In brief: Manchester Airport Group hires public affairs director from Heathrow, plus account wins for Lewis, Red Hot Penny and Social Communications

Manchester Airport Group hires public affairs director from Heathrow, service station project appoints Social Comms, Lewis wins Dutch brand HEMA, Influential appoints and more from PRWeek UK.

Graeme Elliott: Manchester Airports Group's new public affairs director
Graeme Elliott: Manchester Airports Group's new public affairs director

Manchester Airport hires public affairs director

Manchester Airports Group has appointed Graeme Elliott (pictured) as its group public affairs director, based in London. Elliott joins from Heathrow where he was the airport's head of government relations. Before Heathrow, he held positions in agency and in-house, including working for five years at Network Rail. At MAG he will work across the group's four UK airports including Manchester, Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth, as well as expanding its US operation.

Service station project appoints Social Comms

Social Communications' public affairs team has been appointed to support motorway service station owner Extra MSA Group's planning application for a 'new concept' service area at junction 45 of the M1. The firm says the Leeds Skelton Lake Services plan would create 700 jobs. Other clients of Social Communications' public affairs team include Tesco, and divisions of G4S and RBS.

Red Hot Penny wins Red7 account

Red7 – a group activity trip provider specialising in stag and hen parties – has appointed Red Hot Penny as its digital PR agency. The contract was won through a competitive pitch process against five other agencies. The agency will also be providing search marketing, display advertising and creative content services to the client.

Lewis lands HEMA brief

Lewis' consumer division has been appointed to handle the PR for Dutch lifestyle products brand HEMA Retail. The firm has nearly 700 stores in seven countries and Lewis is currently supporting the launch of its fifth UK store, at Stansted Airport. Lewis' head of consumer Ranj George will report to HEMA's in-house team.

Influential appoints Manchester PR director

The agency Influential has taken on journalist Chris Barry as the new PR director of its Manchester office. Barry joins from, where he has worked since 2008 including launching its North West edition. He previously worked at Manchester Evening News, where he was business editor. His brief at Influential will focus on b2b PR campaigns.

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