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Posted on Fri 4th Oct, 2013 in: Influence, Public Relations by Phil Reed

For as long as we've been running the Aberfield PR Influencer of the Week award, no-one has been handed our virtual gong more than once. Until now. A week ago, Ed Miliband's performance at the Labour Party conference saw him get our (ahem) coveted award. And we make no apologies for handing him another. Anyone who thought he would quickly disappear from the top of the news agenda was mistaken. Even during the Tory conference this week, his policy announcement of a freeze in energy bills was still being talked about and overshadowed the Conservatives' planned welfare reforms. In David Cameron's speech, he included 26 mentions of Labour - a record during his time as Conservative leader, apparently. If that's not enough influence, we then had 'Ralph-gate'. Unless you've been on a raft in the mid-Atlantic for the past week, you'll know all about the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday's attacks on the Miliband family: the accusations against Ralph Miliband and the intrusion by two reporters at a family memorial service. It's forced the Mail into a public apology and led to the suspension of two MoS hacks. And Associated Newspapers proprietor Lord Rothermere has been brought into the row.


For almost every broadcast, print and online news outlet, it's been a great opportunity to stick the boot into the Mail and MoS (two newspapers that rival journos love to hate), but it's also brought back into the spotlight the whole issue of newspaper ethics. Political commentators are warning that the Mail's actions will increase the likelihood of the Privy Council rejecting the newspaper industry's proposals for self-regulation when it meets next week. That, in turn, increases the prospect of regulation being imposed on the industry. The second way in which Ed Miliband has exerted significant influence is in his own ratings as Labour leader. Less than a month ago, polls were showing Miliband's popularity at its lowest-ever rating. Thanks to his conference performance and public sympathy following the Mail's attack, the next polling results are likely to see a major shift in that sentiment. In the public's mind he has become more likeable - and electable. Unfortunately for the Labour leader, the General Election is 18 months away. The electorate's sympathy will have given way to a closer examination of his party's policies and promises. Whether he can win that particular battle remains to be seen. But that's for another day. Today, Mr Edward Samuel Miliband receives his second Aberfield Influencer of the Week award. Which undoubtedly will make his week. Right, let's grab a camera and go surprise him and his family with it!

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