on is to offer an apology, so here is the annual PRWeek round-up of the best and worst attempts to make good during a year like no other.

A strong campaign is like a great murder mystery – and we’re the detectives

A strong campaign is like a great murder mystery – and we’re the detectives

People are often surprised I also write novels. Well, OK, just one complete novel so far… but it makes perfect sense when you think about it.

In defence of journalists refusing to include external links in their stories

In defence of journalists refusing to include external links in their stories

As journalists, our goals sometimes overlap with yours, but the outcome we’re trying to achieve is fundamentally different – and that's where tensions can arise.

Biggest public sector comms hires – and the shock departures of 2020

Biggest public sector comms hires – and the shock departures of 2020

PRWeek reviews the most significant hires and departures of 2020 in the world of public sector comms.

Eight public sector campaigns we liked in 2020

Eight public sector campaigns we liked in 2020

In a year – hopefully – like no other, here is PRWeek's subjective take on eight public sector campaigns that stood out for all the right reasons during 2020.

Can behaviour change campaigns overcome COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy?

Can behaviour change campaigns overcome COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy?

Without mass take-up of the COVID-19 vaccine, the world as we know it is in serious danger.

Can Johnson learn from Biden’s pick of an all-female comms squad?

Can Johnson learn from Biden’s pick of an all-female comms squad?

It was announced at the weekend that President-elect Joe Biden’s new White House senior comms team would be all-female, headed by Kate Bedingfield and Jen Psaki, both Obama administration veterans. They are relatively youthful and mothers of young children.

I’m not stupid, or lazy; I’m dyslexic, and we need more neurodiversity in PR

I’m not stupid, or lazy; I’m dyslexic, and we need more neurodiversity in PR

I’m the CEO and founder of Blurred. I’m also dyslexic and believe we need more neurodiversity in this industry.

Recent public sector people moves

Movers & Shakers: Edelman, Brunswick, Deliveroo, Aviva, Landsec, Montfort, Church of England and more

Movers & Shakers: Edelman, Brunswick, Deliveroo, Aviva, Landsec, Montfort, Church of England and more

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

Movers & Shakers: Manifest, Syneos, Stella McCartney, The Academy, Fanclub and more

Movers & Shakers: Manifest, Syneos, Stella McCartney, The Academy, Fanclub and more

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

Movers & Shakers: MSL, Beattie, Hunter, Cabinet Office and more

Movers & Shakers: MSL, Beattie, Hunter, Cabinet Office and more

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

PHE head of media and campaigns departs for NHSX role

PHE head of media and campaigns departs for NHSX role

Peter Morton has left Public Health England, where he has spent the past four years as head of media and campaigns, to join NHSX as deputy director, communications and engagement.

Movers & Shakers: Downing Street, MWWPR, Peel Group, Tyto, the Government and more

Movers & Shakers: Downing Street, MWWPR, Peel Group, Tyto, the Government and more

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

Hanover hires chief political adviser following 'heartbreaking' exit of public affairs head

Hanover hires chief political adviser following 'heartbreaking' exit of public affairs head

Nick King – former chief of staff to Sajid Javid – joins Hanover amid a leadership restructure that involves the departure of public affairs leader Katie Cooper and the promotion of several others, PRWeek has learned.

Whitehouse hires ex-Labour strategist and reveals fresh public affairs clients

Whitehouse hires ex-Labour strategist and reveals fresh public affairs clients

Former Labour strategist Max Wilson has joined The Whitehouse Consultancy to lead its public affairs practice, as the agency announced several new client wins and an expanded brief with Hong Kong democracy campaigners.