Prostate Cancer UK hires former war reporter to comms team

Prostate Cancer UK has appointed Jane Spence, a former Dispatches and Newsnight director, to lead the charity's media and PR operations.

Joining Prostate Cancer UK: Jane Spence
Joining Prostate Cancer UK: Jane Spence

Spence replaces Vivienne Francis, who was promoted to deputy director of comms in March last year. She reports to Francis and heads up the 10-strong team of media and press officers.

She is charged with building the charity’s media relations across national, consumer and trade press, in addition to supporting the charity’s celebrity partners, including Bill Bailey, Rebecca Front and Damian Lewis.

The appointment follows a slew of activity from the charity, which rebranded in June last year, dropping the word ‘charity’ from its name. It has since enlisted Bailey for its ad work and launched a ‘save the man’ regular donation initiative to reduce its reliance on one-off donations.

Spence joins from charity Farm Africa, where she was head of comms. Before this she has held senior comms roles at Christian Aid, Freedom from Torture and Arthritis Care. Spence started in media as a journalist and worked across current affairs programmes Newsnight and Dispatches as a director and war reporter.

Francis said: ‘We need prostate cancer and the injustice which continues to surround it to be front of mind, particularly as this disease is set to be the most common cancer in the UK by 2030.

‘Media relations is a major tool in our arsenal, and we are delighted to have Jane on board. Our integrated communications approach will be truly bolstered now we have the right person in place.’

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