The latest public sector PR news, opinion and features.

PRWeek UK Best Places to Work Awards 2022: winners revealed

PRWeek UK Best Places to Work Awards 2022: winners revealed

Blurred is the big winner in the PRWeek UK Best Places to Work Awards 2022, with three accolades – for Sustainability, Rewards and Benefits, and the Best Small Agency.

News & analysis

 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.

Credit: Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

Collision of politics, business and ethics intensifies public affairs role in Russia-Ukraine invasion

Organisations must act holistically to navigate the policy, regulatory and reputational aspects of the Russian war in Ukraine as resolution and refugee support take centre stage, urge public affairs professionals.

Keith Burnet, Amy Hemingway and George Pitcher

Cast From Clay forms heavyweight advisory board in growth drive

Cast From Clay has hired a new board of advisors comprising former leaders from Edelman, Luther Pendragon and Chatham House.

Lord Evans

Regulation will never dispel lobbying issues, warns senior peer

Lord Evans of Weardale, chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, has warned there will ‘always be those who play the system’ when it comes to lobbying.

 Sharon Sawers

Cabinet Office comms director and deputy rejoin Michael Gove at DLUHC

Former Cabinet Office communications director Sharon Sawers and her deputy Ray Tang have been recruited to lead comms at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), PRWeek has learned.

National Physical Laboratory

Government-owned research institute hands agency three-year PR contract

The National Physical Laboratory has awarded a three-year media relations brief to Spreckley.

Suzanne Edmonds

Department for Transport comms chief steps down

Department for Transport group director of communications Suzanne Edmond is leaving the government department after five-and-a-half years.

Ministry of Justice hires comms chief

The Ministry of Justice has appointed Simon Barrett as its director of communications, following a six-month stint overseeing the role on an interim basis.

Opinion & features

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.

Samantha Edwards

We’re amazed we won an award for Brexit comms – but there’s still hard work to come

To say it was a shock to have won not one but two awards for our Brexit campaign, at the National Public Communications Awards recently, is quite the understatement.

Where is Boris Johnson's equivalent of Bernard Ingham? asks Julian Henry

Boris Johnson is a sitting duck without a real PR guru in No.10

The absence of a proper ‘spin doctor’ in Downing Street - following the departure of Dominic Cummings a year ago - leaves the Prime Minister vulnerable to attack from all sides.