Public Affairs: Consultancies ramp up digital offerings

Two public affairs consultancies have refocused their operations to place a greater emphasis on digital comms.

Hanover Communications has hired a head of digital as part of an internal restructure. Chris Woods, previously group social media manager at office accommodation firm Regus, has taken charge of digital comms at Charles Lewington's agency.

His appointment is part of a restructure that sees five distinct divisions created: advocacy, headed by James Gurling; financial services, headed by Laura Chisholm; healthcare, headed by Andrew Harrison; Brussels, headed by Christian Hierholzer; and reputation, headed by Gavin Megaw.

Woods, who has previously worked for Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment, will drive the agency's online, mobile and social media work. He said: 'The senior team has been absolutely clear about its commitment to ensuring digital is at the heart of all it does.'

At the same time, Champollion has launched a digital sister agency and signed up Ed Miliband's former new media adviser Alex Smith as a consultant. The move comes seven months after Smith, previously editor of the LabourList website, revealed he was leaving his role as the Labour leader's so-called 'cyber spinner' (prweek.com/uk, 31 March).

The new firm has already signed contracts with Make Justice Work, the e-Learning Foundation, Network for Africa and the International Consortium of British Pensioners.

Jo Tilley-Riley has been seconded from Champollion to head the new agency.

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