Manchester Airport fills top comms position

Manchester Airport has ended its lengthy search for a top communicator, appointing Centrica’s telecoms media relations manager Russell Craig to the role.

Craig is to join in September as head of communications, to lead an eight-strong team covering press and PR, internal comms and events, as well as overseeing a £700,000 budget.

He is the first permanent top-level communicator at the airport since head of press and PR Sally Sykes left in April last year to become AstraZeneca’s director of communications for the north-west England operation.

A search to find a direct replacement was abandoned last autumn, with a fresh search for the newly created head of comms role then launched.

The change in the role was part of a wider restructure (PRWeek, 25 October 2002).

Another new recruit to the airport’s PR team is Chris Shaw, who joins this month as senior press officer from the Lawn Tennis Association, where he has been a PRO for the last three years.

Shaw said among the work Craig would oversee will be promotional activity surrounding two projects at the airport – the now completed £60m Ground Transport Interchange and a £5m retail facility.

The PR team is currently involved in handling media relations surrounding another piece of work at the airport, the next stage in a £2.5m overhaul of the airport’s 40-year-old terminal.

Craig will not, however, handle lobbying over proposals being mooted for airport expansion across the UK. This will continue to be overseen by the airport’s head of government and industry relations Jonathan Bailey.

For internal communications the airport produces an in-house newspaper called Plane Talk.

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