Asda’s former public relations boss Alan Preece is to join the
University of East Anglia (UEA) as its first director of communications.
Preece, 37, will start at the college in September after four years as
Asda’s general manager, public relations.
The creation of his job as head of UEA’s new communications division is
the latest stage in the university’s 2000 Strategic Plan - an ongoing
programme to revamp its operations.
Under the recommendation of communications consultant Peter Cunard, UEA
is building a PR division of ten, handling internal and external
relations and publications work.
Preece was replaced as head of Asda’s six-strong public relations team
three months ago by former National and Provincial corporate
communications manager Christine Watts but stayed on to complete project
work. (PR Week, 9 February).
He spoke to several retailers about job prospects but said this week: ‘I
needed to move on to something more stretching and demanding and the
opportunities to do that just didn’t exist in retail.’
‘This job is broader than the traditional PR role encompassing funding,
development issues and publications work,’ said Preece.
‘UEA is facing much stronger competition in attracting research funding
The university has also appointed a press officer and editor in charge
of college publications as a result of the 12 month review.