Cronin, formerly head of Kreab Gavin Anderson’s global energy practice, has been given the newly-created role by the United Kingdom Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG).
He will be leading work to promote the role of onshore oil and gas exploration within the energy sector.
Cronin’s work is also likely to involve winning over public opinion around shale gas, a source of energy which is being discovered in increasing quantities in beds under the surface of the UK, but is yet to be commercially developed.
There have been criticisms that the process of fracking used to extract the gas, which involves pumping water and sand into the ground at high pressure, is a danger to the environment.
The appointment follows PRWeek revealing Cronin – who will still act as a consultant for Kreab Gavin Anderson – had left his agency post amid a wider staff exodus.
Cronin said: ‘The industry has come together to ensure that the most stringent standards are in place for safety, environmental management, exploration and production. My role is to work with companies in the industry and all stakeholders to ensure that the industry can make a meaningful contribution to the UK economy by creating jobs, skills and producing energy that will help British business and households while at the same time working in partnership with the communities it operates in.’
David Robottom, UKOOG Chairman and chief financial officer of Third Energy added: ‘The expanded role of UKOOG shows the commitment of UKOOG members to open and transparent dialogue with all organisations and individuals involved in the debate about the UK's future energy needs. Ken's background in communications, investor relations and finance will be invaluable as the industry plays an increasing role in the supply of affordable energy to the UK economy in the future.’
PRWeek revealed earlier today that former partner and co-head of Kreab Gavin Anderson's financial services practice, Patricia Hamzahee, is to join Fleishman-Hillard at the beginning of March.