Julia Hobsbawm

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Julia Hobsbawm is a public relations operative with very close New Labour Links. She is also a regular defender of the PR industry and has been appointed a Visiting Professor of Public Relations at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts (formerly the London College of Printing), at which Dennis Stevenson is the Chancellor.

She was a partner in Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications with Sarah Macaulay, now known as Sarah Brown, the wife of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown. The firm went into receivership in 2004. Hobsbawm's next venture was a new grouping called Editorial Intelligence

New labour links

Hobsbawm cites the description of her as the 'networker's networker' on her own website. Her links with the New Labour project are deep.

She is an alumni of the Atlanticist British American Project annd close to the Labour Industry Forum, about which she notes:

Robin {Cook} was particularly loyal to a mutual friend of ours, the late Gerald Frankel, a businessman who founded the influential Labour Industry Forum. When Gerald lost a power struggle with ministers and advisers who wanted to take it over (he resisted strongly but failing health forced him eventually), Robin continued to invite him to smart dinners during his time as foreign secretary. Gerald always said that Robin was a cut above the rest.

HMC networking

John Kampfner records the role of HMC in the 'launching' of Michael Bloomberg, thebillionaire, socialite and future Mayor of New York:

taking a characteristically pragmatic approach, Bloomberg hired a modish public-relations outfit to set up his own private party network. Julia Hobsbawm's HMC offered a sort of bespoke introduction service to the city's elite, organizing a series of discreet, informal dinners with social tastemakers like newspaper baron Conrad Black (now Lord Black of Crossharbour to you) and his wife, the conservative commentator [[Barbara Amiel], through to the influential art dealer Jay Jopling.
"Mike wanted to be launched, and it was our job to introduce him, judiciously, to everyone who mattered," says one who works with Hobsbawm, whom the industry describes as having "one of the most envied little black books" in London. "He was unknown one minute -- and very hot the next."
The U.K. publication of Bloomberg's memoir proved the ideal social battering ram. With HMC vetting the guest lists for his launch party, Bloomberg invited the ubiquitous thriller writer Ken Follett, along with some Fleet Street editors Hobsbawm, daughter of the left-wing historian Eric Hobsbawm, plumped for. Ever the clever publicist, Hobsbawm then devised a longer-term strategy of raising the billionaire's profile by suggesting some tactical sponsorships of London's best-loved arts institutions.
One of her most successful dinners came that fall. With London in a state of shock shortly after the death of Princess Diana -- the organizations that she had supported felt particularly bereft -- an American mogul on the make seemed like the ideal savior. Julia Peyton-Jones, director of the Serpentine Gallery, an avant-garde art dealer located in the glorious middle of Hyde Park, was intrigued to receive an invitation to a Bloomberg soirée at Sir Terence Conran's Bluebird restaurant. Curiosity turned into delight when she found herself seated next to the host.
"I found him absolutely hilarious and extremely endearing," Peyton-Jones says. "He was completely irreverent and talked about the arts in a very straightforward way."
Flattered by his interest, Peyton-Jones did a most un-English thing: She screwed up her courage and asked him for money directly. The check Bloomberg wrote for £250,000 got him a seat on the Serpentine's board alongside one of the city's social lions, Lord Jacob Rothschild. "He missed very few meetings," says Peyton-Jones. "His dedication was remarkable."

In August 2005 she noted that her services were being retained by design consultancy Pentagram:

Recently I've been lining up independent-minded people to take part in a debate hosted by the design consultancy Pentagram. Called "Will design ever be better understood?", it will take place at the London Design Festival in September. I've had a nice time twiddling my pencil, thinking up cool and clever people to take part. The chair will be Peter York (who is quite possibly the coolest person in the universe), and he will be joined on the panel by Julia Peyton-Jones, curator of the Serpentine Gallery; Gwyn Miles, who runs major architectural projects for the V&A; and the designer Daniel Weil, who, like all Pentagram partners, has an industrial-sized creative brain.



Vincent Graff 'How to handle the truth: PR Industry Julia Hobsbawm, the prominent publicist, has emerged from a difficult year with a plan to end the war between journalism and PR. Vincent Graff asks how she can reconcile the project with her part in David Blunkett's downfall'The Guardian, Monday November 7 2005 [3]