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News and news analysis

Local authority's ‘Walking Dead’ campaign combats COVID-19 message fatigue

Local authority's ‘Walking Dead’ campaign combats COVID-19 message fatigue

The zombie creations of The Walking Dead comic book artist Charlie Adlard are taking centre stage in a new COVID-19 campaign by Shropshire Council’s comms team.

Hancock faces questions over Luther Pendragon shareholder hired to advisory role

Hancock faces questions over Luther Pendragon shareholder hired to advisory role

Gina Coladangelo, a shareholder in Luther Pendragon and marketing and comms director at Oliver Bonas, has benefited from her personal ties to health secretary Matt Hancock, according to newspaper reports at the weekend

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.

Exceptional communicator with a ‘touch of Machiavelli’: Who is ‘Slacky’, Downing Street’s new comms chief?

Exceptional communicator with a ‘touch of Machiavelli’: Who is ‘Slacky’, Downing Street’s new comms chief?

Last week brought the spectacular implosion of Boris Johnson’s inner circle and the departure of Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain after either a blazing row or an amicable chat, depending on which sources you read.

'Symptom of the final days' for Johnson: Industry reacts to Lee Cain's shock departure

'Symptom of the final days' for Johnson: Industry reacts to Lee Cain's shock departure

Downing Street director of comms Lee Cain has resigned – hours after reports suggested he was to become Boris Johnson’s chief of staff.

Downing Street comms chief appointed as Prime Minister's chief of staff

Downing Street comms chief appointed as Prime Minister's chief of staff

Downing Street director of comms Lee Cain is in advanced discussions to become Boris Johnson’s chief of staff, it has emerged.

HSE media chief takes deputy comms director role in government department

HSE media chief takes deputy comms director role in government department

Jason Green, head of strategy, media and campaigns at the Health and Safety Executive, has been appointed interim deputy director of comms at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) amid a restructure of the comms team, PRWeek has learned.

Crisis comms guru takes charge of emergency response in Surrey

Crisis comms guru takes charge of emergency response in Surrey

Chris Webb, one of Britain’s top crisis comms experts, has been brought in as a strategic communications advisor at Surrey’s Local Resilience Forum (LRF), PRWeek has learned.

Case study: Targeted approach to improving diabetes awareness among BME groups pays off

Case study: Targeted approach to improving diabetes awareness among BME groups pays off

A diabetes awareness campaign by NHS England and NHS Improvement, aimed at people from black and South Asian ethnic groups, reached in excess of six million people and drove a surge in the use of an online diagnostic tool.

‘This is not the end of populism' – how will a Biden presidency shake up UK political comms?

‘This is not the end of populism' – how will a Biden presidency shake up UK political comms?

The victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to become the next president and vice-president of the US, after a nail-biting four days of vote-counting, is still subject to a raft of legal challenges.

Scottish firework campaign uses child's life-changing story to warn public of danger

Scottish firework campaign uses child's life-changing story to warn public of danger

The trauma suffered by a young boy injured by fireworks is at the heart of a new multi-agency safety campaign in Scotland.

Convergence of health and public affairs as Lodestone announces health unit

Convergence of health and public affairs as Lodestone announces health unit

Political strategy and corporate comms specialist Lodestone has announced the formation of a health unit managed by co-founder David Wild, PRWeek can reveal.

TV top choice for COVID-19 information, ONS reveals

TV top choice for COVID-19 information, ONS reveals

TV news bulletins are the most common source of information that people use to find out what their local COVID-19 alert level is, above NHS apps and government websites, according to the Office for National Statistics.

British Science Association seeks agency for 2021 event

British Science Association seeks agency for 2021 event

The British Science Association is looking for an agency to help devise and deliver an integrated comms campaign for British Science Week – an account worth in excess of £30,000, PRWeek has learned.

Opinion and features

We’re at a tipping point on breaking the ‘white ceiling’ once and for all

We’re at a tipping point on breaking the ‘white ceiling’ once and for all

While we’ve all heard about the ‘glass ceiling’ in relation to women in PR, the ‘white ceiling’ is exactly what it sounds like – it refers to the racial inequality that keeps the careers of BAME PR professionals from progressing beyond a certain point.

In defence of specialist PR for the UK Vaccine Taskforce

In defence of specialist PR for the UK Vaccine Taskforce

Much has been made in the media of the fact that Kate Bingham, head of the UK’s COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce, allegedly spent £670,000 on hiring a team of ‘boutique PR consultants’ to oversee her media strategy.

Political mastermind Cummings threw final ‘dead cat’ on table with resignation

Political mastermind Cummings threw final ‘dead cat’ on table with resignation

First off, without Dominic Cummings the Tory faithful would not have had Brexit – or an 80-seat majority.

The biggest lie in the industry: ‘Our people are our greatest strength’

The biggest lie in the industry: ‘Our people are our greatest strength’

This lie (sorry, line), or similar, is often found about five slides into an agency’s creds document – usually accompanied with a full-bleed image of smiling agency employees in wetsuits from that one summer surf trip in 2012.

Why are our clients not demanding more diverse teams from agencies?

Why are our clients not demanding more diverse teams from agencies?

Over the past few months, diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the PR industry has taken centre stage.

Five ways you can support the mental health and happiness of your employees

Five ways you can support the mental health and happiness of your employees

With almost everyone working from home, it’s important that people continue to feel a part of their work family and – as a chief happiness officer – my objective is to ensure that everyone knows they are supported and cared for.

Rashford’s 'simple, authentic' school meals campaign is a lesson for anyone lobbying government

Rashford’s 'simple, authentic' school meals campaign is a lesson for anyone lobbying government

‘An open goal’, ‘He shoots, he scores!’ – the headlines write themselves for footballer Rashford’s campaign for the Government to extend free school meals to cover holidays during the pandemic.

Unity and confidence are first casualties in Manchester lockdown war of words

Unity and confidence are first casualties in Manchester lockdown war of words

Six months ago, we were 'all in this together', working to protect the NHS and save lives; but in the past week I have witnessed the disintegration of this unified approach.

Is that ‘on background’ or ‘on the record’? How to use these terms with journalists

Is that ‘on background’ or ‘on the record’? How to use these terms with journalists

Companies sometimes find themselves in a muddle over the use of ‘on background’ interviews, so what does it mean and when should it be used?

Telling a story of growth and cuts may be the ultimate internal comms challenge

Telling a story of growth and cuts may be the ultimate internal comms challenge

Many organisations are wrestling with this problem: when a rebuild strategy is contingent on cuts, how does one communicate this dichotomy internally?

Click-bait stories are bad news for readers, the PR industry and its clients

Click-bait stories are bad news for readers, the PR industry and its clients

I read an article about how a fire had devastated the Moria migrant camp on Lesbos.

Recent public sector people moves

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.

‘Scaling a PR business during COVID-19 has been a whirlwind’ – Lynn PR founder

‘Scaling a PR business during COVID-19 has been a whirlwind’ – Lynn PR founder

One of PRWeek’s 'agencies to watch in 2020', Lynn PR has scaled impressively during the coronavirus crisis, but for founder Shayoni Lynn the experience has been surreal.

Dame Heather Rabbatts joins global comms group in senior role

Dame Heather Rabbatts joins global comms group in senior role

Four Communications Group has appointed Dame Heather Rabbatts as its new chair.

Former Downing Street press secretary joins Blakeney

Former Downing Street press secretary joins Blakeney

Lizzie Loudon, who was press secretary to Prime Minister Theresa May, has taken up a new role at The Blakeney Group.

Army comms veteran moves up the ranks

Army comms veteran moves up the ranks

Vicky Torraca has been appointed senior external comms manager at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.