Telegraph Media Group makes PR hire and 'reviews external needs' as Coulson involvement ends

Telegraph Media Group (TMG) has hired a consumer PR manager from media rival CNN, and will welcome another new hire shortly, as the high-profile engagement with Andy Coulson's PR agency concludes.

Joel Ivory-Harte: joined Telegraph Media Group in June
Joel Ivory-Harte: joined Telegraph Media Group in June

The Guardian and Financial Times last week reported that The Daily Telegraph owner had decided to stop working with Coulson, the former Number 10 press chief who was jailed in 2014.

The March appointment by TMG of Coulson Chappell, the agency set up last year by Cameron's former aide with Pitch Marketing Group founder Henry Chappell, proved controversial given Coulson's association with phone hacking.

Read next: Experienced and media savvy, but a risky hire: three hacks turned flacks on the Telegraph hiring Andy Coulson

However, a spokeswoman for the Telegraph told PRWeek that the project Coulson was brought in to complete had concluded. She said: "Coulson Chappell were engaged earlier this year on a project basis to help us develop a communications strategic plan, which they have delivered. We are now reviewing our external PR needs."

When Coulson Chappell's hire was reported, PRWeek revealed that Good Relations would end its press office work with TMG in June.

The appointment last month of consumer PR manager Joel Ivory-Harte and the review of "external needs" further suggests a desire to do more comms work in-house following Coulson Chappell's recommendations.

Ivory-Harte previously worked for CNN International as a PR manager, and before this held roles with Discovery Channel UK and Sky. An additional PR manager will join in September.

Senior Telegraph comms operators also include interim comms director Parveen Johal and Lord Black. Black joined the group from the Conservative Party in 2005 as director of corporate affairs, and is now executive director.

Separately, Pitch Marketing Group has been undertaking a brand campaign for the Telegraph, which was delayed due to the General Election and will now conclude in the Autumn.

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