Waterstone’s hires Marino for long-vacant top PR job

Bookseller Waterstone’s has hired Harrison Cowley associate director and head of London office Jo Marino to head up its PR efforts.

Marino, who led a team of 23 reporting to the agency’s head of corporate division Paul Kelly, starts as PR manager next week, in a role that has been vacant for 12 months, following the departure of Susan Limb.

She will oversee the work of Waterstone’s PR agencies – Brunswick on financial PR and Harrison Cowley on consumer.

Marino is expected to focus on raising awareness of the retailer through high-profile book launches, such as the Harry Potter series and Hilary Clinton’s autobiography, in conjunction with their publishers. She is also planning to run campaigns aimed at promoting reading in general.

Her brief includes increasing traffic into the chain, as well as promoting the depth of range it has over its rivals.

She will also oversee the work of local co-ordinators to support national campaigns using templates and toolkits.

‘I will draw these up and help them at a local level,’ said Marino. She will report to marketing director Leslie Miles.

Marino is the third senior executive to leave Harrison Cowley within three months. The agency’s long-standing board director Denise Mullen is leaving after 14 years with the firm.

Mullen, who leaves next week, plans to set up her own agency targeting

clients ‘that fall outside of Harrison Cowley’s radar’. She said: ‘If I do not do it now, I will never do it.’

She rejected suggestions that the move was tied-up with the arrival of new business director Alison Clarke, who joined in January (PRWeek, 17 January).

Harrison Cowley Manchester office chief and associate director Steve Leigh left in May to become Weber Shandwick North joint MD. (PRWeek, 8 May).

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