Heart foundation names McBride as comms head

The British Heart Foundation has appointed Betty McBride as its new communications director, the top PR job at the charity.

The British Heart Foundation has appointed Betty McBride as its new

communications director, the top PR job at the charity.



McBride joins the research charity from Help the Aged where she was head

of press and PR. She replaces Maxine Smith who left the post to join Eli

Lilly, the US drug company behind Prozac, in December 1999.



McBride will take charge of an in-house communications department of 16

which covers publications, medical PR, consumer campaigns and

fundraising.



She reports to director general Leslie Busk.



The organisation employs a mixture of advertising and PR to convey its

message to the public, retaining PR agency Manning Selvage and Lee,

advertising agency AMV and media buying agency MGM to assist in

execution and strategy.



Louise Fyans, head of communications and McBride’s deputy, said there

were no plans to review these accounts.



McBride said she would be looking to dovetail advertising and PR more

closely into the communications strategy which was currently

’advertising-dominated’.



This would not mean a reduction in advertising and an increase in PR but

would mean that the foundation would take a more ’holistic approach to

communications’, said McBride.



The BHF is planning to launch a campaign aimed at parents to encourage

their children to adopt more active lifestyles. The BHF is the biggest

heart charity in the UK. Its aim is to reduce the number of premature

deaths from heart disease through research and education. Heart disease

currently ranks as the UK’s biggest killer.



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