News round-up: Ecuador, Splendid and Three Sixty Communications

The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador has chosen Lotus PR to handle UK comms.

Tourism Trail: Ecuador
Tourism Trail: Ecuador

As part of its retained brief Lotus will cover consumer and travel PR for the country, home to the city of Guayaquil. The account was previously held by Aviareps.

Splendid Communications has been called in by dating site,, to lead a founder member recruitment drive.

Three Sixty Communications has been called in to handle the UK launch PR for hair inhibitor brand INHIBITIF.

Native Union, the accessories brand, has hired Canoe Inc for UK PR.

The Press Association, the UK-based multimedia news agency, has formed a partnership with TranslateMedia, a digital language services agency.

Trinity PR, a not-for-profit specialist, has been brought on board by the charity Project Harar to raise awareness of its latest volunteer medical mission to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The week in global PR

Lewis PR has secured PR duties for BBC Worldwide and BBC Global News in Singapore for the next 12 months. The brief is to promote programming content across all BBC channels in Singapore.

Neuro Drinks has selected Formula PR as its retained agency in the US following a competitive review.

Next Fifteen, the comms group that owns Bite and Lexis, has acquired an 80 per cent stake in digital agency Connections Media for $1.85m (£1.21m), to boost its public affairs presence in Washington and increase its digital capabilities.

SquareTrade, an extended warranty service provider, has selected Frank PR US as its first agency after an informal review.

Jack Wills, the British retailer, has appointed Etymon Communications to raise its profile in Hong Kong. It opened its first store in Hong Kong in December 2011, with PR support from Cohn & Wolfe-impactasia.

HopStop, the travel information firm, has selected Diffusion as its retained agency in the US as it prepares to launch a real-time app.

FedEx US has promoted Patrick Fitzgerald to senior VP of integrated marketing and comms as it merges the two functions into one unit.

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The Week in healthcare

Johnson & Johnson has chosen Ernie Knewitz to take over the recently modified role of vice-president of global media relations. Knewitz will identify and drive stories that demonstrate the work the company is doing around the world to improve the health of consumers. He will manage financial comms and provide senior-level counsel on comms and media relations to J&J's operating firms globally.

Fuel PR has appointed Olivia Timbs as an advocate for pharmacists, providing advice and comms support to the agency's pharmacy clients who are keen to make contacts at the new NHS England service. She will identify people moves within the NHS and local authorities and help pharmacists prepare their case for the commissioning of a service.

The Public Sector Week

The Metropolitan Police's head of internal comms Ruth Shulver has moved to Surrey Police to take the role of head of comms. She replaces Superintendent Chris Moon, who had filled the role on an interim basis for five months following the departure of Karen Porter.

Owen Bassett, the Ministry of Defence's chief press officer for military equipment and defence strategy, is moving to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as deputy head of news. He starts at the end of the month. Beth Cowley, a senior information officer who runs the Military Equipment and Defence Strategy desk, will cover the role while a replacement is recruited.

The Scottish Government has selected NASDAQ OMX Group, which owns GlobeNewswire in addition to stock exchanges, to provide public sector monitoring and outreach services. This will allow users to monitor print, broadcast, online news and social media, as well as access a news distribution service. It will be available to approximately 200 public sector bodies in Scotland.

The Week in The City

JLT Employee Benefits, one of the largest pension and employee benefits consultants in the UK, has called in Smithfield Consultants to handle its corporate comms.

Smithfield was originally appointed by JLT EB in 2008 to build the profile of the senior management team and support research and thought leadership activity. The agency will now work across the firm's entire employee engagement business.

Redleaf Polhill has been appointed by Bglobal, a provider of energy products and services to the UK energy market, as its financial PR adviser, with immediate effect. The account will be managed by director Rebecca Sanders-Hewett, account manager Dwight Burden and executive David Ison.

Kreab Gavin Anderson has hired two associate directors in its London office. Katie McCrory joins from A4e, where she was head of comms, having previously worked at Forster Communications and Brunswick. Ed Jones joins KGA's PA practice from Hanover, where he was an account director.

Laird, the FTSE 250 tech hardware company, has chosen MHP Communications to handle its financial PR after a competitive pitch. Managing directors Reg Hoare and John Olsen will lead the MHP team.

The Week in lobbying

The British Airline Pilots' Association has handed a stakeholder perceptions project to Connect Communications after a competitive tender. The scope of the project includes how the association is perceived, as well as the specific issue of how airline pilots are affected by airport security.

Will Wallace has joined Fishburn Hedges as a consultant from Grayling, where he worked for clients in the technology, energy and infrastructure sectors including Fujitsu, Logica, Skype, National Grid and 3M. Before Grayling, he was a policy adviser for the Conservative Party's shadow justice team.

PLMR founder and managing director Kevin Craig has been selected as the sole UK public affairs member of this year's Cannes Lions PR jury. Craig won two Gold Lions in 2011 for public affairs and media relations. The finalised jury has 21 members including chairman David Gallagher, the senior partner and Europe CEO for Ketchum.

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