Barrow leaves PRCA to run Ketchum division

Ketchum’s London CEO David Gallagher has lured the PRCA’s managing director Patrick Barrow to take charge of the agency’s corporate practice.

The job has been vacant since Paul Baverstock left in September 2005, but an increase in business from current clients forced Gallagher to start a search at the end of last year.

Gallagher told PRWeek: ‘Bringing in someone of Patrick’s talent and seniority will show our team and clients that we are serious about our corporate offering.’ He is also on the verge of hiring another director for the 15-strong department, which has been boosted by extra business from existing clients including Nokia, FedEx and Baxter Pharmaceuticals.

Barrow joined the PR agency trade body three years ago after an in-house PR career that spanned Thomas Cook, the Telegraph Group and T-Mobile. The Ketchum post will be his first senior agency role.

PRCA chairman Richard Houghton has briefed headhunter Huntress to search for a new MD and expects a shortlist in the next few days.

Houghton said that Barrow had been instrumental in improving the PRCA’s focus on tightening up agencies’ commercial focus and he wanted this to continue. ‘We need someone who understands that media relations is becoming a commodity business for many agencies.’

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