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

'New blood' required as LGcomms chair announces decision to step down

'New blood' required as LGcomms chair announces decision to step down

Simon Jones is to step down as chair of LGcomms in April, to make way for "new blood" to lead the association of local government comms leaders.

Competition is GREAT: Agencies vie for multimillion-pound government contract

Competition is GREAT: Agencies vie for multimillion-pound government contract

One of the government's single biggest comms and marketing contracts has been put out to tender, with a reported £10m-a-year fee on offer to the successful agency.

Battle lines drawn between activists and police in comms war

Battle lines drawn between activists and police in comms war

A series of highly damaging comms blunders by counter-terror police in treating environmental movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) as a potential threat have exposed fundamental differences in the approaches taken by the comms teams on both sides.

Loyal FCO press officer rewarded with MBE

Loyal FCO press officer rewarded with MBE

Davina Crole, one of the government's longest-serving press officers, has been awarded an MBE for "services to British foreign policy".

NHS Property Services appoints comms head from BCW

NHS Property Services appoints comms head from BCW

NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has hired former BCW director Simon Richards as its new head of communications.

Government comms chief suspended in bullying row

Government comms chief suspended in bullying row

Kirsty Buchanan, director of comms at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and a former Number 10 adviser, has been suspended amid allegations of bullying, it has emerged.

Exclusive: Health bosses channel 50s B-movies for pharmacist campaign

Exclusive: Health bosses channel 50s B-movies for pharmacist campaign

What look like old B-movie posters are the visuals at the heart of an NHS campaign, launching next week, to persuade millions of Britons to visit their local pharmacist for medical advice.

NHS media manager moves to nursing charity

NHS media manager moves to nursing charity

Aysha Awan, who led on the press and PR campaign to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, has left the public sector to become director of comms, marketing and events at the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

End of an era as 'father of the PR industry' Harold Burson dies

End of an era as 'father of the PR industry' Harold Burson dies

Harold Burson, regarded by many as one of the founding fathers of the modern PR and comms industry, has died at the age of 98, it was announced today.

Department for Education partners Jamal Edwards for creative series

Department for Education partners Jamal Edwards for creative series

Campaign aims to promote apprenticeships for young creatives.

'I pursued the attacker, tusk in hand, onto the bridge' - London Bridge hero is MoJ comms officer

A man who helped fight off terrorist Usman Khan with a narwhal tusk last month during a deadly attack that ended on London Bridge is a comms officer for the Ministry of Justice, it has been revealed.

Government appoints BT marketing chief to lead flagship GREAT campaign

Government appoints BT marketing chief to lead flagship GREAT campaign

The Department for International Trade has hired telecoms marketing specialist Dan Ramsay as the director of the government's ongoing GREAT campaign, which promotes British expertise and products to the world.

Heartfelt, grudging or unreserved: The PR apologies of 2019

Heartfelt, grudging or unreserved: The PR apologies of 2019

When it comes to the business of owning up to mistakes or bad behaviour, there are many ways of expressing regret - but some more genuine and heartfelt than others.

Fashion the latest sector to benefit from the government's GREAT campaign

Fashion the latest sector to benefit from the government's GREAT campaign

The government's ongoing campaign to promote British expertise and products to the world has put the spotlight on fashion, as the country gears up for Brexit.

Opinion and features

In a post-trust world, let's focus on 'belief'

In a post-trust world, let's focus on 'belief'

As sure as world leaders heading for the slopes in Davos, so the Edelman Trust Barometer rolls round and dominates industry headlines for a news cycle.

What does the departure of senior women in the industry say to the next generation of female leaders?

What does the departure of senior women in the industry say to the next generation of female leaders?

Another new year and another raft of departures and new beginnings announced in agencyland; no real surprises there, as it is the season.

How we in counter-terror comms responded to negative coverage over Extinction Rebellion

How we in counter-terror comms responded to negative coverage over Extinction Rebellion

When a front page story in The Guardian last Saturday revealed that Extinction Rebellion and other environmental groups were included on a counter-terror document, Counter Terror Policing's comms team was under pressure to respond.

Now we have a government with a large majority and the ability to do stuff, there is some real lobbying to do

Now we have a government with a large majority and the ability to do stuff, there is some real lobbying to do

The decisive result of December's general election means it's time for public affairs practitioners to get back into the fray in a changed political landscape.

The 'climate decade' is here, so get ready to align your comms with action

The 'climate decade' is here, so get ready to align your comms with action

As leaders from business and government gather for the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, climate change will be high on the agenda.

Stop talking about it and just get it done: we need to be a climate-positive industry

Stop talking about it and just get it done: we need to be a climate-positive industry

As an industry we are great at talking - it is one of our strengths. However, sometimes we need a bit more action and that has probably never been more important than the need for an urgent response to the climate crisis.

My personal experience tells me that we need an industry-wide miscarriage policy

My personal experience tells me that we need an industry-wide miscarriage policy

Recently, creative agencies Lucky Generals and Creature announced miscarriage policies, the essence being to remind staff that they can take time off work for their loss (Lucky Generals gives two weeks off for the mother or one week as the partner), and that it needn't be something that they have to keep private.

The 'end of austerity' brings challenges and opportunities for public sector comms

The 'end of austerity' brings challenges and opportunities for public sector comms

The election result, and commitments from the Prime Minister, present a fresh set of opportunities and challenges for the public sector.

Fake news and the political spotlight are two challenges for policing comms in 2020

Fake news and the political spotlight are two challenges for policing comms in 2020

I can't seem to remember a time when hyperbole and rhetoric didn't obscure many of the challenges confronting the country.

The General Election Diaries: make Britain 'normal' again

The General Election Diaries: make Britain 'normal' again

The dust is settling on a result that has swept Boris Johnson into Number 10 with the biggest Tory majority since 1987, while Labour, the Lib Dems and the Brexit Party were all left licking their wounds.

Prince Andrew and the Lib Dems made the same PR mistake

Prince Andrew and the Lib Dems made the same PR mistake

If we'll remember 2019 for anything, it probably won't be public relations. Let's be honest, we've not had a vintage year, at least on the face of it.

Recent public sector people moves

Former No 10 press secretary joins Lexington

Former No 10 press secretary joins Lexington

Comms consultancy Lexington Communications has hired ex-Downing Street press secretary Paul Harrison as it expands its senior team.

MerchantCantos appoints chief creative officer

MerchantCantos appoints chief creative officer

International corporate comms agency MerchantCantos has brought in Phil Ireland as a partner and CCO as it looks to expand and diversify its creative offer.

FTI Consulting promotes Harrison to global public affairs lead

FTI Consulting promotes Harrison to global public affairs lead

FTI has named its Brussels managing partner, Julia Harrison, as global head of public affairs within its strategic communications division.

Scottish Natural Heritage appoints external affairs chief

Scottish Natural Heritage appoints external affairs chief

Jason Ormiston has left his role as director of media relations and editorial at renewable energy company Vattenfall UK to join Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) as its head of external affairs.

Senior government comms figure joins WWF-UK

Senior government comms figure joins WWF-UK

Penny Fox, one of the government's most experienced and respected comms leaders, has left the public sector and started a new job this week as director of media, PR and artists at WWF-UK.

Prince Andrew's former PR man joins Finsbury after 'amicable split'

Prince Andrew's former PR man joins Finsbury after 'amicable split'

Jason Stein, the PR professional who advised against Prince Andrew's BBC Newsnight interview, has joined Finsbury. Stein previously worked for Amber Rudd, the sister of Finsbury founder Roland.

Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson loses political secretary to Lodestone

Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson loses political secretary to Lodestone

Political strategy and corporate comms agency Lodestone has hired Tom Watson's former political secretary Jo Dalton.