May 17, 2019 / by Alister Houghton

Here’s a round-up of PR news from the past week, including David Beckham’s new marketing team, Havas’s new structure and big wins for Fever, Taylor Herring and Mc&T.


CisionMeets… Yahoo Finance UK

Lianna Brinded, head of Yahoo Finance UK

Lianna Brinded


PR professionals are crucial to informing journalists about sources or interviewees they may never have considered, head of Yahoo Finance UK Lianna Brinded explained at Cision’s latest media briefing.

Describing her relationship with comms professionals, she said that she understands that communicators have a tough role and so tries to give feedback on every pitch she receives, although this can sometimes be difficult due to the volume of emails received.

You can read the full write-up here.


Algorithms and augmentation: the future of earned media measurement

Machines will help communicators, not replace them

Pictured (l-r): Timo Thomann-Rompf, Johna Burke and moderator Scott Newton


Comms professionals should embrace new AI and machine learning technology, rather than fearing it will take their jobs, AMEC global MD Johna Burke argued in Cision’s latest webinar.

She looked to assuage any PR professionals who are worried by any imminent disruption by AI, stating that human critical thinking isn’t likely to be replaced by automation anytime soon.

She was joined by Cision Insights COO Timo Thomann-Rompf, who agreed that fears over the impact of AI in earned media measurement were currently unfounded.

The pair went on to discuss examples of how new technology was aiding industry professionals, how PRs can keep up with technological advances and warned that matching PR goals to organisational objectives is still a necessity in the industry, no matter how much help new innovations provide.

You can read the full write-up here.



60 Seconds with Talker Tailor Trouble Maker's Gary Wheeldon and Steve Strickland

Gary Wheeldon (left) and Steve Strickland


Gary Wheeldon and Steve Strickland, co-founders of Talker Tailor Trouble Makertalk about the business’s third birthday, how it’s different to other agencies and why AVEs are average.

Jane Austin, founder of Persuasion Communicationsdiscusses what made her found her own agency, its content-based approach and her thoughts on this year’s Cannes Lions.



Ben Cossor, account director at The PHA Grouppresents his tips on how fintech start-ups can grow their profile.


People news

Following his separation from former business partners XIX Entertainment, David Beckham has appointed a new brand and commercial team. The hires include the appointment of Isabel May as CMO to oversee marketing and comms, Bella Blenkinsopp as communications manager to handle day-to-day PR and Josef Kaplicky as content manager, responsible for all social content.

Foco has appointed former Global radio presenter Andrea Bruce as an account director. Bruce will lead the agency’s podcast offering.


Andrea Bruce


PR and social agency WPR has looked to enhance its paid search capabilities with three new hires. Emma Nicholls joins as paid director, Joe Bennett becomes paid manager and Josh Houghton is appointed search marketing manager.

Bubble Agency has made three new appointments. The company has hired Steven De Waal as a senior account executive, Amisa Saari-Stout as an account executive and Tiffany Hutt as a sales support executive.

Milk & Honey has promoted client directors Caroline Addy and Jessica Ballinger to its board.


Jessica Ballinger (left) and Caroline Addy


Account wins


Games publisher 2K has appointed Fever to launch Borderlands 3. The agency will manage an integrated PR, social and influencer campaign ahead of its launch in September.

Siemens PLC has appointed Launch to support its investment as a partner at The Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019. The agency will position Siemens as a leader and innovator in digitalisation, manufacturing and sustainable energy, using an integrated thought-leadership and content curation campaign, targeting both B2B and B2C audiences.

Private-hire vehicle service Kapten has retained Taylor Herring to promote it in London. The agency will deliver an integrated campaign for Kapten as it looks to disrupt the likes of Uber.

Swedish cider brand Kopparberg has handed its retained PR accounts to Mc&T. The agency will encompass the brand’s consumer and trade press office, as well as working on summer campaigns and new product announcements on a permanent basis, after it recently helped Kopparberg launch its new Premium Pink Gin.



London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s official promotional agency, has appointed strategic comms consultancy Alfred to promote the city’s cultural offering through a content and paid social campaign.

Smart heating start-up Koleda has hired Context Public Relations to enact a media relations campaign around its new SOLUS+ smart heater.

Celebrity makeup artist Bryony Blake has selected Kilpatrick PR to represent her. The agency will work with Blake on all her commercial, non-commercial and presenting partnerships.

TPR Media has been commissioned to handle PR for two spring events. The agency will support the Great Exhibition Road Festival, a festival of art, science and culture, while also handling promotion for the cinema release of Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudol, a documentary about the landscape gardener.



Menswear brand Niccolò P has appointed Lou Cannon PR to handle its PR activity.

Text-to-speech firm CereProc has selected Firefly Communications as its UK PR agency. The brief focuses on media relations, social campaigns and an awards programme for the brand.

Sugar PR has been hired to promote the Manchester leg of AC Hotels by Marriott’s ‘AC Unpacked: A Conversation’ event series at the AC Hotel, Marriott Manchester.


Agency news

Havas Group has created Red Havas, a network combining its global PR and social agencies. The move is designed to allow the agency to work in a more integrated way across the marketing mix, using what it calls the “merged media” model. As well as rebranding its Manchester and Edinburgh offices, the company has also launched a third UK office in London.

Marcomms group MSQ Partners – which includes PR agency Smarts Communicate – has received investment from private equity firm LDC, alongside its senior managers, valuing the business at £37.5m. The deal marks an exit for NVM Private Equity, which had been an investor since July 2014.

Hotwire is set to merge Australian sister agency Precinct into the business, with Precinct becoming part of the Hotwire brand from 1 July. Precinct managing director Jaime Nelson will become managing director, strategy and marketing services for Hotwire Australia.

Huntsworth Health has formed a strategic alliance with China-based healthcare medical and marketing agency Consultech.  The agreement will see the two companies collaborating to drive strategic medical and marketing communications for clients in Chinese market.

Issa PR founder Viet N’Guyen has launched new brand marketing agency Subculture. The new agency will be a subsidiary of Issa PR and work with UK and US clients at the intersection of art, culture, music, fashion and sports.


PRCA news

The PRCA has launched its 2019 PR and Communications Census. The report examines all aspects of the industry, with key findings including an increased use of evaluation in the industry. However, the sector has made very little progress on improving diversity or dealing with mental health issues. The full report can be found here.

The trade association has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the PRHK, the body representing PR and comms practitioners in Hong Kong. The three year memorandum gives members reciprocal right to attends each other’s events at members rates, will see the two associations collaborate on event creation and means both sides will not extend territorial coverage to include areas serviced by the other organisation.

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About Alister Houghton

Alister Houghton is UK Content Marketing Manager at Cision, writing and commissioning thought leadership, interviews and opinion pieces covering the earned media, marketing and journalism spheres. As well as working in a variety of roles across the business, he has previously managed media and web content for the British American Football Association.