PR News in Brief

The end-of-year PR news round-up (11 December 2017 – 5 January 2018)

Catch up on the essential news, events and thought leadership you may have missed over the festive period with this end-of-year PR news round-up.

Thought leadership

Ketchum’s Stephen Waddington gave his top predictions for PR in 2018 in last year’s final Cision webinar. Click here now to see why he believes it will be a breakthrough year for PR.

Influencer marketing was one of 2017’s biggest success stories. Click here to see how Erin Deering used influencers to build a £34 million swimwear empire – and how you could use them to grow your business in 2018 and beyond.

Agency news

Good Relations has launched a publicist shop called Newsfeed PR. Liam Maguire, the ex-journalist and former Good Relations head of news, will lead the initiative. It will operate as an independent sister agency and sit within the VCCP Partnership.

W Communications has acquired a minority stake in Facets PR, a specialist jewellery comms agency. The move is part of an ambitious growth strategy that saw the firm buy House last autumn and launch W North through its purchase of Glue PR in March.

Hotwire has launched an energy, environment and sustainability practice. The global energy team includes specialists in strategic communications, messaging, PR, brand, design, social media and public affairs.

Hanover has unveiled a new leadership team for its public affairs team in London. Katie Blower has replaced Laura Swire as managing director. Rosie Luff and Daniel Gilbert have also been promoted to join Rhoda Macdonald as directors.

Claire Ayles and Mike King have launched Eleven Hundred Agency, a PR and content creation company. The boutique agency aims to offer integrated services to high growth tech brands to plug gaps left by the traditional PR agency model.

Flo Powell and Alex Hankinson have purchased Midnight Communications from founder Caraline Brown. Brown has also sold the company’s events arm to The Platinum Group.

Account wins

The comms industry rounded off 2017 with a flurry of PR account wins from Frank PR, Newgate, Hudson Sandler and many more. Click here for the full end-of-year breakdown.


The agencies competing in the Creative Shootout 2018 live final will be BottleClarion CommsFrankIgnisMischiefPretty GreenShape HistoryTalker Tailor Trouble Maker and Text100. It will be held at BAFTA later this month (Thursday 25 January).

People news

FTI Consulting has promoted Giles Barrie, Alex Deane, Christine DiBartolo, Myron Marlin and Robert Skeffington. They are now all senior managing directors within its strategic comms division.

M&C Saatchi PR has promoted agency co-founder Chris Hides to global managing director and hired Davnet Doran as its new UK managing director.

MHP Communications has promoted Rachel Rowson to the newly created role of head of health innovation. Kate Pogson will take on Rowson’s previous role as head of MHP’s health practice.

Little Red Rooster has appointed Alison Payne as a senior PR consultant. Louise Emptage, Sam New and Jessica Alley have joined the firm as PR consultants. It has also welcomed Alice Harfleet and Devon Cairns as junior PR consultants.

FleishmanHillard’s Sophie Scott has been promoted to global managing director, technology. She was previously the managing director of technology and strategy for the UK and EMEA.

Higginson PR has hired Sian Sutherland as its associate head of brand. Sutherland was named the CIPR’s Female Marketer of the Year in 2014 and was the 2008 BFI British Inventor of the Year.

Katy Stolliday has joined Brands2Life as deputy MD, consumer. She joins the firm from Unity, where she had been a board director since 2013.

Substance Global has appointed Olivia Gourlay as its commercial director. She joins the agency from Zero Degrees West and has 15 years’ experience in PR.

Network Rail has appointed Caroline Murdoch as group communications director. She will join from the National Crime Agency on 26 February and will sit on the rail owner’s executive board.

WE has hired Catherine Devaney as head of healthcare and vice president, UK. Devaney will build out WE’s health comms capabilities while growing the client base across pharma, med-tech and consumer health.

Sue Anstiss, CEO of Promote PR, has been awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List for her services to grassroots and women’s sport.

Adrian Bull, external relations director at the National Nuclear Library, has been awarded an MBE for his work on the development of public understanding in nuclear research.

Communications consultancy MRM has promoted senior consultant Nick Paler to head of investment news and content and Charlotte Massey to consultant.

Tonic Communications has appointed Paul Simpson as account director. He will work across a variety of accounts, including National Pizza Day, Rosa’s Thai Cafe and Peter Gordon’s The Providores and Tapa Room.

Natalie Hilton has joined BIG Partnership as a senior account manager in its Aberdeen office. She will work with clients such as Stewart Milne Group, KPMG, Oil and Gas Innovation Centre and Stronachs.

HROC has hired Sophie Moss as media and planning account manager and Amhan Kaur as an account executive following a number of business wins and client growth.

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