NEWS: Rank plans PR review to improve press relations

Rank Organisation is scouring the PR market for a senior figure to help combat the group’s negative reputation with the press.

Rank Organisation is scouring the PR market for a senior figure to help

combat the group’s negative reputation with the press.



The search for what sources describe as a ‘head of media relations’

coincides with the company’s decision to switch PR agencies. Lowe Bell

Financial was hired two weeks ago to boost Rank’s corporate profile and

tackle a range of issues, including the company’s traditional ‘no

comment’ approach to journalists.



Rank’s new chief executive Andrew Teare, who arrived from English China

Clays last week, is understood to favour a more co-operative

relationship with the press than his predecessor Michael Gifford and may

now turn his attention to Rank’s in-house PR.



Group media relations are currently handled by press and PR executive

Rodney Rycroft, who was brought into the post by former chief executive

Michael Gifford 12 years ago. He reports to investor relations director

Jane Anscombe.



It is unclear whether the new communications manager will replace or

work alongside Rycroft, who did not attend the presentations made by

Lowe Bell, Dewe Rogerson and Shandwick Consultants for the PR account

two weeks ago.



A well-placed source at Rank, who asked not to be named, said that the

firm’s PR was ‘under review’. However, the source refused to give any

details, saying: ‘We have a long standing tradition of not talking to

the press and I am not willing to break that tradition at the moment.’



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