The latest public sector news, opinion and features.
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News and news analysis

Exclusive: Government comms chief quits post amid bullying row

Exclusive: Government comms chief quits post amid bullying row

Kirsty Buchanan has left her job as director of comms at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) after less than a year amid allegations of bullying, PRWeek can reveal.

‘Head boy or class clown?’: PA pros compare the Chancellor and Prime Minister’s approach to crisis comms

‘Head boy or class clown?’: PA pros compare the Chancellor and Prime Minister’s approach to crisis comms

Before going into self-isolation late last week, Boris Johnson looked uncomfortable delivering anything other than good news during the daily press briefings, while Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been praised for a confident, empathetic style that seems to be cutting through.

Exclusive: End of an era as Greater Manchester Police comms chief departs to start agency

Exclusive: End of an era as Greater Manchester Police comms chief departs to start agency

Amanda Coleman, the long-serving director of corporate comms at Greater Manchester Police (GMP), has resigned from the force and is setting up her own comms agency specialising in crisis management, PRWeek can reveal.

Government wages war on coronavirus fake news with 'counter-disinformation cell'

Government wages war on coronavirus fake news with 'counter-disinformation cell'

The government is fighting a running battle against fake news about COVID-19, with up to 10 incidents a day being identified and tackled by specialist units, it announced today.

PM reinforces ‘stay at home’ message in national address after testing positive for COVID-19

PM reinforces ‘stay at home’ message in national address after testing positive for COVID-19

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has used a video appeal to the nation to reinforce the Government’s ‘stay at home' message after testing positive for the coronavirus this morning.

Sport England launches campaign to keep Brits active during lockdown

Sport England launches campaign to keep Brits active during lockdown

The campaign by the public body aims to inspire the nation to stay active at home during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Downing Street calls in its election gurus to overhaul coronavirus comms

Downing Street calls in its election gurus to overhaul coronavirus comms

Isaac Levido, the Australian architect of the Conservative victory in the general election, has been drafted in by Downing Street, along with others, to enhance the Government’s coronavirus comms campaign, following repeated attacks by critics over mixed messaging.

Government boosts life-saving coronavirus messaging using WhatsApp

Government boosts life-saving coronavirus messaging using WhatsApp

The Government has teamed up with WhatsApp, one of the world’s biggest messaging platforms, to reach millions of Britons with information about COVID-19.

WPP Health to host COVID-19 Q&A with LSHTM and WHO scientists

WPP Health to host COVID-19 Q&A with LSHTM and WHO scientists

WPP Health Practice will host an exclusive live COVID-19 Q&A aimed at global media and policy makers, with experts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), today.

'Nudge unit' hires defence intelligence specialist as MD

'Nudge unit' hires defence intelligence specialist as MD

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) has appointed intelligence expert Rachel Coyle as managing director, EMEA.

‘Be honest about how bad it might get’: Alastair Campbell’s 20 crisis comms tips for the PM

‘Be honest about how bad it might get’: Alastair Campbell’s 20 crisis comms tips for the PM

Former No. 10 comms director Alastair Campbell has told Boris Johnson to resist the use of “smart-arse language” and express genuine sadness and regret at deaths in the UK from the coronavirus during his press conferences, as part of 20 crisis comms suggestions for the Prime Minister during the pandemic.

Local and national government PRs to get schooling support during COVID-19

Local and national government PRs to get schooling support during COVID-19

The PRCA and LGcomms have welcomed steps by the government that aim to ensure local and national government comms staff continue to receive childcare through schools and nurseries during the coronavirus crisis.

Public responds best to altruistic messaging from government on coronavirus

Public responds best to altruistic messaging from government on coronavirus

Coronavirus messaging from the government and health professionals on a range of behaviours – hand-washing, face-touching, self-isolation and stockpiling – are more effective when they appeal to the public’s better nature, new research has shown.

Reduce stigma and increase two-way dialogue: WHO's prescription for coronavirus comms

Reduce stigma and increase two-way dialogue: WHO's prescription for coronavirus comms

The World Health Organization (WHO) has produced new guidance for risk communication and community engagement around COVID-19, which warns against stigmatising those with the virus and stresses the importance of a continuous dialogue with target audiences.

Opinion and features

COVID-19: Providing journalists and policy-makers with accurate science has never been more important

COVID-19: Providing journalists and policy-makers with accurate science has never been more important

One of the many speaking engagements cancelled because of the COVID-19 crisis was an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the influential House of Lords report on Science and Society that recommended the establishment of the Science Media Centre (SMC).

You’re not alone! Two survival guides to virtual pitching during the COVID-19 crisis

You’re not alone! Two survival guides to virtual pitching during the COVID-19 crisis

Anyone who takes part in client pitches is in new territory, now that social distancing and isolation measures are in place across the UK and beyond. So how can you do it virtually and still build chemistry?

Trust and authenticity are vital for comms and media during the pandemic

Trust and authenticity are vital for comms and media during the pandemic

As much as the phrase ‘nothing has changed’ came to define the communications failure of Theresa May’s premiership, ‘everything has changed’ looms large over Boris Johnson’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

‘I will find it difficult’: an industry leader in his 80s discusses self-isolation

‘I will find it difficult’: an industry leader in his 80s discusses self-isolation

The new government regulations have meant that there's had to be a significant change in the way I, and many others, live and operate.

How we rebuilt the House of Commons comms team in 18 months

How we rebuilt the House of Commons comms team in 18 months

A week is a long time in politics and a lot has happened in the 18 months since we became directors of communications for the House of Commons.

PRWeek UK Power Book 2020: Top 10 in public sector comms

PRWeek UK Power Book 2020: 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.

Plan, ask questions and switch focus: five good ways for comms professionals to work from home

Plan, ask questions and switch focus: five good ways for comms professionals to work from home

At times of crisis, business leaders often turn to communications professionals to guide them.

The ethical paradox: how brands, policymakers and campaigners can help consumers do the ‘right thing’

The ethical paradox: how brands, policymakers and campaigners can help consumers do the ‘right thing’

‘Responsibility’ has shot up the agenda and concern about the environment is now at a 30-year high, according to recent polling.

Why pharma needs to be more LEGO to stay relevant

Why pharma needs to be more LEGO to stay relevant

On a cold October morning last year, a Facebook post went viral around the office; it was a simple hand-held selfie video of an ecstatic and emotionally overwhelmed mum, Gemma, celebrating the deal that brought Orkambi to the NHS and to her daughter Ivy.

Is the Government failing to get a ‘grip’ on the coronavirus crisis comms?

Is the Government failing to get a ‘grip’ on the coronavirus crisis comms?

In a crisis, when he was Prime Minister, Tony Blair prized one quality above all else – what he called ‘grip’.

Coronavirus: It’s going to get worse for agencies before it gets better

Coronavirus: It’s going to get worse for agencies before it gets better

Something that was initially considered to be a problem only in China and the Far East, COVID-19 has now spread to the rest of the world and it’s causing increasing concern, on both a public health and an economic level.

Recent public sector people moves

Movers & Shakers: WPP, M&C Saatchi, Edelman, WE, Gandhi and more

Movers & Shakers: WPP, M&C Saatchi, Edelman, WE, Gandhi and more

PRWeek's weekly roundup of industry hires, departures and promotions.

Movers & Shakers: Weber, Ketchum, Brunswick, Teamspirit, Milk & Honey, Ranieri and more

Movers & Shakers: Weber, Ketchum, Brunswick, Teamspirit, Milk & Honey, Ranieri and more

PRWeek's weekly roundup of industry hires, departures and promotions.

Specialist agency hires former council leader to lead northern expansion

Specialist agency hires former council leader to lead northern expansion

The former leader of Trafford Council, Sean Anstee, has been appointed executive director for advisory, public affairs and PR at local government specialist Cratus Communications.

PwC hires Edelman MD for global corporate affairs role

PwC hires Edelman MD for global corporate affairs role

PwC has appointed Edelman UK public affairs managing director James Morris to the new role of director of global corporate affairs and advocacy. He is PwC's second high-profile recruit from Edelman in the past six months.

Ingham: 'Ex-Weber exec Priti Patel should know new immigration policy will harm PR'

Ingham: 'Ex-Weber exec Priti Patel should know new immigration policy will harm PR'

The Government’s points-based immigration system could prevent hundreds of migrant PR practitioners from entering the UK, exacerbating a talent shortage and damaging the industry, the PRCA has warned.

Ex-Downing Street adviser to lead Headland infrastructure offer

Ex-Downing Street adviser to lead Headland infrastructure offer

Financial and corporate comms specialist Headland has hired partner Simon Jones to focus on its infrastructure, transport and engineering sectors. The firm has also appointed its first chief people officer.

Hanbury Strategy boosts senior team following 60 per cent growth

Hanbury Strategy boosts senior team following 60 per cent growth

Strategic advisory firm Hanbury Strategy has made three senior hires, including a communications director, as it looks to build on 60 per cent growth in revenue in 2019.