Railtrack is downgrading its contract with Bell Pottinger public
affairs from a retainer to a project basis following changes in its
government relations requirements.
Bell Pottinger will no longer handle the company’s day-to-day public
affairs, but will be used for longer-term political communications
strategy and events such as party conferences.
Railtrack corporate affairs director Philip Dewhurst said: ’Our
requirements have changed. We took Bell Pottinger on before the election
after our flotation and they’ve done a fantastic job. We now need them
to focus on the big challenges coming along in the future.’
The company has a four-strong public affairs team headed by Simon Miller
and including public affairs manager Fiona Bulmer who was an adviser to
former president of the board of trade Ian Lang before joining Railtrack
a year ago.
Issues on Railtrack’s public affairs agenda include saving the Channel
Tunnel rail link, the future of London Underground under the
Government’s proposed public private partnership and helping the
Government deliver its integrated transport policy.
Railtrack is also in the process of building up grassroots support for
the company from constituency MPs.
Railtrack uses Brunswick for financial and corporate PR, The Rowland
Company for consumer PR, Media Strategy for press relations and Camargue
for property PR (PR Week, 27 November).