The exodus from television to corporate PR has claimed another scalp with Neil Waka taking up the role of Corporate Affairs Manager at Holden, where they apparently plan to use his extensive on-screen experience to assist corporate executives with their media training needs on both sides of the Tasman. Former Telstra Clear Head of Public Affairs Mathew Boland has crossed the fence to newcomer 2 Degrees, and word on the street is that Mercury Communications Manager Marie Hosking has accepted a corporate role with Air New Zealand. And long-time Coca Cola Amatil Communications manager Amy Driscoll has finally left the soft drinks giant but this time, not for maternity leave - having had baby number three, Amy is off to Kraft.
Hard on the heels of the announcement of John Redwood as Head of their new New Zealand office, Kreab Gavin Anderson has announced that Anna Friis (founding partner of Blast, which merged with The Presence to become Creo) is joining the Auckland office of the global public relations partnership as a Senior Adviser. Friis, a highly respected senior PR practitioner who left Creo 18 months ago to undertake some tertiary study, will continue her study interests while supporting the efforts of Redwood in his new challenge. Redwood says Anna’s extensive experience and broad network of business and media contacts would be a tremendous asset to the company.
Hard on the heels of last weeks announcement that Chris Mirams is leaving Telstra Clear, Head of Marketing and Corporate Affairs Mathew Boland has resigned and is on gardening leave - he is off to 2 degrees as Head of Corporate Affairs. Look for musical chair ramifications.
In a surprise announcement, Chairman of Star PR, Alan McDonald, has announced that founding Director Cedric Allan has resigned. Mr McDonald says the company is in excellent heart and has achieved record revenues and significant new business wins in the past quarter. He also says there are no immediate plans to replace Cedric, who we understand will be continuing to operate under his own mantle. The news comes as a shock to industry observers, given that Star PR was only launched four years ago. Mind you, it's not the first incarnation for Cedric, who previously founded Allan Baxter Fenwick, turned it into Allan Fenwick McCully, sold to Hill and Knowlton, started Phoenix, sold to PPR, started Allan Boyle and sold to Porter Novelli before founding Star PR initially with Malcolm Boyle. joined later by Alan McDonald and Jill Dryden.
And hard on the heels of Sue Foley's appointment as Corporate Affairs head at Westpac, former Media Relations Manager at Telstra, Chris Mirams, is to join Sue's team as Media Relations manager at the bank.
Confirming our earlier comment about the level of activity in the PR consultancy market, Australian public affairs consultancy Kreab and Gavin Anderson have appointed John Redwood (ex Creo and BBG) to head up their New Zealand office to open shortly after Easter. With a strong heritage in investor relations and financial PR, the new consultancy is likely to compete strongly in this market in New Zealand which some observers in the corporate world believe is seriously under-serviced at the moment.
Meanwhile the pr shop has announced that they are opening in Sydney next week to service their Trans Tasman clients. Directors Pippa Lekner and Sally Frewen opened the pr shop in 2005, specialising in consumer PR with clients in the food, beverage, retailing and not for profit sectors.
Their new Sydney consultants are Jane Stabler and Dana Edwards.
SPICE GIRLS SPLIT - AMICABLY
No, we're not talking Ginger, Posh, Baby, Scary and Sporty - we're talking Sarah Alexander Wilcox and her long time business partner Jackie Ellis (formerly Fairbairn) who have agreed to an amicable divorce. However there's a happy ending to the split - Spice Communications continues to exist in their new offices in the Textile Centre in Parnell under Jackie's leadership, and Sarah gets to go off to the Hawkes Bay where she has set up her new business PR ink , obviously drawn by the charms of her non-business partner, Labour List MP Stuart Nash.
Jackie Ellis confirms that in line with market trends, Spice has had an influx of new business calls already this year with projects that were put on hold by clients now being reignited. The revived interest in PR is apparently coming from brands and businesses in all sectors, corporate and consumer clients, still conscious of budgets and spending, but realising that now is the time to start building on their profiles and awareness using PR.