The latest public sector PR news, opinion and features.

Met Police splits comms team in ‘difficult’ restructure

Met Police splits comms team in ‘difficult’ restructure

The Metropolitan Police is to split its 100-plus comms team in two as part of a wide-ranging reorganisation, it has emerged.

News & analysis

Dominic Cummings appearing before the COVID inquiry

‘PM did not want us to antagonise the media’ – Cummings at COVID inquiry

Dominic Cummings’ appearance at the UK COVID-19 inquiry, with expletive-laden evidence amounting to a reputational carpet-bombing of Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, has dominated the news agenda.

Lee Cain appearing before the COVID inquiry

‘Behavioural science isn’t always correct’ – comms claims from COVID-19 inquiry

The eagerly anticipated appearance of Lee Cain, ex-Downing Street director of communications, at the UK COVID-19 inquiry more than lived up to the hype, with a series of explosive revelations.

The cover of the new GCS training course on propriety and ethics

Government comms pros to have honesty training

Simon Baugh, chief executive of the Government Communication Service, has announced that government comms professionals will be trained in propriety and ethics over the coming months.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti

Ethnic minorities ‘stigmatised’ by government COVID-19 comms

A senior member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) during the COVID-19 pandemic has criticised the comms approach that was taken to reach ethnic minorities.

Lord Gus O'Donnell, appearing before the UK COVID-19 inquiry yesterday

Ex-Downing Street press secretary criticises media spads

Speaking at the COVID-19 inquiry, Lord Gus O’Donnell, who was John Major’s press secretary and went on to serve as cabinet secretary under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron, has hit out at “disastrous” comms special advisers.

Rishi Sunak promoting Eat Out to Help Out in 2020 (Credit: No. 10)

Doctors condemn Government’s COVID-19 comms

The government failed to ‘provide clear, consistent and visible public health messaging’ throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the British Medical Association.

Simon Baugh

AI revolution in government comms underway

AI models developed by the Government Communication Service will replace the media grid used for decades and remove the need for comms teams to come up with plans themselves, it has emerged.

Lynda Scott

Department of Health and Social Care brings in new comms chief

The Department of Health and Social Care has brought in a replacement to cover for Rachel Carr, director of communications, who recently went on maternity leave.

Every Story Matters web page

M&C Saatchi ‘shouldn’t be anywhere near COVID-19 inquiry’, campaigners claim

The UK COVID-19 inquiry’s decision to hand a three-year contract worth £1.6m to M&C Saatchi is ‘an absolute disgrace’ and ‘deeply deceitful’, according to families of people who died during the pandemic.

Susannah Storey

Spy agencies involved in Counter Disinformation Unit

British intelligence has been involved in the work of the Government’s controversial Counter Disinformation Unit since its inception, according to newly released documents from the independent public inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opinion & features

Communicators of the year montage

UK Communicators of the Year 2023 (numbers 10-6) revealed by PRWeek

The Information

Who got their message across most effectively in this chaotic year?

Katy Searle

Have PR pros killed the authentic politician?

In less than a year you’ll have to answer a question: who looks best in front of No. 10 Downing Street?

Nerissa Chesterfield

‘A very savvy promotion’ – can new Downing Street comms chief turn the tide?

Rishi Sunak’s decision to promote Nerissa Chesterfield to succeed Amber de Botton as Downing Street director of communications has been welcomed by comms and public affairs specialists.

'Being the topic of febrile debate is a good thing' - Behind the Campaign, ‘Say maaate to a mate'

Charlie Coney, creative & strategy officer, UK & EMEA, at Ogilvy UK discusses the agency's much-discussed campaign that aims to tackle sexism and misogyny among young men.

A graphic saying “PRWeek’s Most Read”

Top 10 most-read articles by PRWeek subscribers in April

These are the most-read articles by PRWeek UK subscribers in April, measured by our ‘known audience’ of named users who logged in.

PRWeek UK Power Book 2023: 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. Today, we ranking the key players in public sector comms.

Malcolm Robertson

Which SNP leadership candidate is winning the comms battle?

The iron discipline for which the Scottish National Party has been renowned in recent years is starting to rust.

Dominic Crossley

The Hancock WhatsApps: public interest or private betrayal?

Do you sympathise with former Health Secretary and jungle celeb Matt Hancock or applaud ruthless journalist and author Isabel Oakeshott?

Picture credits: Nicola Sturgeon - Jane Barlow via Pool/Getty Images; Jeremy Corbyn - Steve Taylor/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Sturgeon and Corbyn out: boost for Labour, opportunity for comms and PA pros

A party surging in the polls rarely gets three pieces of great news in one day.

Hot off the press: PRWeek’s 22 most-read articles of 2022

The Information

From the diary of a Cannes virgin and the newest agencies to watch to the Top 150 consultancies and the biggest people moves of the year.

Guto Harri

Guto Harri: journalistic pedigree is paramount for Downing Street comms chief

Strategic comms advisor Guto Harri, who was director of communications at No. 10 from February until September this year, discusses the skills required for the top comms role in government – and why newcomer Amber de Botton’s CV ‘affords credibility and demands respect’.

Daniel Reynolds, director of communications, NHS Confederation

Why comms is a vital part of the NHS

Far from being a drain on resources, as the likes of the TaxPayers’ Alliance claim, comms plays a vitally important role in many areas of the NHS.

NHS performance stats: comms pros face tricky balancing act

The second Thursday of each month is always a significant day in the NHS comms calendar.

(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

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