The Countryside Agency, which will be created by the merger this
April of two existing rural affairs bodies, has appointed David Coleman
as head of public affairs to manage its pounds 1.5 million PR
Coleman is currently strategic affairs head at the Countryside
Commission, which is merging with the Rural Development Commission (RDC)
to form the new agency.
Dubbed the new ’champion’ of the English countryside by its creator,
deputy prime minister John Prescott, the agency will advise the
Government and take action on issues relating to the environment and
social well-being of the English countryside. It will continue with the
work of the RDC, whose activities include sponsored projects to help
women in rural areas return to full employment.
Coleman will have management responsibility for all press and publicity
at the new agency. Day-to-day running of these functions, however, will
be left to the incumbents of the two merging agencies.
The London office will be run by Isobel Coy, currently head of public
affairs at the RDC, who becomes head of media and parliamentary
relations with a team of three.
The Cheltenham office, covering non-media PR, research and events, will
be led by Liz Thompson, now PR manager at the Countryside Commission,
while Lisa Hooper - another Commission employee - will continue to head
Countryside Commission media manager Pam Gilder is taking on a new, and
as yet unannounced, role within the Countryside Agency.
The new agency’s PR operations will have considerable clout. It is
currently in the process of recruiting eight freelance PR professionals
to sell its story to the regions.