When Northern Electric’s PR unit, including senior PROs with 20 or
more years of company experience, was told it was to be dissolved in a
cost-cutting purge, the letter also informed staff about possible
These included learning the arts of meter-reading, door-to-door gas
sales, and tree-trimming, for when errant branches attack the firm’s
overhead power lines.
Former corporate affairs director David Faulkner, gonged last week with
an OBE, was offered a post in human resources in the HQ of its US parent
company in Iowa. The lifelong Newcastle United fan and season ticket
holder politely declined, leaving the company in December.
Faulkner’s deputy, Andrew Horne, who is taking the firm to an industrial
tribunal, was tempted to stay with a sought-after post at the firm’s
Gateshead call centre.
PR Week understands no such offer was made to remaining PRO Julian
Kenyon, who is confident he can run the 24/7 operation single-handed.
Only time will tell.