English Heritage picks Direct PR

English Heritage has appointed London-based agency Direct Public Relations to develop PR campaigns for its public affairs and marketing departments.

English Heritage has appointed London-based agency Direct Public

Relations to develop PR campaigns for its public affairs and marketing

departments.



Direct PR will receive pounds 350,000 in fees over three years to raise

awareness of English Heritage’s annual programme of events at its

properties, such as historical re-enactments. The agency will also work

on an ad hoc basis on English Heritage’s training, education and

publications initiatives.



The agency was appointed after the account went out to European

tender.



It pitched against McCann-Erickson PR for the business. An English

Heritage spokeswoman said: ’Direct PR was appointed for its experience

in travel and tourism and its experience of working with heritage

organisations generally.’



Current Direct PR clients include Stena Line, the Direct Travel Group

and the Country Landowners’ Association.



English Heritage organises some 600 events each year which are attended

by both members and the general public. Its highlight event this year is

a re-enactment festival taking place at Kirby Hall in Northamptonshire

called History in Action.



English Heritage is the statutory adviser to Chris Smith, Secretary of

State for Culture, Media and Sport, on listing and heritage matters. It

manages over 400 historic properties and distributes around pounds 40

million annually in grants. It receives some pounds 105 million from the

public purse.



It is currently undergoing widespread changes as it attempts to update

its image to have more relevance in modern, urbanised culture. English

Heritage is in the process of regionalising its structure and

repositioning itself as a planning watchdog on top of its role as a

regenerator of historic buildings.



The body recently faced criticism from Alan Clark, the historian and MP

for Kensington and Chelsea, after describing his home, Saltwood Castle

in Kent, as in urgent need of attention. However, English Heritage is

making pounds 5 million in grants available to owners of listed

buildings in danger of decay.



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