picks Johnson as PR manager has appointed Kerry Johnson to the newly-created

position of PR manager.

The move follows a decision to bring the student-oriented portal's PR

function in-house, with Johnson reporting directly to James Layfield,

the website's brand director.

Johnson's remit is to handle strategic online partnerships, as well as

media relations with the consumer and trade press.

She joins from LDA Communications where, as an account manager, she

handled youth media accounts including Ali G, Smack the Pony and Star


The appointment - motivated, according to Johnson, by a desire to

achieve an 'in-depth approach' to the site's publicity - has prompted a

'reassessment' of's publicity work. Beatwax

Communications is retained by the site, working on the 'bigger ideas'

rather than the 'everyday nitty gritty', according to its creative

director Michael Brown.

Johnson's appointment is aimed at filling a gap in the day-to-day

handling of the site's PR, which previously fell between Beatwax's brief

and that of Layfield. claims to be the UK's most popular student portal with

more than two million page impressions per month, and in excess of

117,000 registered users since its launch in February 2000.

The site offers a number of student services including e-mail, an

address book, an on-line organiser, as well as information on university


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