City & Corporate: WS wins built asset account

EC Harris selects Weber Shandwick to handle major expansion plans.

Built asset consultancy EC Harris has called in its first corporate comms agency as it plots 'ambitious growth'.

Weber Shandwick's London team has been awarded the corporate account after a four-way pitch.

The agency will be responsible for maintaining and expanding EC Harris' relationship with the business media as part of its brief. It will also develop a series of research-led thought leadership programmes that will aim to demonstrate EC Harris' experience in the built asset consultancy space in the UK and internationally.

EC Harris has 46 wholly owned offices in 24 countries, employing 3,400 people.

The firm rebranded in 2008 to become a built asset consultancy, advising on the strategic planning, creation and operation of property, infrastructure and related assets.

The win sees Weber Shandwick add to its expanding portfolio of property clients, which range from construction to development to consultancy.

The WS team will report to Andy Rowlands, the newly appointed group PR manager at EC Harris. Rowlands joined last month from Burson-Marsteller, where he was a director in the corporate, issues and technology division.

Rowlands said: 'We have ambitious plans for growth over the coming years, and enhancing our brand and reputation among key audiences is absolutely critical to this expansion.

'In choosing a corporate PR agency, we wanted a team that demonstrated an understanding and passion for our vision to be the leading international built asset consultancy, as well as providing great ideas, sound strategy and a track record of delivery.'

The account will be jointly headed by Weber Shandwick co-head of financial services Alex Brown and chairman of the corporate practice Jon McLeod. Associate director Bronwyn Daly, account manager Hannah Marwood and account executive Beth Laffin will also work on the account.

Brown said: 'EC Harris is leading the industry into a new way of thinking about property and represents an expansion of our property skills and knowledge, and a chance to spearhead a new movement within the property industry.'

EC Harris also works with Fleishman-Hillard in the Far East and Golley Slater for trade and business-to-business PR work in the UK.

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