Television and leisure group Granada is creating a new public
relations department for its hotel and restaurant interests a year after
it acquired the Forte empire for pounds 3.8 billion.
In October the group hired Sarah Harvey as director of PR with a brief
to review the communications needs of its hotels and restaurants and
services divisions. Three PR managers joined this week, another arrives
next month and Harvey is in the process of recruiting a further two.
Harvey, who joined from the World Travel and Tourism Council trade
association, will co-ordinate their work and reports directly to the
divisions’ chief executives Patrick Copeland and Don Davenport.
The six managers will take control of communications for different
activities within the hotels and restaurants and services divisions,
which include catering, entertainment, roadside services and the
Meridien and Posthouse hotel chains.
Granada closed down Forte’s 15-strong in-house press and PR department
in March. During the takeover battle Granada’s chief executive Gerry
Robinson had signalled his intention to axe Forte’s 300-strong corporate
Since then PR for the hotels has been handled by external agencies.
Harvey is likely to review consultancy arrangements as part of her
Granada is continuing to dispose of the Exclusive hotels chain it
acquired from Forte last year. So far it has sold the Hyde Park in
London, Georges V in Paris and Sandy Lane in Barbados but looks unlikely
to offload the remaining 10 before its self-imposed 31 January deadline