Isbell leaves Affinity for Orient Express PR

Pippa Isbell, managing director and founder of travel specialist Affinity, is leaving the agency to join Orient Express Services as public relations director.

Pippa Isbell, managing director and founder of travel specialist

Affinity, is leaving the agency to join Orient Express Services as

public relations director.



In her new role Isbell will run a three-strong team, based in London,

and work closely with Orient Express’ agency The Press Office. Orient

Express is a subsidiary company of transport group Sea Containers.



Isbell’s remit includes international PR activity for 17 Orient Express

luxury hotels, a river cruise ship in Myanmar, promotion of the Orient

Express trains and the launch of the new Great South Pacific Express,

which commences services in Australia in December this year.



The director of PR role was previously held by Nadia Stancioff, who has

retired after ten years in the post.



Isbell will be replaced at Affinity by Steve Dunne, who joined a year

ago after running his own consultancy, Mayfield, for three years. He

brought South African Airways and Alliance Air as clients to

Affinity.



Isbell founded her consultancy PIPR in 1987, and merged it with

Countrywide Porter Novelli subsidiary Affinity Consulting in 1993, when

Countrywide became a miniority shareholder. Countrywide now owns 100 per

cent of Affinity, which has 18 staff.



Affinity clients include the Scotish Tourist Board, cruise company Royal

Carribean International, the travel insurance arm of BUPA and crisis

management for Air 2000.



Dunne said he is looking for a replacement for his previous role as

director, focusing on client services. Isbell will remain a

non-executive director until the end of the year.



Neil Backwith, strategic planning and development director at

Countrywide Porter Novelli, has been named chairman of Affinity.

Backwith has sat on the Affinity board for the last three years, and he

replaces non-executive chairman Michael East, who was a co-shareholder

with Isbell.



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