WI PR boss moves to head Economist Group comms

The Economist has created a group communications role in a bid to

raise the profile of its brand worldwide.



Sangeeta Haindl started in the role last week. Her remit covers magazine

The Economist, the Economist Intelligence Unit and a TV spin-off aired

on international airlines.



She currently reports to CEO Helen Alexander, until a group marketing

director is appointed later this year.



Haindl has spent the last two years as head of PR for the Women's

Institute (WI). Her spell covered the infamous speech by Prime Minister

Tony Blair, which was slow handclapped by members. It also included the

furore surrounding the WI's publishing of an 'Alternative Calendar',

which featured naked institute members as models.



Prior to joining the WI, Haindl was a press officer at charity Victim

Support. Her career started with a five-year spell in the civil service,

which saw her serve in the Cabinet Office and the Health and Safety

Executive.



'My role will focus on internal and external comms for the group, not

just The Economist,' said Haindl. 'We hope to raise our profile among

key high-earners and the media.'



The Economist magazine appointed its own head of communications last

year (PRWeek, 15 December 2000). Eileen Wise joined after various PR

jobs, which include a spell as head of the Conservative Party newsroom

during the 1997 election.



Haindl's early plans include boosting the group communications team and

reviewing the account held by the company's retained agency, Hobsbawm

MaCaulay.



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