Digital future for National Trust with two additions

The National Trust has filled its head of comms post as it looks to create more 'interactive' relationships with its three and a half million members.

National Trust: focus on internet
National Trust: focus on internet

At the same time, the organisation has hired its first head of digital media as it ramps up its digital offering, investing several million pounds over the next three years.

The University of Bath's senior press officer Andrew McLaughlin has taken the head of comms role - the number two spot in the charity's comms team. He will oversee all media relations and a central press team of eight. The National Trust also has two media officers based in each of its 11 regions.

McLaughlin replaces Julian Lloyd, who held the role for five years but left last October after the central press team was relocated from London to the Swindon HQ.

He will work closely with the new head of digital media Nick Burne, who has been brought in for at least a year on secondment from Think Consulting Solutions to develop the trust's digital presence. Burne will grow the four-strong team to more than 20 as the organisation strives to establish internet relationships with its members. The trust is looking at setting up social networking platforms and creating a members-only part of the site.

McLaughlin reports to comms director Ivo Dawnay, who is mainly based in London.

'We want our members to act like our stakeholders,' said Dawnay. 'We want to get in touch with what they want.'

He also defined his comms strategy going forward as focusing on green living and its relevance for ordinary people. 'We want to move away from being known as the country house people,' he added.

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