PROFILE: Caroline Moore, Innogy - Moore moves from Take That to fat cats. Straight-talking corporate comms from Innogy’s Caroline Moore

Careers come in many shapes and sizes. Not everyone would relish dealing with local residents’ complaints about 10,000 Take That fans blowing whistles outside a concert venue, for example. Fewer still would enjoy explaining why directors of utilities should pick up massive bonuses for doing in the private sector what they had previously been doing under public control. And not many in the PR industry have done both. But these incidents represent the extremes of Caroline Moore’s career.

Careers come in many shapes and sizes. Not everyone would relish

dealing with local residents’ complaints about 10,000 Take That fans

blowing whistles outside a concert venue, for example. Fewer still would

enjoy explaining why directors of utilities should pick up massive

bonuses for doing in the private sector what they had previously been

doing under public control. And not many in the PR industry have done

both. But these incidents represent the extremes of Caroline Moore’s

career.



Last week Moore officially started as corporate communications chief at

Innogy, one of the two companies created by the demerger of National

Power into UK and international businesses. ’I adore change,’ she

says.



’I like businesses where there is an intellectual challenge and

utilities offer that.’ They are unusual, she says, due to their

regulatory and political constraints, their shifts from public to

private ownership, their provision of essential services and the very

visible public environment in which they operate.



She became PR manager at London Electricity (LE) in 1989. The following

year it was privatised and the fun started. ’In any privatisation,

public expectation whizzes up. Inevitably you can’t achieve change

overnight.



Being at LE was like being in a goldfish bowl.’ Politicians and

journalists are, among other things, users of electricity. Throw in

public indignation over the odd fat cat salary and you have an

uncomfortable PR mix. ’You develop a reactive media technique,’ Moore

says.



’Shortly after we floated she gave us sound advice,’ recalls Roger

Urwin, then LE chief executive, now group director, Europe, at the

National Grid.



’She pressed it hard whether we liked it or not.’



Internal communications at such a time were challenging, but by the

third year in the job Moore was able to concentrate on more positive

messages.



After a further year she was itching for a fresh challenge. ’It was time

to go because I wasn’t directing the show.’



Headhunted by P&O, she became director of corporate communications at

the shipping group’s service division, which ran exhibitions and

catering.



This brought international responsibility as well as work at Earl’s

Court in London - hence Take That. ’It was a greenfield site, setting up

a function from scratch which I hadn’t had before.’ Indeed, it was

creating a PR capability to service P&O events which gave her the idea

for the next move. Since she was pitching against other agencies, ’I

thought: ’why don’t I take the risk myself?’’ Her former employer became

her first client at the start of four years of freelance work. Others

included Scottish Power, Logica and the Utility Buyers Forum (UBF). She

was not interested in developing a large agency, she says, but ’wanted

to ensure high quality work’.



Moore started her PR career at Charles Barker, rising from trainee to

account director in four years, but it could all have been very

different.



An inclination to enter the world of marketing after university was

quashed when an early employer said: ’’Caroline, you’re not brash or

ruthless enough’. I thought he meant: ’you’re not ballsy enough’,’ she

recalls.



Not so, apparently. She is brutally honest. Why choose Finsbury over

Financial Dynamics and Cubitt to handle Innogy’s financial PR? ’The

quality of their intellect was superior.’ Will you keep Bell Pottinger

on for public affairs? ’I haven’t made that judgment yet. It’s not top

of my priorities.’



Moore is not scared of being back in the goldfish bowl either; after

all, there will be great interest in a new business demerged from a

group which has a market value of pounds 6 billion.



As part of the demerger, National Power’s PR function was downsized and

split over the two new units. Moore will report to executive chairman

Ross Sayers and manage a team of nine. The former incumbent reported to

the company secretary - an indication that PR will be more to the fore

in the demerged entity? She nods in agreement: ’There is a greater

emphasis than before. The new management team recognised that the

operating environment is fundamentally different; there is a greater

competitiveness now on the retailing side.’



Innogy is responsible for the UK retail market and 15 power stations at

a time when regulatory and environmental pressures are likely to

increase.



Moore comes to the job with a reputation as a shrewd campaigner,

according to UBF technical director Bob Spears. ’She sorts the weak

arguments from the strong very quickly. She’s not for the

faint-hearted.’ Could be just what Innogy needs.





HIGHLIGHTS



1989: PR manager, London Electricity



1994: Director of corporate communications, Earl’s Court and Olympia

Group



1996: Managing director, Caroline Moore Corporate Communication



2000: Director of corporate communications, Innogy.



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