Edelman's Shell lead moves to National Grid for new social purpose role

James Ruane, who heads the global Shell account at Edelman, is moving to National Grid in a new role focused on social purpose, PRWeek has learned.

Ruane (pictured) will become group director of brand and social purpose when he joins the multinational electricity and gas company on 3 December.

The role will blend comms and brand marketing, focusing on defining and shaping National’s Grid’s social purpose narrative. The position will also include employee comms.

Ruane will report to Barney Wild, who is set to join National Grid from Rolls-Royce as corporate affairs director on 15 October.

Ruane previously worked as communications manager at National Grid for more than five years after graduating from university.

He has been managing director, Shell, at Edelman since 2015, where a key responsibility has involved building the brand story for one of the agency’s biggest accounts.

Ruane was formerly group brand director at BAE Systems, and has also worked at agencies Cohn & Wolfe and Lexis PR.

He said: "I’m proud to have been part of such an amazing team at Edelman, supporting Shell for the past three-and-a-half years, and excited to be joining National Grid to help shape their brand, social purpose, and employee comms strategy. As the energy sector and communications landscape continues to evolve, placing purpose in the centre of the marketing mix, combined with more modern brand storytelling, will be key to earning people's interest and trust."

A spokesperson for Edelman said: "We want to thank James for his leadership and commitment to the firm throughout his time at Edelman, and we wish him all the best for his next role."

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