In brief: Network Rail hires comms chief, Ayles and King launch agency, Hall joins uni body, Frank's new Apprentice briefs

Murdoch takes Network Rail comms helm, Ayles and King launch Eleven Hundred and more from PRWeek UK.

Murdoch takes Network Rail comms helm

Network Rail has appointed Caroline Murdoch as group comms director. Currently deputy director and director of corporate affairs at the National Crime Agency, she will join on 26 February. Prior to the NCA, Murdoch was corporate affairs chief for Transport for London. Network Rail's previous comms lead Barney Wyld left late last year for Rolls-Royce. Network Rail also today announced new group HR director Alison Rumsey, an internal promotion, and new non-exec Mike Putnam, previously president and CEO of Skanska UK.

Ayles and King launch Eleven Hundred

Claire Ayles and Mike King have launched PR and content creation firm Eleven Hundred Agency. King was the co-founder in 1992 of Johnson King, a tech agency that was acquired by US firm Finn Partners in 2015. Ayles was a longstanding staffer of King's firm, and both continued to work for Finn until late last year. The North London agency's launch clients include rural broadband provider Voneus and Al Bawardi Critchlow, a law firm with a specialism in cryptocurrency.

Katja Hall joins uni regulator

Katja Hall, a former corporate affairs leader at HSBC and the CBI, has been named on the board of the Office for Students, the new universities regulator, it was announced in 1 January. The same announcement also drew attention, and some criticism, for the appointment of Toby Young as chair.

Frank's Apprentice briefs

James White and Sarah Lynn, the first people to be named joint winners of the BBC's The Apprentice in December last year, have become clients of Frank, as part of the agency’s ongoing work with Lord Sugar. Frank has represented Lord Sugar since 2001, and looks after all winners of the show. White is launching a staffing business called Right Time Recruitment and Lynn is developing sweets firm Sweets in The City. The two PR professionals on the 2017 show, Anisa Topan and Jade English, respectively reached the eighth and tenth tasks of its 12-episode run.

A pair of wins at A Marr

Independent agency A Marr + Associates has been appointed to run a 12-month campaign to promote Leipzig as one of "Europe's cultural heavyweight destinations", with a particular focus on the city being the birthplace of composer Richard Wagner. The agency has also been hired to oversee the UK launch of new zero-emission electric motorcycle Evoke.

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