News round-up: Home House, Pigeons and Amplify

London members club Home House has switched to Stir PR from Palm PR after a four-way pitch.

Home House: Stir PR to promote the exclusive members only club
Home House: Stir PR to promote the exclusive members only club

Stir will drive awareness of the club, which hosts exclusive events, its restaurants, House 19 and The Octagon, and four bars, across consumer and trade press.

Promote PR has been appointed to the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association's 'Give it a Shot' campaign, which encourages people to get involved in the sport.

Smarts Communicate has launched a content creation division, called Amplify, to help brands communicate through a mix of events, social media and interactive content.

Teroforma, the homeware brand, has appointed Palm to direct its UK launch campaign with a 12-month brief for consumer and trade comms.

Whiteoaks has been brought in by Imago Techmedia to provide PR for Connected Business 2014, formerly the Unified Communications Expo. 

The week in global PR

Informatica, the software firm, had drafted in Hill+Knowlton Strategies as its global retained PR agency in a consolidation of its agency roster.

Tim Cobb, chief comms officer for UBS Asia-Pacific, has been promoted to the global post of head of group external comms and will relocate to Zurich.

Allison+Partners has appointed former Cohn & Wolfe digital executive Jeremy Rosenberg as senior vice-president and global head of digital media, a new role at the agency.

Swisse Wellness, the Australia-based multivitamin firm, has asked MWW to develop a comms campaign for the brand's US launch.

Weber Shandwick has been called in by the organisation running California's healthcare insurance exchange to develop a creative marketing and paid media campaign. The two-year contract is worth $12m (£7.86m).

Dan Bartlett, the former White House counsellor, is to leave his role as president and CEO of Hill+Knowlton Strategies US to become executive vice-president of corporate affairs at Walmart.

Edelman has hired Oxbow Media co-founder Jane Fields as general manager of its United Arab Emirates operations, based in Abu Dhabi.

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The week in healthcare

Weber Shandwick has appointed Dominique Jaquest as head of pharmaceutical comms for the UK health team. Reporting to group MD Lucie Harper, Jaquest is charged with boosting the agency's pharma comms function and driving growth of its blue-chip pharma client portfolio. She joins from a senior client role at Chandler Chicco.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has released a multimedia package offering social media guidance for pharmacists. It claims to be the first of its kind in UK healthcare and aims to cater for all social media proficiency levels. The package contains video, podcasts, presentations and documents all designed to help pharmacists.

Bray Leino Health and Wellbeing has been called in by Montagne Jeunesse, the face mask and natural skin care brand, as it moves into the body skin care market. Bray Leino will help launch a new product, Montagne Jeunesse Body Smoothies.

The Department of Health is ploughing £4m into the National Institute for Health Research to improve the way diseases are diagnosed.

The public sector week

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is set to reduce its overall comms staff by up to 90 within the next two years.In response to a piece run on, the MoD said that the number of staff spending 'at least 50 per cent of their time' on comms was set to drop from 604 to 515 by 2015. In April it was confirmed that there are currently 23 staff working specifically in the MoD press office.

Basildon Borough Council comms chief Cormac Smith was re-elected as chairman of LG Comms during the organisation's conference in Cardiff last month.

Liverpool City Council is facing criticism over the cost of hiring senior PR professional Mark Fletcher-Brown to head up its comms on an interim basis. Responding to's claims Fletcher-Brown was being paid £650 a day for the role of comms chief, council CEO Ged Fitzgerald said: 'When services are changing, there is a need for more communications, not less.'

John Shewell, founder of CoLab and former comms head at Brighton & Hove City Council, has written this week's public sector column on the importance of bringing together like-minded people. To read it, go to and click on opinion.

The week in the City

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has appointed Chris Turner as head of retail and corporate media relations.For the past five years he worked in the Prime Minister's press office, where he was a spokesman on business and economic issues. Before that, Turner was a press officer at what is now the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

InvestingZone, a platform allowing people to buy shares in unlisted firms, has called in Firefly to handle its UK launch and ongoing comms. The agency will oversee a range of comms duties including messaging, planning, media relations, bloggers, digital marketing and social media campaigns.

Brunswick has hired former US ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald as a senior counsellor in London. He served as Britain's ambassador to the US from 2007 to 2012 and was previously the Prime Minister's principal foreign policy and defence adviser (2003-07), as well as spending more than a decade working at senior levels with the EU.

Walbrook PR has been appointed as the financial PR adviser to LiDCO Group, an AIM-listed medical tech firm. LiDCO provides equipment to hospitals that monitors the amount of blood flowing around the body and ensures vital organs are adequately oxygenated.

The week in lobbying

Jonty Olliff-Cooper has left back-to-work training provider A4E, where he was director of policy and strategy. According to an A4E spokesman, Olliff-Cooper resigned and has decided to take a few months off before starting his next role. Olliff-Cooper declined to comment.

Grayling Public Affairs has promoted associate director Jonathan Curtis and hired Joe Moor as a consultant. Curtis is now one of two London-based public affairs directors, the other being Paddy Levy. Moor was previously a senior political assistant in Conservative transport minister Simon Burns' constituency office.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance, an umbrella body for sport and recreation organisations, has hired James Allen as head of policy. Allen has spent the past three years managing policy then heading public services for the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. He will shape policy on issues from improving integrity in elite sport to making life easier for grassroots clubs.

Tara Singh, a former public affairs manager at British Gas parent Centrica, has been appointed as David Cameron's personal adviser on energy and climate change. The hire comes as the Government works to complete its Energy Bill.

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