The Iron Brand

Reference work entry

Nicholas J. Cull assesses the impact of Margaret Thatcher as an international communicator.

Margaret Thatcher’s tenure as Prime Minister was a milestone in the evolution of political communication in Britain. Unlike her predecessors, she was closely tutored to make the best of television. She worked closely with leading lights in the British advertising industry to develop a string of potent messages for the 1979 general election. Her press secretary was an essential member of her team. Her advisers believed in the necessity to control messages and this was never as clear as during the 1982 Falklands/Malvinas war when the British government was able to limit reporting and thereby establish a model of media control. The United States adopted the model for its operations in Grenada, Panama and the first Gulf War. Thatcher’s government worked equally hard to control the news from Northern Ireland. Thatcher understood terrorism as a form of communication and (borrowing a metaphor from the...


  1. Cull, Nicholas J., ‘The Iron Brand: Margaret Thatcher and public diplomacy’ in Place Branding and Public Diplomacy (volume 9, Issue 2). Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.Google Scholar

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