Thomson Holidays has poached Sonia Haines from specialist travel PR
consultancy BGB and Associates to oversee its PR operation.
Haines replaces Russell Amerasekera as PR head. He was promoted in June
and is the first group director of communications at parent company
Thomson Travel Group after its recent flotation.
Other companies in the group include Lunn Poly, Skytours and Horizon
At the subsidiary, Amerasekera was director of communications with
responsibility for advertising and branding, as well as the press office
and internal communications.
’It was quite a wide-ranging role,’ said Shaun Powell, who joined
Thomson Holidays a year ago as marketing and commercial director and
oversaw Haines’ appointment. ’I felt I wanted a number of senior
specialists running those departments separately.’
Haines and her team of five will handle press relations and public
affairs, covering issues like environmental tourism. Thomson Holidays is
one of those companies ranged with Ford against the BBC’s flagship
consumer affairs programme Watchdog.
Thomson Holidays has no regular PR agencies but Haines may review the
situation. A former local newspaper journalist, Haines spent four years
at BGB, rising to board account director. Her clients included Lunn Poly
and Holiday Cottages Group, both Thomson businesses.