British Telecommunications has named James Doherty as its group
director of PR following Brenda McCall's resignation.
Doherty takes on the role from McCall, who left last month after 23
years with BT (PRWeek, 2 March).
He joins from BT Openworld's joint venture in Australia - BT Looksmart -
for which he has acted as vice-president (marketing) since last
In his latest role, Doherty will take charge of a 25-stong team and
report directly to group communications director Robin Pauley.
The remit covers PR for the entire group, in the UK and overseas,
including its recently-created divisions, such as BT Ignite, BT
Openworld, BT Wireless, and Yell.
Doherty said a large part of his remit will be to help turn around BT's
ailing image in the media and 'refresh the communications
'While I am moving into Brenda's areas of responsibility, the brief is
evolving with a view to getting out and communicating as clearly as we
My new role is very much about communicating the real value of BT -
that's to the shareholders, consumers and all the other constituencies -
demonstrating our real value in real terms,' said Doherty.
He added: 'The challenge is to ensure people have a much better
understanding of what we do and are capable of.'
Previously, Doherty worked for Ogilvy PR Worldwide in the US as senior
vice-president of its technology practice, working with clients such as
Prior to Ogilvy, Doherty developed integrated marketing strategies for
consultancy programmes at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).
Meanwhile, BT is continuing its search for a head of UK PR, which was
left vacant when Tim Johns was promoted to director of media relations
The troubled telecoms giant has also bolstered its group press office
Mike Bartlett joins from bus industry body, the Confederation of
Passenger Transport, alongside Ross Cook, a former Millennium Dome
Former BT regional media relations manager Roger Westbury has also taken
on the role of international press officer.
BT recently appointed Sir Christopher Bland as chairman to replace Sir
Iain Vallance, who stepped down last week.
The company - which has a market value of pounds 38bn - is working to
reduce its pounds 30bn debt mountain. It plans to cut the debt by pounds
10bn this year.
BT announced last week it was hoping to raise more than pounds 5bn from
a range of disposals.
It also recently sold its stake in Malaysian mobile phone operator Maxis
Communications for pounds 350m.