A defining figure of modern political history, Alastair Campbell changed politics and campaigns forever when directing Tony Blair’s three general election wins. He now applies the lessons learned then, and since, to helping governments, parties, businesses, charities, sports teams and individuals to turn bold objectives into real strategies that work. Alastair Campbell is one of the godfathers of modern strategic communication. He also specializes in crisis management.
Described by Tony Blair in his memoir as “a genius,” Alastair Campbell is also the man Bill Clinton sent to NATO when the Kosovo war was going wrong. A former journalist, he was hired by Blair in 1994 and built the campaign and communications machine that led to a huge landslide for New Labour—a phrase coined by Alastair Campbell according to Blair—and became a model for modern political campaigning. At the heart of the approach was an understanding that the pace of media and technological change was shaping a new form of politics and the need for a new style of communications.
For over a decade, Blair dominated the political landscape in the UK, winning two landslides, and a third victory even after the Iraq war. Alastair Campbell was alongside throughout, and when he finally left under pressure from his family, the best-selling newspaper The Sun headlined the story, “Blair loses his brain.”
Alastair Campbell remains active in politics, working for several governments as a consultant, notably in the Balkans, and is also a globally acknowledged campaigner on mental health, using the skills honed in politics to change attitudes toward mental illness. This has been a passion since he overcame a psychotic breakdown in 1986, about which he has made an award-winning documentary.
Alastair Campbell has written eleven books, six volumes of diaries, including the bestseller “The Blair Years”, three novels on themes of mental health and a memoir on depression.
His latest book, to be published in February 2015 in the UK and in September in the U.S., is called Winners. Mixing his own experience of politics and interviews with a vast array of global leaders and winners in sport, business and politics—in that order—Alastair Campbell analyzes what it takes to win in the modern world, arguing that politics has much to learn from the best of business, and both have much to learn from the best of sport.
As a speaker, Alastair Campbell is lively, entertaining and hugely insightful about the past and the trends of the future.