Charlie Whelan, Brown's ex-spin doctor, now keeps up an interesting column in PR Week. Last week Whelan talked of how Blair changed the rules for political PR. The key innovations being media monitoring and image management; the lack of openness Whelan argues gave Labour the moniker of 'party of spin'.
This week, Whelan speculates on how Brown will use the modern tools of political PR. He makes the interesting point that presentation gaffes are a good way for Brown to differentiate himself from the polished style of Blair; such as hiding behind the autocue (pictured). So perhaps a middle road between Blair and Prescott is appropriate? But key for Whelan will be the feminisation of his communication strategy. While Damian McBride will no doubt be his official spokesperson, in the background the influential advisers will be Sue Nye, currently his political secretary and wife of BBC Chairman Gavyn Davies, but also Sarah his wife. As former head of Hobsbawm Macauley she is no stranger to giving image advice.
Whelan's bottom line is that this will provide the 'butch' Gordon with a softer side, one that shows compassion, and will appeal more to the female voter. While PR will remain central, Whelan's observations suggest the PR should be less obvious and may focus more on performance character than message control.
Meanwhile, Blair hints at his future role: envoy for the traditional English cup of tea -you read it here first (unless you read the BBC News site as well of course)