Publishing giant Reed Elsevier has taken on former Luther Pendragon
partner Catherine May as its first global corporate communications
May, who left Luther last year (PRWeek, 27 July 2000), joins Reed with a
remit to boost external and internal communications for the firm
She will oversee PR for the public company, while existing teams head
communications for Reed's subsidiary groups.
Reed Elsevier CEO Crispin Davis, who joined 18 months ago, made the
decision to appoint a corporate communications chief as part of his
strategy for the firm.
'I hope to be able to forge stronger links between the different areas
of the company and open up a two-way interaction between the groups,'
'The CEO wants the company to undertake more external communications
programmes, and I'll be closely working with him to go to the media and
other audiences and develop their understanding of the depth and breadth
of the group.'
May confirmed she has no immediate plans to review the firm's
relationship with incumbent agency Brunswick.
Reporting directly to Davis, May is supported by deputy director of
corporate communications Susanna Smart.
According to Smart, part of Davis' company strategy has been to expand
overseas and therefore more corporate PR support was needed, with
emphasis on the US.
In the US, Reed has made a proposed acquisition for Harcourt General's
scientific, technical and medical business and US schools education and
testing businesses for pounds 3.1bn and the assumption of nearly pounds
1bn of debt.
Last month, Davis also announced a significant investment programme, of
which over 90 per cent will be internet-related.