Royal Mail ends turbulent year with Paterson hire

Former Lansons Communications public affairs chief Dirk Paterson has resurfaced at Royal Mail as head of governmental relations.

Paterson left Lansons in the summer, without a new role (PRWeek, 18 July). It is understood that he has taken this position on a temporary basis to begin with, rep­orting to Royal Mail dir­ector of comms Mary Fagan.

Royal Mail has been without a head of government rel­ations for over a year. The previous postholder Mick Fisher announced his departure in August 2006 after seven years and has since taken a lobbying post at the London Development Agency.

The new public affairs chief will have his work cut out as Royal Mail has a number of issues to contend with over the coming months. The organisation recently announced consultations on a further round of Post Office closures. Last week, Royal Mail confirmed that a summer marred by strikes and flooding led to a downturn in service levels and a 15 percentage point drop in first-class delivery rates during the second half of the year.

Paterson joined Lansons from Citigate Public Affairs in 2005 to launch its lobbying practice.
His head of public affairs role has since been taken over by ex-FD-LLM lobbyist Ben Abbotts.

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