Holiday Autos takes its PR in-house for a fresh push

Holiday Autos has taken PR in-house to cut costs, as the car-rental firm bids to position itself as the sector’s leading ‘low-cost’ operator.

Claire Williams, who has been appointed to the newly created role of PR manager, said the hiring of agencies for ‘one-off consumer campaigns’ was possible, but that most consumer and trade PR for Holiday Autos and sister brand Holiday Hotels would now be handled in-house.

Holiday Autos formerly retained Consolidated Communications, which was hired in May 2002 (PRWeek, 3 May 2002) but that agency ceased to work for the firm in mid-July.

Williams reports to marketing manager Matt Cunliffe, who said the firm had ‘a new focus on becoming self-sufficient’.

He said: ‘Having a PR person [in-house] enables us to adopt a more fluid approach. In the short-term this means that marketing promotions can be turned into news releases and publicised quickly.’

Cunliffe added: ‘With an agency there is the “one-step- removed” syndrome, which means, unfortunately, that PR can be an afterthought.’

Cunliffe said Williams would focus on boosting Holiday Autos’s consumer coverage and ‘tailor a dedicated regional line of activity’.

Corporate PR is now handled by Lucy Dare, corporate comms head at, the internet firm that bought Holiday Autos in March for £43m.

Cunliffe joined last November from rival Avis Europe, where he was partnerships manager. He assumed the new position of marketing man-ager in a division restructured in the wake of the departure of former marketing director Jo Pyshorn.

Williams has joined after completing short-term contracts in the American Airlines and Monarch Airlines press offices. She was an account manager for Compass Communications from 1998 to 2002.

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