Up Communications to merge with Home Office PR as Stuart Jackson relinquishes CEO role

Up Communications is to merge with Home Office PR (HOPR), in a move that will see Up CEO Stuart Jackson step back from day-to-day operations of the agency.

Stuart Jackson: Non-executive director of the newly merged venture
Stuart Jackson: Non-executive director of the newly merged venture

Tech-focused Up has worked with HOPR, which is headed by ex-journalists James Saville and Lara Gould, since last autumn. The latest move represents a formal coming together for the two agencies.

The newly merged agency will retain the Up name and be located at Up’s current office in London's Soho.

Jackson, formerly director of comms at EE and Orange, is to become non-executive director of the venture, with Gould becoming publicity director and Saville press director.

Lynne Arrowsmith, Up’s other co-founder who previously worked with Jackson as EE's head of internal brand and comms, becomes brand and comms director. Up’s current chairman Steven Day will continue in that role.

The company has also hired its first full-time account team members, with former Purple PR intern Ben Woodman and Good Relations Grad Scheme alumnus Conrad Arnavutian starting at the firm on Tuesday (1 September).

Jackson told PRWeek the agency will specialise in three key sectors for internal and external comms: mobile and technology; media and entertainment; and brand and business. Since working together, they have secured accounts including celebrity hair stylist Nicky Clarke and not-for-profit safety organisation Internet Matters.

Gould was showbiz editor at the Mail on Sunday and also worked at the Sunday Mirror, while Saville was previously at the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.

Jackson said: "We started focusing on the area I felt comfortable with when I began the company, which is technology, but having had Lara and James on board we were able to extend that – that’s where we got the Nicky Clarke contract from. Lara’s background is very much showbiz, Jamie’s background is very much news."

Up was launched in 2014.

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