Wednesday 7 August 2013

Toe-curling: GDS PR Blitz

The launch of the Government Digital Service's PR campaign on the BBC and in the Guardian was noted here three weeks ago on 14 June 2013.

Last week a new front was opened up in the Times newspaper with an opinion piece by Rachel Sylvester, Geeks in jeans are the Treasury’s new heroes. Are they geeks? Are they in jeans? Are they the Treasury's new heroes? Precisely what have GDS achieved so far? What is the outlook for all their outstanding projects? Ms Sylvester left her readers none the wiser.

Yesterday, again in the Times, the PR campaign went out of control. Laura Pitel wrote Jordan Hatch: boy wonder civil servant with a plan to save £4m:
He has no university degree, no A levels and wears cargo pants to work. Meet the teenage civil servant who is going to save you £4 million ... Jordan Hatch is the poster boy of the Government’s digital revamp ... Bringing a 17-year-old on to the team was seen as the embodiment of a new, more adventurous way of thinking ... the lack of formal qualifications betrays [?] a talent for IT that began when he was barely out of nappies ... Baroness Lane Fox of Soho, recently secured him a role as young digital adviser to the European Commission ...
This ruthless exploitation of Mr Hatch extends all the way to Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the home civil service, and it smacks of desperation:

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