Public affairs come under review at Thames Water

Thames Water is reviewing its public affairs account, currently held by Political Context, as part of a reappraisal of its communications function.

Thames Water is reviewing its public affairs account, currently

held by Political Context, as part of a reappraisal of its

communications function.



The review was initiated by corporate affairs director Jonathan Russell,

who joined the company in April.



Political Context has held the account since November 1996 and its brief

includes both parliamentary monitoring and strategic advice. Thames

Water is currently in the process of hearing pitches from public affairs

consultancies.



Russell said: ’It makes sense that all the parts of the communications

function be reviewed. It is a widespread review of how corporate affairs

adds value to Thames Water. Public affairs is the only one where we are

holding a pitch.’



Issues on the company’s public affairs agenda are thought to include the

pending price review by water regulator Ofwat and Gordon Brown’s plans

to curb ’fat cat’ salaries - Thames Water chief executive Bill Alexander

received a basic salary of pounds 219,000 in 1997-1998.



Thames Water’s only retained PR agency alongside Political Context is

Bell Pottinger Financial, which the company has used for almost ten

years.



It also employs agencies on a project basis including Regester Larkin,

for crisis PR and Communique for property-related PR.



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