British Swimming is to embark on a campaign to promote the sport and raise awareness of a looming cash and venue crisis.
The body is facing a funding drought and is set to lose one of its major venues, Crystal Palace, which houses the only Olympic-size pool in London.
The organisation has hired QBO Bell Pottinger to the task, five years after QBO was replaced by an in-house team.
British Swimming has lacked an active in-house PR team for the past year after the departure of communications director Dee McIntosh, a former BBC Five Live producer who left to join the Rugby Football Union.
QBO director Susan McMahon will head the account – won after a three-way pitch. She reports to British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes.
‘We will be seeking to build a communications strategy beyond events and highlight the problems facing swimming in the national media,’ said McMahon, who heads QBO’s sports division.
‘We will be seeking briefings with sports editors and editors to discuss issues rather than just results stories for next day editions,’ she added.