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News and news analysis

Downing Street appoints comms chief amid friction over televised briefings

Downing Street appoints comms chief amid friction over televised briefings

Jack Doyle has been promoted to be the new No. 10 director of comms, Downing Street has confirmed, leaving the future of the Government’s strategy on daily televised press briefings in doubt.

Ex-Downing Street deputy spokesman gets senior government comms role

Ex-Downing Street deputy spokesman gets senior government comms role

Christian Cubitt, former deputy spokesman to David Cameron, has been named director of communications at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Met Police comms chief announces departure as hunt for successor begins

Met Police comms chief announces departure as hunt for successor begins

James Helm, director of comms at the Metropolitan Police, has announced that he will depart in the summer after more than three years in the job.

Kekst CNC grows senior team with hires from Weber Shandwick, KPMG and MoD

Kekst CNC grows senior team with hires from Weber Shandwick, KPMG and MoD

Kekst CNC has added three senior consultants and eight others to its London team.

RNLI appoints new PR agency

RNLI appoints new PR agency

The PHA Group has been appointed to the comms framework of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) following a competitive pitch process, the agency announced today.

Life after Slack: Who are the contenders and what next for Downing Street comms?

Life after Slack: Who are the contenders and what next for Downing Street comms?

Downing Street’s director of comms, James Slack, will soon leave to take up his new job as The Sun’s deputy editor-in-chief and his departure fires the starting gun on a search for a successor who could emerge from journalism, politics, or within the No. 10 operation.

Royals pick NHS veteran as new comms secretary

Royals pick NHS veteran as new comms secretary

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have appointed NHS comms chief Simon Enright as their new communications secretary, it has emerged.

HM Treasury comms budget soars during pandemic

HM Treasury comms budget soars during pandemic

HM Treasury’s comms budget is at its highest in five years, and has increased by more than a quarter over the past year, it has emerged.

GCS eyes smaller government comms teams for regulators, leaked memo reveals

GCS eyes smaller government comms teams for regulators, leaked memo reveals

Government Communication Service chief Alex Aiken has told staff his plan to reduce the overall size of government comms teams, including cuts to arms’-length bodies (ALBs) such as Ofcom, in a leaked memo seen by PRWeek.

Boxers come out fighting with COVID-19 vaccine campaign

Boxers come out fighting with COVID-19 vaccine campaign

England Boxing is orchestrating a #WinWithTheJab campaign to promote uptake of the coronavirus vaccine, particularly among members of ethnic minority communities.

Exclusive: Lee Cain dropped by talent agency after signing with rival

Exclusive: Lee Cain dropped by talent agency after signing with rival

Boris Johnson’s former director of communications, Lee Cain, was dropped by a leading talent management firm this morning, hours after it emerged he had also signed up with a rival agency.

Exclusive: Former No. 10 comms chief Cain launches agency and celebrity speaker career

Exclusive: Former No. 10 comms chief Cain launches agency and celebrity speaker career

Lee Cain, the Prime Minister’s former director of comms who resigned amid a reported rift with Boris Johnson’s fiancée, Carrie Symonds, is setting up a PR agency and reinventing himself as a celebrity speaker receiving up to £15,000 for a single event, PRWeek can reveal.

Local authority channels Sunak's media playbook with live council tax Q&A

Local authority channels Sunak's media playbook with live council tax Q&A

Swindon Borough Council’s comms team has gone on the front foot to explain why this year’s council tax bills have gone up, choosing a live Q&A with a local news outlet as a vehicle to break the news to local residents, in an echo of the Chancellor's Budget media strategy.

‘Lead with truth and science’: healthcare comms pros advise Oxford/AstraZeneca as vaccine rollout stalls

‘Lead with truth and science’: healthcare comms pros advise Oxford/AstraZeneca as vaccine rollout stalls

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 has hit a reputational bump in the road following reports of people in several EU countries suffering blood clots after receiving their injection.

Opinion and features

How HMRC solved the comms challenges of the Government’s COVID-19 response

How HMRC solved the comms challenges of the Government’s COVID-19 response

The extraordinary challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 required entirely new solutions from the UK Government and, as a result, the HMRC Communications team faced challenges we could never have imagined mere months earlier.

PRWeek UK Power Book 2021: Top 10 in public sector comms

PRWeek UK Power Book 2021: Top 10 in public sector comms

PRWeek's UK Power Book reveals the PR pros who lead the way in their respective areas. Today, we rank the big players in public sector comms.

Eight ways industry professionals can be better champions of diversity

Eight ways industry professionals can be better champions of diversity

Last year’s momentous global social justice movement forced the PR industry to examine its accountability as a gatekeeper of public dialogue.

Rishi Sunak: The Movie was too long for voters and too short for fans

Rishi Sunak: The Movie was too long for voters and too short for fans

Imagine the scene. You’re the Chancellor’s comms Spad, and you’ve had a great idea: a video – the story of the young, popular Rishi Sunak, tracing his progress from unexpected Chancellor to author of a generation-defining Budget; the Budget that will get us out of the COVID-19 crisis.

Packing a powerful punch with poetry and the ‘hill we climb’ making PR anti-racist

Packing a powerful punch with poetry and the ‘hill we climb’ making PR anti-racist

In recent weeks, poetry has hit the headlines and, while this powerful art form hasn’t achieved such prominence for a long time, many of us will have heard or read poetry again this year – or observed its impact around the globe – thanks to Amanda Gorman.

Confession: I made Theresa May dance to Abba in her 2018 conference speech

Confession: I made Theresa May dance to Abba in her 2018 conference speech

Theresa May was enduring a rough spell in her leadership and her party conference speech in October 2018 was an opportunity to show she still had the ideas and energy to lead the country, despite the difficulties she was facing in uniting her party over Brexit.

Sex, flu and power: is the PR industry on the cusp of a new ‘roaring 20s’?

Sex, flu and power: is the PR industry on the cusp of a new ‘roaring 20s’?

You may have noticed recently that the nation has moved on from the Victorian era (sorry Jacob, you can keep it) and found a new period of history to eulogise – the 1920s.

Brand banter – timing is everything

Brand banter – timing is everything

Brands spotting opportunities to generate reach organically isn’t something new.

Five reasons to include Clubhouse in your comms strategy while it is still a thing

Five reasons to include Clubhouse in your comms strategy while it is still a thing

Is Clubhouse all you hear about recently?

Diary of a volunteer RNLI press officer: acronyms, tea and tragedy

Diary of a volunteer RNLI press officer: acronyms, tea and tragedy

This week, we begin a new series following the journey of RNLI trainee press officer Roz Ashton, in her own words, as she begins her training and explains why she volunteered. Ashton has lived around the world, worked in advertising and sailed across the Atlantic.

SOS is not a distress call: PR pros must learn from adland campaign evaluation

SOS is not a distress call: PR pros must learn from adland campaign evaluation

Businesses in the advertising world have recently woken up to a new way of tracking the impact of their efforts and there are lessons for those of us in PR.

Recent public sector people moves

Former Conservative HQ CEO joins Hume Brophy

Former Conservative HQ CEO joins Hume Brophy

Hume Brophy has appointed former Conservative HQ chief executive Mark MacGregor as a senior adviser. He joins the international comms firm from consultancy Stonehaven, where he was a director.

The PRWeekly Podcast: Ogilvy CEO moves to Weber | COVID & internal comms | Manifest's Obubo tackles racism report

The PRWeekly Podcast: Ogilvy CEO moves to Weber | COVID & internal comms | Manifest's Obubo tackles racism report

PRWeek's new podcast takes listeners behind the headlines of the week's most important news, views and industry gossip.

Portland hires former Spad Anita Boateng

Portland hires former Spad Anita Boateng

Boateng has joined Portland as a partner, PRWeek has learned.

The Sun hires Number 10's comms director

The Sun hires Number 10's comms director

James Slack, the recently appointed director of communications at Number 10, has been appointed deputy editor-in-chief of The Sun.

Movers & Shakers: Portland, Brunswick, Rivian, Ranieri Agency, Boldspace and more

Movers & Shakers: Portland, Brunswick, Rivian, Ranieri Agency, Boldspace and more

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

Government comms chief to leave Whitehall for education role

Government comms chief to leave Whitehall for education role

Emily Tofield, group director of comms and information services at the Ministry of Justice, has been appointed as the University of Sussex’s first director of comms, marketing and advancement.

Royal Mint promotes from within to fill senior comms post

Royal Mint promotes from within to fill senior comms post

Rachel Thomas has been appointed senior comms manager at The Royal Mint, which is owned by Her Majesty's Treasury.