Countrywide MD quits to start own agency

Managing director of Countrywide Porter Novelli’s Banbury office Debbie Parriss and director Chris Woodcock are leaving to set up their own PR agency.

Managing director of Countrywide Porter Novelli’s Banbury office

Debbie Parriss and director Chris Woodcock are leaving to set up their

own PR agency.



Both Parriss and Woodcock have been with the agency for ten years.

Parriss was only appointed managing director of Countrywide’s 70-strong

Banbury office 18 months ago, and her departure will be a blow to the

agency’s respected track record for growing its own directors.



Chairman Peter Hehir said: ’Debbie and Chris will be much missed, not

least because they are homegrown talent who joined as executives and

progressed all the way to director level.’



Parriss said: ’We have simply reached a point where we would like to

have a go on our own.’ The two intend to launch a consultancy which will

offer strategic PR advice rather than implementation of campaigns.

Woodcock will contribute her specialisms which are crisis management and

media training to the new agency’s offering. Neil Backwith, one of

Countrywide’s eight remaining directors, will take over the running of

the Banbury office.



- The Energy Saving Trust, a government-funded body which campaigns for

energy efficiency, has hired Countrywide Porter Novelli on fees of up to

pounds 450,000 a year. Countrywide will run campaigns to encourage

home-owners to improve energy efficiency, and to promote the use of

clean fuel vehicles. The incumbent agencies were Hill and Knowlton and

Cohn and Wolfe.



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