Public Sector: West Midlands Assembly fills top comms position

The West Midlands Regional Assembly has called in Jo Kite, an account director at McCann Erickson PR, to fill its most senior comms role.

She joins on 5 May from McCann Erickson's Solihull office and replaces Ian Oliver, who left last month after two years to join building firm Wolseley UK as its first external comms manager.

Kite, who will report to Assembly director Simon Hodgson, said: 'The real challenge is making people far more aware of the existence of the assembly and what it is trying to achieve.

'People view the West Midlands as a county, but it is far bigger and more diverse than that, so it is trying to create an identity for the region, helping it compete with other regions and the rest of Europe.'

Promotional work being carried out by the assembly during 2005 includes a review, launched this month, into the role of the region's three 'high-technology corridors' in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire; Wolverhampton and Telford; and along the A38 from Birmingham to Malvern. It is hoped that by 2010 these areas will create 7,000 jobs involving 2,500 businesses.

Another priority for the comms team this year is promotion of the assembly's transport delivery plan, launched earlier this month.

The head of communications role is being covered by consultant Jenny Procter on a part-time, interim basis until Kite joins.

The Assembly is responsible for developing strategies on issues such as social inclusion and the environment.

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