Managing director of Countrywide Porter Novelli’s Banbury office
Debbie Parriss and director Chris Woodcock are leaving to set up their
own PR agency.
Both Parriss and Woodcock have been with the agency for ten years.
Parriss was only appointed managing director of Countrywide’s 70-strong
Banbury office 18 months ago, and her departure will be a blow to the
agency’s respected track record for growing its own directors.
Chairman Peter Hehir said: ’Debbie and Chris will be much missed, not
least because they are homegrown talent who joined as executives and
progressed all the way to director level.’
Parriss said: ’We have simply reached a point where we would like to
have a go on our own.’ The two intend to launch a consultancy which will
offer strategic PR advice rather than implementation of campaigns.
Woodcock will contribute her specialisms which are crisis management and
media training to the new agency’s offering. Neil Backwith, one of
Countrywide’s eight remaining directors, will take over the running of
the Banbury office.
- The Energy Saving Trust, a government-funded body which campaigns for
energy efficiency, has hired Countrywide Porter Novelli on fees of up to
pounds 450,000 a year. Countrywide will run campaigns to encourage
home-owners to improve energy efficiency, and to promote the use of
clean fuel vehicles. The incumbent agencies were Hill and Knowlton and
Cohn and Wolfe.