Rainey hires agencies for web launch

A new social networking site run by advertising guru MT Rainey has appointed two agencies ahead of its launch this summer.

Rainey: ads guru has set up website
Rainey: ads guru has set up website

The site – www.horses­mouth.co.uk – has turned to Shine Communications and recently formed Open Road. The agencies beat off stiff competition in competitive pitches.

The site is billing itself as ‘the first social network with a social purpose’. It allows users to ask each other questions about issues such as health, careers and education.

Rainey, former CEO of Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe Y&R, said: ‘We all have wisdom from our experiences in life, and sharing that wisdom unlocks the human capital and allows users to inspire and support one another.’

The site, which is currently running in test stage, features three broad categories: life, work and learning. It relies on volunteers sharing information and advice, and part of the PR challenge will be to encourage groups such as the British Chambers of Commerce or the National Union of Students to get involved and share their knowledge.

Although the site was initially conceived for young people, it is open to anyone and is expected to attract a response from many different groups – from silver surfers to mums.

Shine has been hired to offer consumer PR support while Open Road will be focusing on issues such as stakehol­der relations and corporate PR. It is understood that six agencies pitched for each account. Fees are undisclosed.

Open Road was set up earlier this by several well-known figures in public ­affairs and corporate comms consultancy (PRWeek, 12 January). Its chief executive is Graham McMillan, former head of public affairs at Fishburn Hedges. The Horsesmouth account is being led by Open Road director Victoria Tate, former head of public affairs at the Spirit Group.

Horsesmouth is being funded by the Edge Foundation – a Department for Education and Skills-backed organisation that aims to help young people develop skills.

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