In 1993, while working as an account director for travel PR company
Paramount Publicity, she handled media relations for a then little-known
charity for people with disabilities, MacIntyre Care. One of its
patrons, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, had volunteered to
part-climb Mount Everest to help raise funds. The event received mass TV
coverage and more than 1,000 press cuttings.
’I have had thoughts about working in the voluntary sector, but I love
travel and hotels,’ she says. ’I could sit in a hotel lobby watching
people all day - it is like sitting in a mini-theatre.’ It is highly
unlikely that Record will have much time to do that. She will lead a
five strong team at the Savoy Group, which owns five London hotels,
including Claridges, the Berkeley and the Connaught. Bought by US
investment group Blackstone in April for pounds 520 million, the group
also owns restaurant Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, the Savoy Theatre and
Worcestershire hotel the Lygon Arms.
Record came from Thistle Hotels, which owns 60 hotels across the UK.
She set up Thistle’s PR department in March 1994 and stayed for a total
of four-and-half years.
Her role at Thistle expanded rapidly. She started as a press officer,
took on crisis management and moved into international relations and
road shows. She travelled extensively promoting the hotel, and in one US
trip covered Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Toronto.
’I was getting up at four in the morning to catch the flight to the next
city, where I’d be running press events and promotions to travel
agents,’ she says. ’I learned to live with about three hours sleep.’
Record managed Thistle’s flotation on the London Stock Exchange in
In conjunction with the group’s then City PR agency Shandwick, she was
responsible for the release of financial information.
Although the Savoy Group is not listed in its own right like Thistle,
and it owns fewer properties, Record’s job there will bring its own high
profile challenges. For example, Blackstone announced at the time of the
acquisition that it would be expanding the brand into Europe and Record
will be involved in handling communications for that expansion.
There is also the fact that she has moved from a four-star to a
five-star hotel group. One of the fringe benefits is the chance to mix
with a glamorous array of guests, from the art world, luxury goods firms
and blue chip companies, at the Savoy parties Record will be
Prior to Thistle, Record worked for several PR agencies, primarily in
the travel and tourism sector. These included Rosamunde Bern Associates
and Bevan PR,where she directed hotel, airline and tourist board
’I love being in-house, it means you are a member of a team and can
reflect the culture of the client,’ she says.
Former colleagues rate her as being professional and thorough, with
exceptional time-management skills. Thistle press officer Caroline
Trout, who worked for Record for 10 months, says: ’She is always very
busy and that is in her character - I don’t know how she manages to fit
in all in.’
On top of her day job she is involved in the Hotel Marketing Association
and is on the committee of the Wednesday Club, which unites PR
professionals working in the fields of hotel and travel.
And, as well as changing jobs, Record has just moved from leafy
Chislehurst in Kent, to Little Venice, in west London’s Maida Vale
district. For the past week she has been lugging potted plants up
flights of stairs to her top floor flat.
Despite the demands of her new role, Record says she still hopes to find
time for the odd bit of voluntary work.
Account executive, Bevan PR
Account manager, Rosamunde Bern Associates
Account director, Paramount Publicity
PR director, Thistle Hotels
Group communications director, Savoy Group