THURSDAY 11 DEC 2014 2:28 PM


The relationship between business and government is more complex and interwoven than ever before due to the layers of regional, national and international government. Businesses must deal with regulations, decision makers and interests with Westminster, as well as with the EU in Brussels and/or regional parliaments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Stormont.

The Public Affairs Awards were launched this year to recognise those agencies, organisations and companies that most effectively engage with public-sector stakeholders. The inaugural awards were distributed on Tuesday night at a London ceremony presented by Sky News’ chief political correspondent Jon Craig.

The travel and tourism sector saw a lot of activity, and recognition, last year for its efforts in lobbying and public affairs. Campaigning against the HS2 high-speed link won two awards for Insight Public Affairs for its work with in the Camden area. The Airport Operators Association’s public affairs and PR manager, Tim Alderslade was named best in-house professional of the year.

Pimlico Plumbers won for its apprenticeship programmes which have decreased the number of unemployed youth in south London through apprenticeship schemes in the local community over the past three years. On the agency side, Fishburn was named consultancy of the year and its senior consultant Rachel Barrett took home the ‘Consultant of the year’ award.

The awards were sponsored in part by the PRCA, GovKnow and Zetter’s Political Services. PRCA public affairs group chair and MD of Zetter's Political Lionel Zetter says the awards honour the best in public affairs communications, an area that had been neglected by more mainstream PR awards in the past. The trio is already looking ahead to the 2015 edition of the programme with Zetter adding, "The volume and quality of the entries clearly demonstrated the great public affairs work which is being undertaken throughout the UK – and in Brussels. This made the judging process harder, but I look forward to the task of choosing the winners being even tougher next year.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

Outstanding Contribution

Gill Morris, chief executive, Connect Communications

In-house professional of the year

Airport Operators Association: Tim Alderslade

In-house team of the year

R3: New ways of working in R3’s public affairs team: our most successful year yet

Corporate campaign of the year

Pimlico Plumbers

Trade body campaign of the year

UK Active

Voluntary sector campaign of the year

MS Society: ‘Treat Me Right'

Public sector campaign of the year

Insight Public Affairs: Keeping Business Alive in Camden: Scrapping the HS2 Link

Consultancy of the year


Consultant of the year

Rachel Barrett, senior consultant, Fishburn

Consultancy campaign of the year

Insight Public Affairs: Securing Camden’s Future: Ditch the HS2 Link

Best in-house agency collaboration

Freshwater and the League Against Cruel Sports: ‘What The Fox?’ 

Best campaign in Scotland

Pagoda Public Relations: McCarthy & Stone

Best campaign in Wales

Positif Politics: Dot Cymru Domain Names

Best campaign in Northern Ireland

Aiken PR: 'Make Life your Legacy’ 

Best campaign in the EU

Cancer Research UK: 'Revising the Tobacco Products Directive’