The latest public sector PR news, opinion and features.

City of London Police hires comms chief

City of London Police hires comms chief

Glenn Sebright, a former assistant director of comms at the London Fire Brigade, has been appointed head of comms at the City of London Police, PRWeek has learned.

News & analysis

James Jordan (Pic credit: Getty Images)

‘Strictly’ glamour brought in to boost Stoptober campaign

Former Strictly Come Dancing star James Jordan is fronting this year’s Stoptober campaign, appearing in a promotional film that has already had more than 30,000 views from a tweet he posted at the weekend.

There are strict rules over the promotion of prescription medicines

Government comms on medicines not fit for purpose, doctors warn

Medical experts are warning that press releases by NHS England, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence risk flouting regulations over the promotion of medicines.

Dominic Cummings

Cabinet Office admits Dominic Cummings breached lobbying rules

The Cabinet Office has said that Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser failed to seek permission from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) before launching a blog and promoting himself as a consultant.

Alex Wild, Simon McGee, Ruth Porter

Team Truss taking shape with raft of comms hires

The new Prime Minister has appointed her core communications team, which is dominated by individuals with links to several PR agencies.

Jamie Oliver at a protest against a delay in implementing bans on multibuy deals and pre-watershed TV ads for junk food (credit: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

MPs demand overhaul of government obesity campaigns

The House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee has warned that attempts to tackle obesity have relied too much on changing behaviours rather than dealing with the root causes of the problem.

The Reshaping GCS programme aims to reduce staffing levels

Brexit and COVID-19 cited as government comms teams expand

The Government Communication Service (GCS) is failing in its attempt to reduce the size of comms teams across government, new data suggests. The number of civil servants employed in government comms roles has grown 14 per cent on 2020’s figures.

Houses of Parliament

New parliamentary inquiry into lobbying rules begins amid calls for reform

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry to scrutinise the 2014 Lobbying Act, at the request of the Government, amid mounting demands for reform from the industry and elsewhere.

 Shaun Jepson

Cabinet Office hires head of news and external affairs from Downing Street

The Cabinet Office has named Shaun Jepson, former deputy head of news at 10 Downing Street, as head of news and external affairs.

(Photo by Andrew Aitchison via Getty Images)

Downing Street hires ex-Home Office and News UK content chief as head of digital

Ed Bearryman, a former head of content and communities at News UK, has been appointed to lead the digital team at 10 Downing Street.

Andrew Pemberton

HMRC names comms director

Andrew Pemberton has been appointed permanent director of communications at HM Revenue & Customs, having held the role on an interim basis since October.

Opinion & features

(The 10 Group)

What I learned as Mikhail Gorbachev’s press officer

Thinking back to that time, it strikes me just how important it is, as a young PR, to be confident to push yourself forward for the jobs you think you’re too junior for.

Boris Johnson meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on 9 April 2022 (Photo: Ukrainian Presidency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

From the UK editor: The comms paradox of the Boris Johnson era

The Knowledge

This article is part of The Knowledge, PRWeek's premium content offer.

Boris Johnson, cheese, and can comms be used to manipulate Google results?

In mid-May, Boris Johnson gave a much-publicised interview where he called for people to return to the office. The reason? Johnson said that when he tried to work from home he became easily distracted by the allure of coffee and cheese.

Five Campaigns We Liked in April: your winner revealed

Find out the winner from PRWeek’s selection of the best PR and comms campaigns in April.

Five Campaigns We Liked in April: vote for your favourite

From Dove's campaign highlighting the dangers of influencers giving beauty advice and Innocent turning Trafalgar Square green to a comedic film from Shelter, PRWeek rounds up its five favourite campaigns from April 2022. Vote below for your favourite – the poll closes 9 May at 5pm.

PRWeek UK Power Book 2022: Top 10 in public sector comms

The Information

PRWeek’s UK Power Book reveals the PR pros who lead the way in their respective sectors. Here we rank the biggest players in public sector comms.

(Picture credit: Leon Neal at Getty Images)

‘End of the Boris era’ – what next for Downing Street comms as Doyle resigns?

Downing Street communications director Jack Doyle was among four senior aides to resign yesterday as the Johnson administration moved from crisis to abject disarray.

The Hepworth Wakefield

‘Changing the language around the city was vital’ – Behind the Campaign, ‘Experience Wakefield’

Rebecca Farnsworth, consultant at Aberfield Communications, gives the lowdown on the agency’s tourism campaign for Wakefield in West Yorkshire.

Kate Clark

Where have all the role models gone? Ageism is rife in the PR industry

Most of us in comms learn on the job and the value of a good role model as you develop is crucial.

Roz Ashton

Diary of a volunteer RNLI Press Officer: Intense media training at HQ is no mini-break

This is the final entry in our series following the journey of volunteer RNLI press officer Roz Ashton, in her own words, as she completes her training and sets out in the role. Ashton has lived around the world, worked in advertising and sailed across the Atlantic.

Campaign images from Stoptober, Every Mind Matters, Look Into My Eyes, and Think Before You Link

Six public sector campaigns we liked in 2021

In a year in which fighting COVID-19 was the number-one priority, it’s easy to forget that many other issues – from knife crime to espionage – were also highlighted.

Luke Robinson, Simon Baugh, Poli Stuart-Lacey, Priya Brahmbhatt-Patel

Biggest public sector hires – and shock departures in 2021

PRWeek reviews some of the most significant appointments in public sector comms over the past year, as well as the departures of senior comms chiefs.

Boris Johnson

Schrödinger’s Christmas party could exceed Barnard Castle for harming Boris Johnson’s reputation

Watching the growing furore over the Schrödinger-like No. 10 party that both was and wasn’t, I’m strongly reminded of the public fury over Barnard Castle; but this has the potential to supersede it for reputational harm.

Natasha Weeks

The rise of the TikTok doc – and the implications for brands

Healthcare professionals (HCPs) have always been hugely influential when it comes to making decisions about our health, but recently there has been a significant increase in the number of them attracting a large following on social media.

Clockwise, from top left: Sheila Mitchell; Eleanor Duff; Emma Greenwood; James Lyons

Biggest health comms appointments and surprise departures of 2021

PRWeek reviews some of the biggest hires and departures in health comms over the past year, from new faces at pharma multinationals to senior appointments at agencies and in the public sector.