The 1,100-year-old coin manufacturer will use the agency’s London and Bristol offices for corporate and consumer PR.
It will also use the agency’s Cardiff and London staff for public affairs as it struggles to compete in the commercial marketplace. The mint’s profitability declined for most of the 1990s and last year it ran at a loss.
Grayling UK PR deputy chief executive Chris Davies leads the six-figure account and reports to Mint head of corporate affairs Martin Cragg. The appointment follows a pitch (PRWeek, 3 March).
‘While it is not known when the commercialisation will take place, it is expected to be soon,’ said Davies.
The Government plans to turn the mint into a public limited company. The change will allow the mint to operate more flexibly in the commercial market, Davies added.
Increasing competition from overseas, high raw material prices and declining sales in its collector coin business have hit the mint hard in recent years.
Ironically, the soaring price of copper had made many 1p and 2p coins worth more than their face value.
On the consumer side, Grayling will aim to boost awareness of the diversity of products made by the mint. These range from commemorative coin collections to unique collectables, and even jewellery.
The agency will promote the ‘gifting opportunities’ offered by the mint, such as diamond rings and contemporary and traditional bracelets.
Meanwhile, the mint is on the hunt for a new CEO following the ‘sudden’ departure of Gerald Sheehan in January. He left the mint after four years at the helm to ‘pursue other interests’.
Interim chief executive is David Barrass. Coins produced by the mint are used as tender in more than 100 countries worldwide.