Visit London stages pitch and rejigs PR

Visit London has overhauled its communications team in a bid to target three main markets – Europe, the UK and long-haul countries including the US – and is considering pitches from COI- rostered agencies for a UK PR campaign beginning at the end of May.

The restructure comes ahead of a £5m marketing push in the US this spring that will use Freud Communications to support print, radio, online and outdoor advertisements.

Visit London head of PR Katharine Grice, who is on maternity leave until June, leads a comms team of four, comprising long-haul PR manager Zoe Shurgold, Europe PR manager Jenny Kite and UK PR manager Emma Coulthurst, who joins from easyJet.

The team reports to general manager of corporate affairs Ken Kelling, who said the former structure in which staff were allocated issues including corporate, business or leisure PR was an old-fashioned strategy for tourist boards that tend to focus their activity on territorial markets.

Visit London is finalising Freud’s remit to rebuild leisure tourism from the

US following 9/11 and position London as a contemporary and active holiday destination.

Kelling, who joined Visit London six months ago, said the campaign would stretch into autumn to focus on people most likely to travel – those aged over 35 with household incomes above £40,000, as well as the 19 per cent of Americans estimated by Visit London to hold passports.

Visit London is hosting pitches this week for the Go Further campaign targeting UK media that will encourage Londoners and day visitors to expand their knowledge of the city.

Kelling said plans for a major European campaign were still at conception stage, but would position London as ‘cheeky and fun’, while challenging the perception that the city offers poor value for money.

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