Tony Blair's famous smile was on display for 200 guests from FE at a reception last week.
However, as a public relations exercise, I'm sad to report, it rather backfired, thanks to Downing Street and the Department for Education and Skills' organisation of the publicity.
The reception was a "private" affair. Reporters were kept away then issued with a bland press release of the PM's platitudes the following day.
Apparently the Association of Colleges wanted to arrange a photographer so the occasion could be promoted as a welcome morale-booster for colleges.
The civil servants, who had insisted on taking charge, gave the Press Association just two hours ' notice of the event.
Meanwhile, the AoC was told that it could take its own pictures outside Number 10, but their photographer was turned away at the gate.