NEW YORK: NYC & Company, New York City's marketing, tourism, and partnership group, has promoted Christopher Heywood to SVP of global communications.
Heywood, who has been with NYC & Company since 2007 and most recently served as SVP of communications, will lead all domestic and international PR for the group. He is reporting directly to president and CEO Fred Dixon.
Some of Heywood’s other tasks include managing the group’s corporate communications efforts and overseeing its global network of 17 international press representatives that serve 27 global regions, according to a statement from the organization.
Communications and government affairs for NYC & Company were previously handled by CCO Kimberly Spell, who was recently appointed as EVP of communications for the Partnership for New York City.
Spell’s government affairs responsibilities are now being handled by NYC & Company’s COO and general counsel Bryan Grimaldi.
He added that he plans on hiring a communications director and "re-tinkering things a little bit," as there are still some hiring decisions to be made.
Heywood said he’s looking forward to finding "innovative and exciting" ways to keep New York City in the "forefront of global conversations."
While New York City doesn’t need help with brand awareness, it needs to spotlight the stories and "hidden gems" of all five boroughs, explained Heywood.
"People think they know New York City," he said. "It’s such a vast and diverse product."
"This product continues to evolve," he said, and when there’s always something new to talk about, such as the opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the organization has to find new ways to tell the city’s stories.
Heywood said New York City is on pace to meet the 55 million visitor mark this year. Three years ago, the city topped 50 million visitors.
Before joining NYC & Company as a director of travel and tourism PR in 2007, Heywood worked for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board for more than eight years. He also sits on the communications committee of the US Travel Association.
This story was updated on May 30 to correct that Heywood did not directly succeed Spell, but took on her communications responsibilities.