Alex Aiken

Executive director

Government Communication Service

This year has been a defining one for Aiken, who has overseen a sea change in both the approach and culture under the new umbrella of the Government Communication Service (GCS). In January, he declared that the GCS would focus on strengthening the profession and integrating channels by "moving from press release by default to digital by default". In May, he unveiled plans to recruit more digital talent to the group, as well as a dedicated training and skills programme for existing employees. In a difficult political climate, the government increased its planned spend on communications for 2014/15 by 22% to £289m. It points to a stance that suggests Aiken’s strategy is more than just PR puffery.