Facebook UK PR head to lead Instagram EMEA comms

Sophy Tobias is moving from her role at Facebook to take charge of PR across Europe for Instagram, the photo-sharing network Facebook acquired for a billion dollars last year.

LONDON: Sophy Tobias is moving from her role at Facebook to take charge of PR across Europe for Instagram, the photo-sharing network Facebook acquired for a billion dollars last year.

The move leaves Facebook searching for a replacement head of UK PR when Tobias, who will also be responsible for the Middle East and Africa, takes on her new role next Monday.

The position is the first new comms role outside the US at Instagram. She will report directly to US-based head of PR David Swain.

Tobias will be charged with setting up Instagram's PR function across the region with wide-ranging responsibilities that include media and analyst relations as well as proactive and reactive PR.

Tobias will support existing agency relationships in countries such as the UK, Russia, and Germany, and look at new agency partnerships in other key markets that are in the process of being defined.

Instagram is attempting to build momentum in key verticals such as fashion, sports, food, and celebrities as it seeks to grow its global user base of 150 million.

It has already started to build its European fashion connections. Founder Kevin Systrom came to London Fashion Week in September to discuss the future of Instagram with model Lily Cole and attend the Burberry catwalk show.

Tobias said her job will include communications for the potential rollout of advertising on the service in Europe following its introduction in the US.

Tobias had similarly set up the PR functions within Facebook in the UK and previously at eBay for Gumtree, where she was head of comms.

“It is a great opportunity for me, and I am really excited to be taking the role on,” she said.

Facebook European corporate comms director Stefano Hesse will begin the search to fill the position vacated by Tobias. Hesse will be the first point of media contact in the UK in the interim, with support from its UK agencies.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.

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