M&S assigns PR minders to all its board executives

Marks and Spencer is to assign each of its board executives a specific PR minder as part of the retailer’s latest bid to open up the company to the press and public.

Marks and Spencer is to assign each of its board executives a

specific PR minder as part of the retailer’s latest bid to open up the

company to the press and public.



The move is aimed at improving communication channels between the

decision-making executives and the media. It had been developed

following a programme of media training aimed at improving media

awareness within the company.



Jane Lowe, head of corporate press, said the plan was part of a shift

within M&S to a more proactive PR footing and a greater understanding of

the media agenda. It represents a move from the reactive policy which

previously relied on a more low-key corporate press office. She said:

’This is not about blocking; it is very much about going out and giving

all the help we can.’



The communications executives will continue to report to Clara Freeman,

the executive director whose responsibilities include corporate affairs

and human resources.



However, the change in company policy, which has still not been

finalised, will inevitably mean the development of a closer relationship

between the board and the PR department.



The news comes in the wake of other changes in the company’s PR

strategy, which have seen the retailer bring in its first PROs from

outside the company (PR Week, 22 October).



Lowe believes the blend of internal and external expertise will allow

the PR department to reduce its reliance on its corporate PR agency,

Brunswick, although Lowe insisted this did not mean the relationship

would be discontinued.



Leader, p8.



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