News round-up: Rambling, Sunseeker and Fat Face

The Ramblers, Britain's walking charity, has appointed Kindred to conduct a communications audit following a pitch.

Walking the walk: The Ramblers
Walking the walk: The Ramblers

Kindred will help assess whether The Ramblers' existing comms channels, processes and messages are fit for purpose.

McCann Birmingham has picked up global PR duties for yacht-maker Sunseeker International.

Fat Face, the clothing retailer, has handed a consumer PR and digital brief to Bournemouth-based consultancy Lineup Media to promote its 25th anniversary and summer clothing line.

The week in global PR

Herbert Heitmann, head of external comms at Royal Dutch Shell, is to join Bayer AG as head of a newly created comms and government relations unit in September.

Burson-Marsteller has restructured its leadership team in the Asia-Pacific region, naming Patrick Ford regional chairman and Matt Stafford CEO of Greater China.

KEF America, the audio speaker manufacturer, has selected Waggener Edstrom as its PR agency to help the brand engage with a younger audience.

Cohn & Wolfe has acquired a 40 per cent stake in Dubai-based BPG/pr, which will be renamed BPG/Cohn & Wolfe. The deal will allow C&W to broaden its services in the Middle East and North Africa, while BPG clients will gain access to C&W's global network.

Castrol, the automotive and industrial lubricants brand, has called in Ogilvy Public Relations to be its lead agency in the US.

Covidien, the healthcare products firm, has hired Jacqueline Strayer as senior vice-president of corporate comms.

Miele, the luxury German appliance brand, has handed its Hong Kong PR account to CatchOn Communications after a competitive pitch. Miele's previous agency was SPRG.

The US Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products is seeking an agency to launch an anti-tobacco programme targeting native Americans.

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The week in healthcare

Gracewell Healthcare, a new luxury elderly care provider, has appointed Arc Seven Communications to handle its UK PR. Arc Seven will be responsible for a three-pronged PR strategy focusing on community engagement, issues management and thought leadership.

Forster Communications has appointed Melissa Fife as a senior consultant leading a team specialising in corporate comms. She has previously worked for the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, CHC Helicopter, Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Health Foundation.

Living Streets has released its Must Try Harder report at the start of Walk to School Week. The charity argues that children are being driven to 'chronic ill-health' by parents who drive rather than walk them to school. It is lobbying the Government to make walking to school a key part of its strategy to make people more active.

The public sector week

Liverpool Mutual Homes is holding a pitch for its PR and media relations work. The tender document details work including engaging with customers, tenants, leaseholders and residents. The winning agency will begin in August, with the project set to run for three years.

The Association of Colleges is launching a study into comms within further education. The survey, which is held every three years, will involve more than 700 staff across colleges. Issues covered will include team priorities, budgets and planning.

Meet Birmingham has unveiled a marketing campaign designed to attract more major events to Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull. The 'Where the World Meets' campaign encourages event organisers and planners to consider Birmingham as the best location for their conferences and exhibitions.

Polly Cziok, head of comms and consultation at the London Borough of Hackney, has written this week's public sector column on the difference local authorities can make through lobbying. She uses the secured future for the Olympic media centres as an example of successful campaigning. To read it, go to and click on opinion.

The week in the City

Kim Polley, a former director of PR firm Africa Practice, has been hired to head College Hill's corporate offer in South Africa. She previously held senior comms positions in the UK and Africa for Text 100, The AirMiles Travel Company and Brodeur Worldwide. In the newly created role she will report to Nick Williams, managing partner South Africa, and Tim Fallon, managing partner and head of global corporate practice.

Finn Communications has appointed business journalist Ian Briggs as head of media relations in its corporate and b2b team. Briggs, who has been with since 2007, will work across the Leeds-based agency's client list covering media relations, corporate comms, reputation consultancy and media training.

Newgate Communications has been called in to support the launch of payments company URICA, which has launched initially in Scotland, with a region-by-region rollout planned to follow throughout the UK. The firm recently received £20m of investment from institutional investors and the Government's Department for Business Innovation & Skills.

MRM has appointed Sophie Robson as a consultant. She joins from City think-tank the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation.

The week in lobbying

Jane Hill, ITV's head of public affairs, is to take the role of head of public affairs at the Post Office. She has been at ITV for five years following three years in the public affairs team at Marks & Spencer. Earlier in her career, Hill was a researcher for Conservative MP Richard Ottaway.

Bell Pottinger Public Affairs has been called in by the Responsible Gambling Trust, a charity funded by the gambling industry to commission research, education and treatment on the issue of problem gambling. The agency will handle reputation management and engagement with the political press, reporting to the trust's chief executive Mark Etches.

The UK China Visa Alliance (UKCVA), the group of British retail and tourism businesses campaigning to increase the number of Chinese visitors to the UK, stressed the need for visa reforms to immigration minister Mark Harper at an event last week. Comms agency Rain Communications and its public affairs division are working for the UKCVA and helped co-ordinate the event.

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