Shangri-La hires Luard for UK brand work

Luxury hotel chain Shangri-La has recruited Karen Luard as its director of public relations with a brief to increase the company’s brand recognition in the UK and lure European travellers to its five-star resorts.

The Asia-based company has hired Luard to take over Shangri-La’s PR programme and manage the company’s media initiatives in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

Luard’s immediate plans include a publicity campaign targeting top-end UK consumers.

‘Shangri-La is extremely well known and respected in Asia, but less well known in the UK. My job is to change that,’ Luard said.

The campaign will promote the new Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai, and the rebranded Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, to UK travel and leisure publications.

Luard is particularly keen to promote the resorts through broadcasting. ‘If it’s the right programme, the visual effects are tremendous and the reach is fantastic,’ she said. Luard also plans to promote the hotels to the national broadsheets.

Shangri-La is one of the largest luxury hotel companies in the Asian region, with 40 hotels across Australia, the Chinese mainland, Fiji, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

Currently, Shangri-La does not have any hotels in the UK, but Luard says the company is exploring opportunities.

Luard will be working out of the company’s London office, reporting to director of corporate public relations Julia Record.

Luard stepped down as senior account director of London based communications agency big:pr, a division of the big group, to replace Helen Oakeley, who has left Shangri-La to become a teacher.

Luard has been involved in publishing and PR for over 20 years, and previously operated her own PR company in Hong Kong and Sydney from 1988, until relocating to London in 2001.

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