The Scottish Executive this week launched its hunt for a press
office chief to replace the departing Owen Kelly.
The senior civil service communications post has been left vacant
following the departure of Kelly, who is moving to become director of
properties in care at Historic Scotland.
Kelly was brought in last year on a 12-month placement as the
executive's first press office chief.
His replacement will continue to report to Robert Gordon, head of the
The press office head role was created along with the post of head of
new media to replace the head of information role.
Kelly was charged with revamping the office. During the last year the
press office has increased by nine staff and restructured to give PROs
This was a move designed to increase lines of communication with
ministers, according to Kelly.
He said: 'This job was for a year and now that time is up. During that
time the office has seen a lot of change. What we wanted to do was
assign more press officers to ministers, which is something that is
Kelly's latest role at Historic Scotland includes heading PR for the
organisation, which looks after more than 300 historic buildings,
including Edinburgh Castle.
He replaces Brian Naylor, who is joining the troubled Scottish
Qualifications Authority, still recovering from last summer's exam
marking blunder that saw more than 6,000 Highers results fail to reach
candidates on time.
Other marks were incomplete and the debacle led to the resignation of
CEO Ron Tuck.
Kelly's previous roles include head of strategic communications for the
civil service in Scotland, a post he held in 1997.
Last October, Scotland's first minister Henry McLeish appointed former
Daily Mirror political editor Peter McMahon as his press secretary.
McMahon reports to McLeish rather than working through the press
Elsewhere within the Scottish civil service, the Ministry of Defence has
named Sara Reed as the country's first defence press officer.
Reed joins from Weber Shandwick Worldwide where she was a senior manager
in the Edinburgh office. In her latest role, she reports to MoD news
director Martin Howard.
Her appointment is part of a newly-created network of regional press
officers, established by the MoD to improve community links (PRWeek, 9