The TIME Group - the home PC manufacturing giant - has created its first in-house PR department.
Gary Bramwell and Juliet Reed have been appointed PR managers and given a brief to drive forward the group's PR strategy.
Both are currently agency staff: Bramwell joins from Mason Williams while Reed arrives from Harrison Cowley. They will report to TIME Group marketing manager Mike Phillipson, who was appointed in the summer.
Former PR head Gearald mac Griogair left the Lancashire-based company a month ago.
'The creation of the in-house team is a natural progression to strengthen the group's overall marketing function and facilitate a brand-building campaign,' said Phillipson.
Bramwell and Reed will handle PR for a campaign over the Christmas period which backs up a new TV advertising drive signalling a 'change in direction', Bramwell said.
Outside agency Harvard Centro has been recently signed on a six-month contract to handle PR for the group's new in-store computer peripherals interests, TIMExtra.
'The group wants to capitalise on its brand potential as it expands its stores and services,' said Bramwell, who, along with Reed, will handle the high-profile Software for Schools annual campaign with The Telegraph Group in January, and the on-going sponsorship of Division One football club Blackburn Rovers.
The pair are also expected to oversee the expansion of the firm's mobile phone brand TIMEtalk, which will see national stores rise from 100 to 150 by June 2001.
The TIME Group previously conducted a 'low-level' PR strategy. But recent expansion in market access - including a catalogue, website, phone-ordering system and national stores - dictated the need for a designated in-house function, Bramwell added.