Trainline hires former Grosvenor House PR director Lorna O'Neill as first head of UK PR

Train ticket booking firm Trainline has appointed Lorna O'Neill, former PR director of central London hotel Grosvenor House, as its first head of UK PR.

The company said her role would be to support the new ‘I am Train’ campaign and be responsible for the development and execution of consumer and corporate PR activity.

O’Neill will report to commercial director Simon Darling, who said: "Lorna’s expertise and passion for developing integrated campaigns will be key to building Trainline brand awareness across earned and owned media."

The news follows Trainline’s acquisition by US private equity firm KKR in January, which derailed plans to float the business on the stock market with a reported value of around £500m.

Before KKR's acquisition, Emma Gilpin-Jacobs, former comms chief at the Financial Times Group and later for Nick Clegg, was recruited to oversee a PR overhaul at Trainline as it eyed flotation.

O’Neill, who also has PR agency experience at Brazen and has worked on brands such as Hasbro and Gumtree Australia, said: "Having recently rebranded and with extensive product development in the pipeline, it is such a fantastic time to join Trainline. There’s a real opportunity for us to develop multi-channel, creative campaigns that will reach our customers and help them to travel smarter by rail."

In July, Trainline appointed Bite to a new brief handling corporate and consumer comms.

Grosvenor House's PR team is now led by Nick Barrington-Wells, who joined from agency Dragon Associates.

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