The Swiss Embassy in London has appointed Charlotte Barraclough, former media relations manager for Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer's London mayoral bid, as its first head of communications.
This is the first time the embassy has had an in-house PR specialist.
PR was previously carried out by deputy ambassador Robert Reich.
Barraclough, together with an assistant, will develop and manage a communications strategy to build on the political and social links between Switzerland and Britain. She reports to ambassador Bruno Spinner.
'The Embassy's job is to communicate the shared liberal values that the Swiss and British people enjoy. This new post will allow us to work more effectively with the British media and opinion formers,' said Spinner.
One of Barraclough's main tasks in the coming year will be to co-ordinate the promotion for the Next Generation 2001 campaign, aimed at promoting the youth of Switzerland.
She said: 'Switzerland is a very young country, which is not something that is very well known. Thirty per cent of the population is under 30-years-old. That is a very distinct aspect of Swiss culture and life that needs much more publicity.'
Graffiti has become a popular art form in Switzerland over the past 20 years and last month artists aged between 15 and 30 from Switzerland and Britain took part in a graffiti event in the basement of the embassy.
Other events this year as part of the campaign include the Swiss Ambassador's music award in May, to take place at London' Wigmore Hall, a summer fashion show and a showcase for young Swiss artists at London's Tate Modern in November.
Following her work for Kramer last year, Barraclough spent three months travelling in Australia, New Zealand and the US.
She previously worked with the Rowland Company, now PR21, in its corporate and public affairs department.