University hires WS to build links with business

The University of Hertfordshire has hired Weber Shand­wick to handle a newly ­created public affairs brief, aimed at tapping into the Government’s increasing ­interest in business and education partnerships.

University of Hertfordshire: hired WS
University of Hertfordshire: hired WS

The contract was won foll­owing a competitive pitch and combines both PR and public affairs. It runs for three years and focuses on government relations, coming in response to moves by the Government to link business with higher education.

The activity has included the creation of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills headed by secretary of state John Denham. The department combines many functions of the now defunct Department for Trade and Industry and Department for Education and Skills.

Building partnerships with business is already a focus for the university, which bene­fited from business support such as funding from pharmaceutical firm Eisai to build a £5m healthcare centre, which opened this year.

The WS team is led by corp­orate communications MD Michael Prescott. He reports to the university’s director of marketing and communications Tim Longden.

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