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WPP partners with leading Schools of Government

29 September, 2014

WPP to partner with the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

WPP today announces partnerships with two of the leading global schools of government to train public sector leaders in integrated communications. The aim is to equip future government leaders to use the latest communications theory and practice to deliver public policy effectively.  

In collaboration with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, WPP will deliver an Executive Education course in Singapore in October 2014. The participants are experienced civil servants from Singapore. WPP leaders will teach alongside highly experienced Lee Kuan Yew School faculty.

In December 2014, WPP will teach a module on Communications for Public Policy as part of the Masters in Public Policy Course at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. The participants are future leaders from 45 countries.

The WPP Faculty draws on thought leaders from a range of communications disciplines in the UK, Singapore and other markets.  It includes Dr Michelle Harrison, CEO, Government & Public Sector Practice; Marco Rimini, CEO, Mindshare Worldwide and Hari Ramanathan, Chief Strategy Officer, Y&R Asia.

Reflecting the growing importance of behavioral approaches in public policy, the courses focus on the use of communications for long-term behavior change.  Students will have the opportunity to put what they have learned into practice by working on a live brief in a WPP agency.   

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, said: “Effective communication is key to making policies work. We want to put the tools developed by the world’s best marketers into the hands of civil servants, to help them meet the challenges of 21st century government.”

Dr Michelle Harrison, CEO of WPP’s Government & Public Sector Practice, said: “We are so proud to build on WPP agencies’ decades of work with governments worldwide by helping to educate the next generation of leaders. These partnerships with some of the world’s most prestigious institutions demonstrate the importance of insight, creativity and human understanding to effective government.”

Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, explained: "This partnership provides an exceptional opportunity for our students to learn from the private sector about how they innovate and use technology and behavioral science to communicate effectively with consumers and citizens."

Donald Low, Associate Dean (Research and Executive Education) of LKY School said:   “Governments around the world are beginning to incorporate behavioral insights in the design and communication of public policy. Some are taking a more experimental, evidence-based approach to policies aimed at bringing about behavioral change. The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy is excited about what the partnership with WPP would bring in terms of the latest thinking in behavioral insights for policy communications.”

Media Contacts:

Chris Wade, WPP
+ 44(0) 207 408 2204

Belinda Rabano, WPP Asia Pacific   
+86 10 8520 3066

Blavatnik School of Government
Alison Stibbe
+44 (0)7768 335996

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
Louise Beehag
+ (65) 65166192

About the Government & Public Sector Practice at WPP
WPP helps governments to achieve their public missions by communicating effectively. Launched in April 2014, the Government & Public Sector Practice brings together our best thinking and expertise for policymakers and communicators in national and local government, public institutions and international organisations.

About WPP
WPP is the world’s largest communications services group with billings in 2013 of US$72.3 billion and revenues of US$17.3 billion.  Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs over 179,000 people (including associates) in over 3,000 offices across 111 countries.  For more information, visit

WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the fourth year running. WPP was also named, for the third consecutive year, the World's Most Effective Holding Company in the 2014 Effie Effectiveness Index, which recognizes the effectiveness of marketing communications.

About the Blavatnik School of Government
The Blavatnik School of Government is a global school pursuing a vision of better government, stronger societies and richer human opportunities across the world. Founded at the University of Oxford in 2010, the School was made possible through a £75 million donation to Oxford by American philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik. The School offers a distinctive global approach to public policy, within a rich, multi-disciplinary curriculum delivered by world-class faculty. Programmes of study include a full time one-year Master of Public Policy, a full-time three-year doctorate in Public policy and a range of short courses on different specialist topics for leaders in government, business and non-profit sectors.

About the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy is an autonomous, professional graduate school of the National University of Singapore. NUS is ranked 22nd in the World and 1st in Asia. The School’s mission is to educate and train policy-makers and leaders in order to raise the standards of governance throughout our region, improve lives and, in so doing, contribute to the transformation of Asia and beyond. In addition to four masters and one PhD programme, LKY School offers high quality customised Executive Programmes that cater to the needs of time-constrained senior managers and professionals. Our executive programmes aim to deliver creative solutions to real management and leadership challenges. To date the School has trained over 13,000 people from over 80 countries through masters and executive education programmes.

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