Save the Children raids Oxfam for top comms job

Save the Children has swooped for Oxfam's director of campaigns to fill its own top comms role.

Adrian Lovett will be joining the children’s charity at the end of this month as director of campaigns and communications.

At the same time, Save the Children has hired a new dir­ector of policy. David Mepham, associate director at the left-leaning think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, takes up the new role in September. He will lead the policy advocacy teams in key areas including children’s health, education, hunger and child protection.

Both Lovett and Mepham will report directly to CEO Jasmine Whitbread, a former Oxfam international director. They replace Fiona Weir, who used to do both roles but left earlier this year without a new job lined up (PRWeek, 2 March).

Save the Children has been reassessing its communications strategy and is keen to make more of an imp­act in the national media. Head of PR Rosie Jordan said: ‘Our aim is to make the organisation louder and more challenging. We want our campaigns to be more coherent and make more PR noise.’

Lovett is tasked with ­creating more integration bet­ween the teams, as the ­organisation looks to put more emphasis on campaigning. He said: ‘I felt it was time to make a fresh contribution to these critical issues. There has been a rediscovering of confidence to put campaigns at the heart of communications and at the heart of an organisation itself.’

Lovett has been at Oxfam for nearly six years and has worked on a string of succ­essful campaigns including Oxfam’s ‘Make Trade Fair’, ‘Make Poverty History’ and, most recently, the ‘I’m In’ campaign.

The head of Oxfam’s Welsh operation, Catherine Hester, has been made interim director of campaigns while Oxfam hunts for a rep­lacement for Lovett.

An announcement on Lovett’s successor is expec­ted in early August. Hester’s previous role is being filled by Oxfam Cymru’s policy and advocacy officer Steve Brooks.

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