Susan Butler joins the RSA on 19 February with a brief to position it as a ‘key forum for cultural and social change’.
‘I wanted to work for an organisation that is progressive at heart, and the RSA is returning to its radical roots to bring about positive changes in society,’ she said.
Fellowship and marketing director Stephen Farrant said Butler’s first task would be to assess the RSA’s internal comms function and review its use of agency support. The RSA has used Colman Getty and Lexington Communications on various projects.
Reporting to Farrant, Butler will take charge of an eight-strong team, handling PA, media relations, online comms and production of the RSA’s journal.
The arts body wants to raise its profile via a more proactive approach to media relations and lobbying, and is keen to explore new ways of communicating with its 26,000 fellows.
Butler was formerly director of comms at Nesta – the government-funded body that helps entrepreneurs commercialise their ideas.
She left last May after six years, and spent last summer renovating a property overseas. Butler replaces Ezri Carlebach, who left the RSA in November to become head of internal comms, UK Banking, in Barclays’ corporate affairs arm.
Last June, Nesta hired Electoral Commission director of comms Angela Salt to a newly created role of executive director of corporate comms.