The agency has also hired several consultants in its biggest recruitment drive to date.
Townsend joins as a partner, while Dr David Bull and Laurence Jones join as specialist partners in Pagefield’s healthcare and financial PR divisions respectively.
Townsend’s role involves advising Pagefield’s clients across all sectors and helping the agency grow its Pagefield Brands offering with more high-profile consumer-facing companies, individuals and cultural institutions.
He brings more than four decades of experience as a journalist, including most recently as editor of The Sunday Express. Under his editorship, the newspaper broke the global exclusive on Prince Harry’s romance with Meghan Markle and led the paper’s Crusade For Better Mental Health, which won a Mind award and government plaudits.
He has also a former editor of OK! magazine and show business editor of The Mail on Sunday.
Dr Bull is an author, television presenter and media personality personality who joins as a specialist partner to lead the growth of the agency’s health and wellness portfolio in the UK and internationally. He has starred on network TV shows such as Newsround, Watchdog, Tomorrow’s World and The Wright Stuff. He has most recently been working on The Jeremy Vine show and hosts a consumer TV show in Paris.
Jones joins from Dragon Advisory and will lead the growth of Pagefield’s financial and investor relations communications. He brings more than 15 years of public relations experience working on real estate, Government, corporate, crisis, campaign and sports briefs. He has also worked at FTI Consulting developers, fund managers and listed companies in the real estate sector.
In addition to the three partner appointments, Pagefield has hired four consultants and a senior executive.
They are: senior consultant Olivia Thornhill (from Delancey), consultant Will Nelson (from Soapbox London), consultant Steph Croucher (from FleishmanHillard Fishburn), consultant Jack Crone (from Teamspirit) and senior executive Jessica Alexander (from Kaso Legg Communications).
Pagefield chief executive Oliver Foster said the new hires underlined a huge year of growth for the agency, which launched Pagefield Sport, Pagefield Brands and sister agency Pagefield Global, which specialises in disputes and crisis.
"As the Pagefield family welcomes our biggest ever single batch of brilliant new talent we’re all looking forward to 2019 with much anticipation – a year in which we will continue to bolster our brands, sport and financial communications work, alongside the corporate PR and public affairs campaigning which has run right through our bloodstream since we opened our doors in 2010," Foster said.