News & what's on - Written by on Monday, February 29, 2016 6:40 - 0 Comments

The Mackay Award – Scholarship to study digital communications in overseas election campaigns

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Mackay-headerAnd now for something completely different.

For followers of this blog who are digitally savvy and politically engaged Hanover Communications have launched a scholarship programme to send one bright graduate a year to study digital communication techniques in overseas election campaigns to mark ten years since the premature death of Gregor Mackay.

The lucky winner could find themselves on the inside of a Donald Trump presidential campaign.  That would be something to write home about…

Entrants will be judged by George Osborne (yes the Chancellor of the Exchequer), Danny Finkelstein and Liam Fox.  A link to the application is here.

standard_resolution-t51.2885-15-e35-12822483_1778802062349150_1550786584_n-90x90Gregor was a founder of Hanover Communications and formerly the Press Secretary to William Hague, a previous Conservative Party leader.

It is a fitting tribute.

Gregor was a hugely talented man and a genuinely nice human being too.

Barry had the good fortune to meet and work with Gregor from 2003 on a matter together.  We had a lot of fun and today Barry continues to work with Hanover from time to time.

Called the Mackay Award, Charles Lewington (Hanover’s co-founder with Gregor) said “I am delighted that George Osborne, Danny Finkelstein and Liam Fox have agreed to be judges. All of them worked with Gregor when he was Press Secretary to William Hague. It would have amused Gregor no end that the first winner may well end up observing the Trump campaign but no less fascinating for that, followed by the French Presidential or German Federal next year.”

The formal press announcement reads:

“Hanover has launched the Mackay Award, a new programme providing an opportunity for the winning entrant to experience and understand the transformational impact that digital strategies are making on election campaigns globally.

The Mackay Award has been established in memory of Hanover’s founding partner Gregor Mackay, to mark the 10 year anniversary of his death.

Presented annually, the Mackay Award panel will award an individual in the early stages of their communications careers with a placement on an international election campaign.

The first Mackay Scholar will visit the United States to study the Presidential Election from inside the Republican campaign.

The judging panel will include Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne MP, former Defence Secretary Liam Fox MP and Times columnist Daniel Finkelstein, all of whom worked with Gregor in the Conservative Party between 1997 and 2000. Managing Director of Hanover Communications Charles Lewington, will chair the selection panel. The successful candidate will be announced in May.

On their return, the Mackay Scholar will be awarded a 12 week internship at Hanover, an independent consulting firm that specialises in corporate communications and public affairs. Their first assignment will be a report on the latest political campaigning techniques and their findings will be distributed to industry press and across Hanover’s digital channels.

Lewington said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for a hard-working and enthusiastic individual, with a passion for political campaigning and digital communications. Gregor was himself a gifted political communicator so this is a fitting way to remember his all-too-short life.’

Applicants must have no more than 1 year’s work experience and be available from mid July to end October 2016.

In 2017, future Mackay Scholars will be able to apply for a placement with either the Federal elections in Germany or Australia or the Presidential elections in France.

To apply please complete this application form on our website. Applications must be submitted by 17:00 Friday 8th April.”

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