English Heritage has appointed London-based agency Direct Public
Relations to develop PR campaigns for its public affairs and marketing
Direct PR will receive pounds 350,000 in fees over three years to raise
awareness of English Heritage’s annual programme of events at its
properties, such as historical re-enactments. The agency will also work
on an ad hoc basis on English Heritage’s training, education and
The agency was appointed after the account went out to European
It pitched against McCann-Erickson PR for the business. An English
Heritage spokeswoman said: ’Direct PR was appointed for its experience
in travel and tourism and its experience of working with heritage
Current Direct PR clients include Stena Line, the Direct Travel Group
and the Country Landowners’ Association.
English Heritage organises some 600 events each year which are attended
by both members and the general public. Its highlight event this year is
a re-enactment festival taking place at Kirby Hall in Northamptonshire
called History in Action.
English Heritage is the statutory adviser to Chris Smith, Secretary of
State for Culture, Media and Sport, on listing and heritage matters. It
manages over 400 historic properties and distributes around pounds 40
million annually in grants. It receives some pounds 105 million from the
It is currently undergoing widespread changes as it attempts to update
its image to have more relevance in modern, urbanised culture. English
Heritage is in the process of regionalising its structure and
repositioning itself as a planning watchdog on top of its role as a
regenerator of historic buildings.
The body recently faced criticism from Alan Clark, the historian and MP
for Kensington and Chelsea, after describing his home, Saltwood Castle
in Kent, as in urgent need of attention. However, English Heritage is
making pounds 5 million in grants available to owners of listed
buildings in danger of decay.