Virgin PR team down to one assistant

WESTPORT, CT: Virgin Atlantic may have struck marketing gold with its Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me tie-in, but its US communications department has quietly weathered several high-profile departures - which have left the company’s PR office staffed by a single assistant.

WESTPORT, CT: Virgin Atlantic may have struck marketing gold with its Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me tie-in, but its US communications department has quietly weathered several high-profile departures - which have left the company’s PR office staffed by a single assistant.

WESTPORT, CT: Virgin Atlantic may have struck marketing gold with

its Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me tie-in, but its US

communications department has quietly weathered several high-profile

departures - which have left the company’s PR office staffed by a single

assistant.



Virgin has been seeking a director of industry and public affairs for

months to plug the gap left by the departure of top PR exec Gareth

Edmondson Jones, who joined airline start-up Jet Blue. Meanwhile, the PR

office’s number two, coordinator of industry and public affairs Elvi

Tavares, quit without warning on August 6.



To compound matters, director of marketing Sarah Buxton recently

transferred to Virgin Entertainment in LA.



Tavares has joined Savvy Management, which handles PR for clients such

as Oakley. ’Virgin has been an incredible experience and invaluable to

me,’ said Tavares, who had been with the company for 11 years. ’But

there comes a time to move on and grow.’



Until the office fills the glut of vacancies, media relations will be

handled by the sole remaining office assistant. Tavares, however,

downplayed the severity of the staffing deficit. ’There’s a full PR

staff in the UK, and there are some very knowledgeable experts here,’

she said. ’Plus, our top executives have always been very

accessible.’



Tavares explained that Virgin has taken a long time to replace Jones

because the company is unwilling to settle for anything less than a

top-level candidate. A recruitment ad said that the successful candidate

will be charged with ensuring that the Virgin brand receives ’prominent

and accurate coverage in both broadcast and print.’



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