Public Affairs: Cracknell widens alliances

Partnership David Cracknell forms strategic links with Project Associates.

Former FD-LLM chairman David Cracknell has formed a 'strategic alliance' with the comms firm set up by former Camelot comms director David Rigg.

Cracknell said the partnership with Project Associates would provide him with access to a number of skilled consultants and allow him to pursue a 'Facebook approach to consultancy - drawing in talent as and when needed'. He also suggested that, in tough economic times, clients were less likely to use a 'one size fits all' agency.

Cracknell left FD-LLM earlier this year after just six months and went on to form his own consultancy Big Tent Communications (PRWeek, 1 August). He said he had already picked up a number of accounts both at home and internationally, including in Asia and the Gulf region.

He has also formed an alliance with In House PR, which is headed by former Conservative Central Office duo Katie Perrior and Jo Tanner and worked on Boris Johnson's successful London mayoral campaign.

Cracknell said his plan was to strike up strategic alliances with a range of agencies. He added: 'I am delighted and flattered to be invited to join Project Associates' network, which includes some highly experienced professionals.

'In these times many clients eschew the big agency approach, favouring creativity over process, flexibility over one size fits all, and just getting things done. In the digital age it makes sense to grow a business via a network of experts rather than generalists. Our alliance with Project Associates is a prime example.'

Project Associates director Jonathan Horsman said the two agencies would initially work together on 'two international briefs'.

Project Associates was set up by Rigg in 1997. Directors include Horsman, former public affairs director at Provident Financial, and Stuart Higgins, former Sun editor. It also has links with the PR consultant John Stonborough, former Tory mayoral candidate Steve Norris and YouGov president Peter Kellner.

Cracknell has set up his new shop in the Soho district of London. Before joining FD-LLM in January, he was political editor of The Sunday Times.

Since Cracknell left FD-LLM in July, the agency has dropped the LLM part of its name and rebranded as FD Public Affairs (PRWeek, 18 October).

LLM was set up as Lawson Lucas Mendelsohn in 1997 in the wake of Labour's landslide general election victory. In 2005, the agency was acquired by City PR giant FD (formerly Financial Dynamics) and renamed FD-LLM.

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