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
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
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.