Rolls-Royce considers agency pitch in bid to boost corporate reputation

Rolls-Royce is poised to draft in external comms consultancies in a bid to restore its battered corporate reputation.

Engine failure: Rolls-Royce blamed for Qantas problems
Engine failure: Rolls-Royce blamed for Qantas problems

The British firm was criticised for the way it responded to the problems with its Trent 900 engine that forced the emergency landing of a Qantas plane in early November.

Since that incident, Rolls-Royce has been fighting to maintain faith in the corporate brand and saw its share price slide by around ten per cent after the incident.

It is understood that the firm is initialising talks with a number of agencies with international networks. The corporate PR brief will encompass numerous jurisdictions across Europe, including Central and Eastern Europe.

Civil aerospace is understood to be a crucial aspect of the brief, but the account is likely to be group-wide and includes its defence aerospace, marine, energy, nuclear and services divisions.

The company has built a heavyweight in-house team led by Peter Morgan, who joined towards the end of 2009 from his role as group director of comms for BT.

However, industry sources said Rolls-Royce was exploring beefing up its international corporate PR presence and has contacted a select number of agencies to pitch for the work in the New Year.

Rolls-Royce uses Brunswick for financial PR in the UK and it is not thought this brief encroaches on this.

It is understood the pitches will be led by the London offices of international PR consultancies, but UK work will not form part of the remit.

This week Australian investigators concluded a design fault with the Rolls-Royce engine was the most likely cause of the emergency landing. Media reports suggest Qantas is unhappy with Rolls-Royce's handing of the crisis.

A Rolls-Royce spokesman denied the firm was in talks with PR agencies when contacted by PRWeek.

TIME LINE

2 Dec: Qantas begins legal action against Rolls-Royce

25 Nov: Rolls-Royce announces loss of 220 jobs at Coventry jet engines plant

12 Nov: Rolls-Royce says the Qantas incident was caused by faulty component in its Trent 900 engine

4 November: Qantas grounds Airbus A380 airliners after plane makes emergency landing.

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