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
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.’