Railtrack has recruited London Transport PR veteran Roger Shire to be
head of media relations in the run up to its planned privatisation next
Shire will report to former Rowland Company managing director Philip
Dewhurst, himself recently hired by Railtrack as director of public
affairs with a seat on the board and a salary of pounds 100,000-a-year
(PR Week 15 September).
Railtrack has also been recruiting for a head of public affairs and is
expected to announce an appointment next week.
Shire, who takes up the post in December, has a 28-year track record in
PR for British Rail, London Underground and London Transport.
According to Dewhurst: ‘Politicians are having a field day with
Railtrack, making it a political battleground. But we have an important
task, which is to create the right reputation for Railtrack after
He added: ‘It’s a big challenge. We will be the national rail
organisation, and I wanted the best in the business to run the press
office - that’s Roger.’
Shire leaves his role as head of the six-strong London Transport press
office at the end of November, shortly after its merger with London
Buses’ press office (PR Week, 28 July 1995).
He joined London Transport in 1986 as press and promotions manager for
London Underground and claims a key role in winning battles for the
Jubilee Line extension and line refurbishment programmes.
He is also an experienced PR ‘minder’ on industrial relations issues and
has had a key behind-the-scenes role in countering rail union arguments
and strike moves during the current Underground pay dispute.
‘Industrial relations has always been a favourite of mine’, said Shire,
who added that he has always been a member of a trade union himself.