Stephen Jolly

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Stephen Jolly was UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) director of communications from December 2012 until June 2015. He left this role to take a research assignment as a senior research fellow in Military Information Operations at the Defence Academy on behalf of the MoD.

Before working for the MoD Jolly was Cambridge University's director of external affairs and communications and held an academic appointment at the Judge Business School. At Clare College, he served on the College Development and Art Committees.

Jolly left the Defence Academy in June 2016 to join M&C Saatchi as a director the following month according to MOD business appointments disclosures. He is subject to a 2-year lobbying ban.

Education background

Jolly has 'a First in English from Christ's College, Cambridge (1980-84) and a Master's in Linguistic Science from the University of Sussex (1986-87). He has held Fellowships at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (1987-88)'[1]


According to the account given on his own website in 2002:

He began his career at a major US advertising agency where he worked on high-profile accounts such as Proctor & Gamble, Kellogg and Nestle before switching to PR in the mid-1980s.

His early years in the industry were spent as a political lobbyist and as a research assistant in the House of Lords. He went from there to hold senior international positions with Coopers & Lybrand, HSBC Holdings, and Japanese investment bank Nomura International. At Nomura, he worked with Guy Hands' Principal Finance team (now Terra Firma Capital) to publicise US$15 billion of acquisitions over a period of less than four years. It was in this capacity that he was described as "one of the leading lights in the UK industry" (PR Week, 1999).

Since the beginning of 2000, Stephen has acted as an independent corporate adviser providing specialist communications counsel to senior management.

Clients have included Luxembourg-based Clearstream International, the world's largest clearing and settlement house, where he provided issues/crisis management and corporate positioning services; Venturedome, Europe's leading venture capital portal; OneSwoop, the pioneer internet car retailer; and most recently, Regus, the world's largest provider of serviced offices, where Stephen acts as Group Communications Adviser and oversees public relations and investor relations across more than 50 countries.

Stephen is a Non-Executive Director of Tim Pendry PR, a specialist public affairs and communications adviser in European-Arab relations (, and is a consultant to Jaffe Associates, the US professional services marketing agency ([2]


Visiting Fellow in Psychological Warfare, International Centre for Security Analysis(ICSA) King's College London 1999-2001[3][1]

Psyops role

According to Jolly he 'trained as a special operations reservist/officer cadet with 15 (UK) Information Support Group, the UK military's tri-service psychological operations unit. As a result, between 1999-2001, he held a Visiting Fellowship in Psychological Warfare at the International Centre for Security Analysis, King's College London. It was in this capacity that he was commissioned by the International Public Relations Association to write the 2000 Mardin Essay on Psychological Warfare and Public Relations.'[4]

A recent biographical notes that Jolly 'was formerly an instructor on the Military Information Support Operations Course at the UK's Defence Intelligence & Security School, Chicksands (1997-2001).'[5]

Publications and press attention


  • Mardin Essay on "Psychological Warfare and Public Relations", Frontline 21, 22/4: 22-30 (October/November 2000).
  • "Crimes of Coercive Persuasion: Rectification under the Khmer Rouge", Falling Leaf: The Journal of the Psywar Society, 173: 52-55 (July 2001)
  • "Ungentlemanly Warfare: A Reassessment of British Black Propaganda Operations 1941-1945", Falling Leaf: The Journal of the Psywar Society, 171: 148-156; 172: 23-37 (January - April 2001)
  • "From SOB to I/OPs: The Unwritten History of British Black Propaganda 1947-97", Falling Leaf: The Journal of the Psywar Society, 171: 130-134 (January 2001)
  • 'Wearing the Stag's Head Badge: British Combat Propaganda since 1945', Falling Leaf: The Journal of the Psywar Society, 170: 86-89 (October 2000)
  • "Morale Operations: The Cinderella of Covert Propaganda Operations?", Falling Leaf: The Journal of the Psywar Society, 170: 114-116 (October 2000)
  • "Understanding Body Language: Birdwhistell's Theory of Kinesics", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 5/3: 133-139 (September 2000)
  • "Delmer's Maxims of Subversion: British Black Propaganda Techniques in WW2", Falling Leaf: The Journal of the Psywar Society, 169: 64-70 (July 2000)
  • "Text or Context: Östman's Theory of Persuasion", The Journal of Communication Management 4/2: 159-163 (November 1999)
  • "Corporate Advocacy in Public Affairs: Winning a Voice in the Marketplace of Ideas", International Public Relations Review 21/3: 10-13 (March 1999)
  • "Thomas Sheridan: Phonology and the Elocutionary Movement in England 1702-90", Speech and Drama: Journal of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama, 36/2: 29-56 (Autumn 1987)
  • "John Lyly and the Gorgianic Figures: The Rhetorical Foundation of Euphuism", Aspects: The Journal of the Language Society of the University of Sussex, 1/3: 19-31(May 1987)

Press attention 1996-2002

  • Jolly delivers mixed messages to IPR members PR Week, September 2002
  • IPR candidate stresses blue-chip experience PR Week, September 2002
  • Three candidates named for IPR presidency 2004 PR Week, September 2002
  • IPR presidency is worth fighting for PR Week, September 2002
  • Jolly champions need for change PR Week, July 2002
  • Something in the City Profile, June 2002
  • Moving places Financial Times, March 2002
  • Putting Something Back into PR MIPAA News, January 2002
  • Turnout in IPR presidential elections PR Week, November 2001
  • Who speaks for PR? Profile, October 2001
  • IPR presidency choice between young and old PR Week, October 2001
  • Jolly: IPR treasurer for 2001 Profile, November 2000
  • Jolly good fellow takes on a new challenge Birmingham Post, July 2000
  • Jolly quits top PR role at Nomura PR Week, October 1999
  • Flying high Financial News, November 1999
  • PR man to study art of deception Daily Telegraph, October 1999
  • A Week in the Markets Euroweek, October 1999
  • Jolly Spooky The Times, October 1999
  • IPR calls for action on global links IPR News, June 1999
  • Can international generalists beat local specialists at financial PR? PR Week, March 1999
  • Leading Iights of UK PR PR Week, January 1999
  • European role for Stephen Communiqué, Autumn 1997
  • Nomura appoint Stephen Jolly Public Affairs Newsletter, September 1996
  • Nomura appoints Jolly replacement for Kafka PR Week, March 1996[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Clare college, Cambridge Stephen Jolly Fellow, Judge Business School, Cambridge University Director of External Affairs & Communications, accessed 6 January 2011
  2. Stephen Jolly Track record, Retrieved from the Internet archive of 21 October 2002 on 6 January 2011
  3. Stephen Jolly, Visiting Fellow in Psychological Warfare, ICSA Wearing the Stag's Head Badge: British Combat Propaganda Since 1945 Falling Leaf: The Journal of the Psywar Society 172 (March 2001).
  4. Stephen Jolly Leader in the Profession, Retrieved from the Internet Archive of 12 October 2002 on 6 January 2011
  5. Clare college, Stephen Jolly, accessed 6 January 2011
  6. Compiled from archive versions of Jolly's website: