Laura Lear, who formerly led the business and corporate team at PR agency Speed Communications, joins McCann as PR and social managing partner. That role was previously held by Patrick Southwell, who left last year to launch the agency Five not 10.
Lear reports to Andy Reid, managing director of McCann Bristol.
Melody Meacher-Jones joins in the new role of head of social, reporting to Lear. In her previous role as social media lead at Lidl, Meacher-Jones was responsible for the brand’s consumer social media and influencer strategies, including campaigns. She has also worked at BT and Nestlé.
As well as leading the existing PR team and client portfolio at McCann Bristol, Lear will work with Meacher-Jones to expand the agency’s social offering, McCann Live. The agency said the offering has achieved "significant growth" in the past year.
McCann's PR and social team has grown to more than 60 people operating out of Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Milton Keynes and London. The team has its own clients as well as supporting McCann’s integrated clients across different sectors.
Chris Arthur, group managing director, PR & Comms, at McCann Central, said: “The team has gone from strength to strength over the last few years as the need for brand reputation management, PR and social activation strategy has taken on a central and critical role in the marketing mix. Never has there been such a need to engage audiences in a meaningful and truthful way.
“Laura and Melody’s appointments demonstrate our commitment to this and our understanding of the communications landscape. By building a strong PR and social team within a large, integrated agency you get everything under one roof, which is the key to delivering real impact for brands and business.”
McCann is part of Interpublic Group, which also owns PR agencies Weber Shadwick and Golin.