British Airways is looking to appoint a head of news, following the
resignation of Iain Burns to join Bell Pottinger Consultants. Burns is
moving at the end of June to work as a consultant on the seven-figure
global Emirates airlines account (PR Week, 17 March).
Burns has spent three and a half years at BA, overseeing a 13-strong
press team. Before that he was American Airlines’ UK PR manager for four
years, and PR manager at Manchester Airport for two years prior to
Burns’ deputy Beverly Coates is considered a likely successor, although
a handful of internal and external candidates are also being considered
by director of communications Simon Walker. If no successor is appointed
before Burns leaves, the newsdesk will come under the control of Coates
and deputy director of communications Nick Claydon.
The newsdesk is the reactive half of BA’s PR operation, responding to
65,000 media queries each year. Commercial and international PR are
headed by Jemma Moore, to whom the company’s global agency, GCI Group,
At Bell Pottinger, Burns will be one of four senior staff on the
Emirates account. The other three are: David Wilson, who joined from
Pfizer; Nicola McShane, who was PR manager at Thomson Travel and Fiona
O’Farrell, who comes from Talk Sport.