Alex Birtles takes TalkTalk's top comms job

TalkTalk has handed its top comms role to Alex Birtles after the departure of director of comms Mark Schmid to its comms agency Good Relations Brand Communications.

Ringing the changes: Birtles will take over from Schmid
Ringing the changes: Birtles will take over from Schmid

Birtles, who was previously head of public affairs reporting to Schmid, will oversee four staff as head of comms and public affairs.

The new working arrangement will involve Schmid leading the TalkTalk account for Good Relations and spending two days a week in the telecoms brand’s offices.

Birtles said there were no other plans to reshape the team, which is focusing on supporting TalkTalk’s move into mobile and TV contracts.

Schmid joined Good Relations Brand Communications, which handles consumer PR and some public affairs work for TalkTalk, in the new role of client services director and is reporting to the agency’s managing director Richard Moss.

His brief includes leading its BlackBerry account, which encompasses corporate, consumer and EMEA co-ordination, and overseeing the agency’s client handling and best practice systems. 

Schmid said: ‘When I decided I wanted to go back into the agency world, the natural place to go was the agency I’ve worked with closely and which is still very much part of TalkTalk.’

Schmid joined TalkTalk as comms director in 2010, when it demerged from The Carphone Warehouse, where he was group head of comms. He spent six months of 2012 at YouView, the internet-connected TV consortium of which TalkTalk is a member.

Birtles joined TalkTalk in 2010 as PR and public affairs manager. She was promoted to head of public affairs in September 2012.

Before TalkTalk she worked as head of marketing for government agency Becta’s programme to increase home access to the internet for children. During 2010, she was on secondment from Becta as a policy adviser to the Cabinet Office’s digital delivery unit and the Department for Education. 

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