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News and news analysis

COVID-19 briefing: How can healthcare comms help the public make sense of the science?

COVID-19 briefing: How can healthcare comms help the public make sense of the science?

The Government’s top scientific advisers delivered a sobering assessment of the likely rise in coronavirus cases during a televised Downing Street briefing yesterday.

Specialist agency director joins UCAS to lead strategy and public affairs

Specialist agency director joins UCAS to lead strategy and public affairs

Education specialist John Cope has left his deputy director job at consultancy Public First to take up the role of director of strategy, policy and public affairs by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

News outlet threatens legal action over MoD ‘blacklisting’ as Europe issues media freedom alert

News outlet threatens legal action over MoD ‘blacklisting’ as Europe issues media freedom alert

A media outlet has engaged a legal firm after it was effectively blacklisted by the Ministry of Defence – a move that prompted a ‘media freedom alert’ from the Council of Europe.

Government launches campaign to reduce winter COVID-19 spike

Government launches campaign to reduce winter COVID-19 spike

The Government has stepped up efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the lead-up to winter with the launch of a public information campaign urging people to continue to wash their hands, wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Contracts without competition: a reputational blow for the public affairs industry?

Contracts without competition: a reputational blow for the public affairs industry?

The award of lucrative government contracts to public affairs and political comms agencies with links to Dominic Cummings and senior Conservatives without a competitive tender process since the pandemic arrived in the UK is not an isolated occurrence.

Hanbury defends award of government contracts without competition

Hanbury defends award of government contracts without competition

Hanbury Strategy has defended its being awarded lucrative government contracts through the use of emergency provisions that enable public sector institutions to appoint suppliers without a competitive tender process.

Five ‘lockdown’ consumer healthcare audiences – and how to communicate with them

Five ‘lockdown’ consumer healthcare audiences – and how to communicate with them

A consumer healthcare report that has identified five audiences to emerge since COVID-19 arrived in the UK shows how hygiene, mental wellness and self-care have risen sharply up the agenda.

Tin Man wins anti-piracy brief targeting young people

Tin Man wins anti-piracy brief targeting young people

Tin Man Communications has won the delivery of a Government-backed anti-piracy campaign on behalf of the creative industries, following a competitive four-stage pitch.

Parliamentary group’s COVID-19 inquiry appoints comms chief

Parliamentary group’s COVID-19 inquiry appoints comms chief

Former Clarion and 3 Monkeys head of news Howard Bowden has been picked to lead comms for a cross-party group of MPs holding a rapid inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic.

Government launches major PR, digital and ad campaign for census

Government launches major PR, digital and ad campaign for census

The campaign will aim to illustrate the importance of collecting data and statistics for the census to improve lives.

No. 10 seeks political comms operative to lead White House-style press briefings

No. 10 seeks political comms operative to lead White House-style press briefings

Downing Street has begun the search for a £100,000-a-year political press spokesman to “communicate with the nation on behalf of the Prime Minister” in televised briefings from the autumn, with several industry names under consideration.

Controversial ex-Government comms chief joins anti-extremism campaign

Controversial ex-Government comms chief joins anti-extremism campaign

Former journalist and government comms chief Kirsty Buchanan has joined anti-extremism organisation Mainstream as its campaign director.

COVID-19 to be used as ‘teachable moment’ as PHE unveils major health campaign

COVID-19 to be used as ‘teachable moment’ as PHE unveils major health campaign

Public Health England (PHE) has unveiled an integrated behaviour-change campaign, under the brand Better Health, to increase public resilience to COVID-19 and other diseases. It will begin by attempting to tackle endemic obesity in the UK.

Government comms professional appointed as minister’s press secretary

Government comms professional appointed as minister’s press secretary

Government comms professional Harry Wingfield has been appointed press secretary to the housing minister, Chris Pincher, at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), PRWeek has learned.

Opinion and features

Why facemasks became a political fault line in the crucible of social media

Why facemasks became a political fault line in the crucible of social media

At the start of lockdown, people dared to dream: could national trauma encourage us to put aside our petty differences and unite us against COVID-19?

The Civil Service urgently needs a rebrand to usher it into the 21st century

The Civil Service urgently needs a rebrand to usher it into the 21st century

Given extensive media criticism, and the recent sackings and resignations of permanent secretaries and other senior officials, can the Civil Service brand evolve into a modern ‘Public Administration and Innovation Service’?

Algorithms: Time for the PR industry to emerge from the dark ages

Algorithms: Time for the PR industry to emerge from the dark ages

Following the exam results fiasco, anyone looking for a defence of the humble algorithm has been met by a deafening silence.

Brands and reputations could suffer in the US elections; the comms industry must be on its guard

Brands and reputations could suffer in the US elections; the comms industry must be on its guard

In an uncertain world, where COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on just how interconnected we are, there are reasons for PR pros to take notice of the battle for the White House between incumbent President Donald Trump and challenger – and former VP – Joe Biden.

One degree of separation? The exams debacle is a reminder there’s more than one route into PR

One degree of separation? The exams debacle is a reminder there’s more than one route into PR

Awkward confession: I don’t have a degree.

The PRs defending Hong Kong’s National Security Law bring shame on our industry

The PRs defending Hong Kong’s National Security Law bring shame on our industry

Himself no angel, being happy to promote cigarettes to women as feminist “torches of freedom”, the self-styled “father of public relations”, Edward Bernays, was appalled that Joseph Goebbels was using his book, Crystallizing Public Opinion, to convince the German public that the removal of Jews was necessary for harmonious society. Since then, the ethics of public relations has been taken seriously.

A-Level results: Government scores a ‘U’ for public relations

A-Level results: Government scores a ‘U’ for public relations

The signs leading up to A-Level results day weren’t looking good.

Five tips for running a campaign on zero (or near-zero) budget

Five tips for running a campaign on zero (or near-zero) budget

As a communications professional in the public sector, it’s not unusual for me to be asked to take a problem, find a solution, plan a campaign and make sure it’s successful with zero pounds to spare.

The COVID-19 Diaries: Blame and division, but we want a better future

The COVID-19 Diaries: Blame and division, but we want a better future

PRWeek continues its ongoing partnership with strategic insights consultancy BritainThinks to gauge the public mood on COVID-19.

Having a diverse workforce isn’t just about hiring BME people, it’s about keeping them

Having a diverse workforce isn’t just about hiring BME people, it’s about keeping them

Recently, I saw a video of former West Indies cricketer Michael Holding, reflecting on the racism faced by his parents in the UK, in which he breaks down in tears.

This is what governing like you’re campaigning looks like

This is what governing like you’re campaigning looks like

What are the three most important things we know about election campaigns? First and foremost, they don’t change anyone’s mind.

Recent public sector people moves

Weber Shandwick names new corporate affairs lead after Marlowe quits to join insurer

Weber Shandwick names new corporate affairs lead after Marlowe quits to join insurer

Weber Shandwick has promoted Ed Taylor to managing director of its corporate affairs practice after Anthony Marlowe joined insurance firm Rothesay Life as its head of comms and public affairs, PRWeek has learned.

BAE Systems appoints government relations chief

BAE Systems appoints government relations chief

Oliver Waghorn has been promoted to the role of head of government relations at the multinational defence, security and aerospace company. He will succeed John Brosnan.

Public Health England's marketing chief Sheila Mitchell to step down

Public Health England's marketing chief Sheila Mitchell to step down

Public Health England’s (PHE) long-serving marketing chief, Sheila Mitchell, is leaving her role in September after more than a decade leading the Government's public health marketing.

Movers & Shakers: Edelman, Portland, Teneo, Fleet Street, APCO, Nestle and more

Movers & Shakers: Edelman, Portland, Teneo, Fleet Street, APCO, Nestle and more

PRWeek's weekly roundup of industry hires, departures and promotions. This column for the week commencing 6 July.

Courts & Tribunals service names new comms chief

Courts & Tribunals service names new comms chief

Georgia Jerram will replace Ed Owen as director of comms at HM Courts & Tribunals Services (HMCTS) when he leaves in July, PRWeek has learned.

Exclusive: Cicero/AMO hires Chancellors' former adviser

Exclusive: Cicero/AMO hires Chancellors' former adviser

Cicero/AMO has hired Sonia Khan, who was a special adviser to two recent Conservative Chancellors, as a director working across its public affairs and corporate comms teams.

Number 10 special advisor joins MHP

Number 10 special advisor joins MHP

Downing Street special advisor Nick Vaughan has joined MHP’s 20-strong public affairs team as an associate director, PRWeek can reveal.