B’ham Airport’s Conway takes JCB global PR role

Europe’s biggest construction equipment maker, JCB, has appointed Birmingham International Airport head of external relations Brian Conway to co-ordinate its global PR efforts.

Conway joins the Staffordshire-based company on 4 May in the role of worldwide comms manager. He reports to worldwide sales director Francois Rausch.

A JCB spokesman said Conway would oversee both internal comms – covering its 13 factories across the UK, US, Brazil and India – as well as external comms to its customers across 140 countries. It has around 4,000 employees worldwide and competes against companies such as Caterpillar and Komatsu.

Conway replaces Princess Diana’s former press aide Jane Atkinson, who quit as director of global communications to join comms management consultancy Glenfern (PRWeek, 20 February).

As well as its core equipment market, JCB has sought to capitalise on its name with a brand extension programme taking in construction toys, clothing and power tools. It also operates finance and insurance subsidiaries providing equipment financing and insurance for equipment and workers.

Conway leaves Birmingham Airport after ten years and on the back of the Aviation White Paper in which he helped secure it a second runway. The airport has kicked off the hunt to replace him in the upgraded role of head of corporate affairs.

The successful candidate will take responsibility for strategy, planning, the environment and community. ‘The work that has to be done in delivering that second runway requires someone to co-ordinate those remits’ explained Conway.

JCB recently appointed Chris Wright as global marketing director. He joined a month ago from Mothercare, where he was head of brand comms.

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