Sarbutts - who last week joined the Manchester-based agency as MD, a newly created position - said a rebrand was planned for Connectpoint PR, which is part of a wider marcoms group of the same name, run by group MD Steve Rodgers.
Sarbutts said that the rebrand was designed to differentiate the PR arm from the rest of the group, which also handles advertising and new media work, 'in order to indicate our ambition, which is to challenge the major PR players in the north of England'.
He insisted that he had no plans to sever links with the umbrella group, 'not least because we share clients with the ad agency'.
In further staff hires, Mason Williams PR associate director Sandra McDowell and Powell Communication Consultants director Tim Roberts are to join the Connectpoint PR board later this month.
Connectpoint PR, which will grow to ten staff, has clients such as Fairclough Homes, Sentinel, First North Western and Sadolin.
Sarbutts said that TRP's three retained clients had moved across to Connectpoint.