Media Relations: BT rejigs press office as Cook heads newsroom

BT has promoted media relations chief Ross Cook to take charge of its newsroom - one of Britain's busiest press offices.

Cook, who has worked in the BT press office for four years with responsibility for corporate issues, has taken over from group media relations director Peter Morgan, who became the telecoms giant's group comms director in January (PRWeek, 7 January).

Cook likened his job to that of a news editor in ensuring co-ordination of messages across BT's range of media relations activity, including its wholesale, retail, regional and global services press teams.

'BT is never out of the press and is one of the most public companies in the UK,' said Cook.

'The BT newsroom is very strictly media relations rather than getting into wider PR activity. We work on hard and breaking news,' he added.

The company's London and regional press offices, with 12 staff each, both report to Cook, who is also responsible for the media relations activity of 13 overseas-based PROs.

Cook is no stranger to intense media scrutiny. He joined BT in 2001 from the New Millennium Experience Company, the organisation responsible for the controversial Millennium Dome, where he was head of corporate communications.

The press office reshuffle came into effect on 1 March, days before BT announced its biggest supply contract to date.

Reuters is expected to spend £1.6bn over the next eight and a half years for BT to supply and manage secure data networks globally.

In the deal, BT acquired financial services extranet provider Radianz.

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