Comms cull to leave skeleton team at AA

The Automobile Association is to cull its PR team from 18 staff to four. The drastic measure has seen its three most senior PROs – head of PR Becky Hadley, head of news Richard Freeman and road services PR manager Michael Johnson – made redundant from the 99-year-old motoring services giant.

Jobs of PR officers in seven regional centres are also being axed and the AA will cease operating a 24-hour press office.

The cull follows hot on the heels of the departure of comms director Karen Myers – who was made redundant last month – and is being assisted by the offer of voluntary redundancies.

Hadley confirmed she was leaving after 18 years at the AA, following the decision of new owners CVC Capital Partners and Permira to decentralise its comms function.

Just one PRO for each of the AA’s road service, insurance, lending and publishing businesses is to be kept on in the new comms set-up, all reporting through individual business units. There will no longer be a PRO responsible for co-ordinating the AA’s corporate comms.

‘It could be argued that having a strong centre has a stultifying effect and restricts the activities of the business that may want to move in different directions,’ said Hadley.

She added that some cuts were justified given the closure of several AA operations, including its service centres, Roadwatch, Tyre Fit and vehicle inspection unit.

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