Cunard Lines, the troubled cruise company, has appointed its first head
of communications for Europe, Middle East and Africa as part of its
continuing efforts to re-build its image.
Robyn Griffith-Jones, former head of marketing and PR at the Victoria
and Albert Museum, joins Cunard’s London office this week to oversee
internal and external communications across the region.
The company’s PR manager of 13 years Eric Flounders will continue to
manage media relations in the UK and Ireland but will now report to
Previously he reported to Cunard’s New York-based worldwide PR director
Bill Spears, hired last November after the much publicised QE2 ‘refit
The appointment of an additional PR executive to tackle the European
market is part of an attempt by Cunard to adopt a more proactive PR
strategy in the light of a series of widely reported disasters.
Cunard is also facing stiff competition from high street tour operators
such as Thomson venturing into the cruise market - which grew in volume
by 24 per cent last year.
Griffith-Jones, 39, is planning to focus on getting consumer media
coverage for Cunard’s eight ships by stepping up press trips and
promotional activity in the key markets of France, Germany, Italy, Spain
and South Africa.
Aside from the German office which has a PR agency, Griffith-Jones will
liaise with Cunard sales agents in each country, although she hinted
the company is considering hiring dedicated public relations executives.
She will also manage Cunard’s PR agency when one is appointed within the
next two weeks (PR Week, 17 May).
‘Two thirds of Cunard’s custom comes from the US but there is a huge
amount of interest across Europe,’ said Griffith-Jones of her
appointment. ‘Bill felt he couldn’t manage the whole of Cunard from New