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Posts Tagged ‘New hire’

Strategic communications campaigns specialist Laura Gabb joins as Deputy Managing Director

In the newly-created Deputy Managing Director role, strategic communications campaigns specialist Laura Gabb will draw on more than a decade’s experience across public affairs and marketing communications – working with the agency’s 60-strong team to drive campaigns that secure policy outcomes and strengthen corporate reputations.

Laura joins us from corporate affairs consultancy, 5654 & Company, where she advised clients including Microsoft, Drax, HCA Healthcare UK, and the Association of British Insurers on their policy and public affairs strategies – before which, she spent more than a decade working in and building fast-growing marketing communications teams at leading communications agencies including BCW, Stonehaven and Portland, advising companies such as EDF, Heathrow, INEOS, Rail Delivery Group, and ScottishPower

In addition, she played a leading role in the Conservative Party’s digital team during the successful 2019 General Election, and previously worked in the party’s press office.

She is also a member of the Women in Public Affairs Advisory Committee.

As part of the move, she will broaden our existing integrated campaigning capabilities – which have recently seen WA advise RWE on strategic communications around energy independence, affordability and Net Zero; deliver digital campaigns for Sanofi to showcase the pharma giant’s sustainability strategy; and work with ATM-provider NoteMachine to ensure that access to cash is enshrined in legislation.

Over the next year, we plan to significantly expand our corporate marketing communications capabilities, hiring a number of specialists as part of a broader investment in through-the-line capabilities.

Laura’s appointment is the latest in a series of senior hires – including Cicero MD Tom Frackowiak, who joined in September to head the agency’s Financial Services practice; former Times Transport Correspondent Philip Pank moving to the agency in August; and the appointment of Whitehall Permanent Secretary Sir Philip Rutnam, as Chair of the firm’s Advisory Board in July.

Commenting on her appointment, Laura Gabb, Deputy Managing Director, WA, said:

“WA’s strategic communications work – where government action, media interest, and public impact interlink – makes it vital to adopt a through-the-line approach to corporate affairs campaigns.

In complex, multi-stakeholder environments, policy outcomes are secured and corporate reputations are shaped by communicating with every relevant audience, and maximising the number of channels and touchpoints to make your case.

WA have a strong pedigree of delivering strategic communications campaigns that both achieve client goals and create positive societal impact, and I’m delighted to be able to further broaden and develop this offer.”

Dominic Church, Managing Director, WA, added:

“I’m delighted to welcome Laura to WA.

From helping tech firms understand the implications of the new Online Safety Bill, communicating the societal impact of the financial services sector, or making the case for carbon capture storage and nuclear power, and advising the rail industry on the future of the network, Laura has led on some of the UK’s most high-profile corporate campaigns.

Her cross-disciplinary public affairs and marketing communications expertise reflects WA’s integrated approach – drawing together, and building on each – and will be invaluable to our clients and team, as we pursue our ambition of becoming the UK’s leading independent strategic communications agency.”

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WA Communications bolsters corporate comms function with new hire

WA Communications has hired seasoned government communicator Rachel Ford as an Associate Director in their Strategic Communications practice.

Rachel is a media relations specialist with extensive experience working at the heart of government to promote policy, manage reputation and influence public opinion.

She joins WA after over seven years working on some of the most sensitive and high-profile issues in Whitehall, most recently running the press office at the Ministry of Defence. Rachel also spent several years at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and before joining government worked in PR where she brought health, charity and travel campaigns to life.

Rachel will now bring her in-depth knowledge of policy development, crisis comms and reputation management to bolster the corporate comms function within WA’s Strategic Communications team, which continues to go from strength to strength, with WA having seen 45% year on year growth across the agency.

Lee Findell, Partner and Head of Corporate Communications, WA Communications, said:

“Rachel brings a wealth of government, policy and media relations experience to WA and is a fantastic addition to our Strategic Communications team as we continue to grow our integrated, insight-led comms offer.

“Rachel will be invaluable in helping clients navigate the political and media landscape to make sure their messages are heard by the right people, at the right time.”

Rachel Ford, Associate Director, Strategic Communications, said:

“From energy and the housing market to health and the cost of living, WA helps clients navigate some of the biggest issues facing businesses and society today.

“I look forward to working with clients on these knotty issues to make sure messaging is relevant, targeted and can bring about real and lasting change.”

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Former Special Adviser Amy Fisher joins WA Communications

Following 45% year on year growth across the agency, Amy has joined WA as a Director in the Strategic Communications practice, as WA continues to broaden its political insights and strategic counsel.

Amy will play a key role in servicing client accounts across the business, with a focus on providing insight and senior advice for clients on around issues and reputation management and crisis comms.

The creation of the Strategic Communications practice last year came amid not only strong growth for WA, but also with high profile new business wins including Novo Nordisk, Newcastle University, Landmark Information Group, Roadchef, Edenred, and Simplyhealth. The new offering draws on the strengths of both Corporate Communications and Public Affairs teams to further strengthen WA’s reputation for outcome-based results for clients.

Amy has joined WA after spending time, since 2010, in senior roles in government as a Special Adviser in four different Whitehall departments (Northern Ireland Office, Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs), and as Director of Communications for the Conservative Party.  Latterly, she has joined WA from the think tank Policy Exchange, where she was Director of Policy and Communications.  Amy has worked previously in the private sector, including at Google, but laid her roots in Westminster, working in Conservative HQ’s press office, at the outset of her career.

Marc Woolfson, Partner and Head of Public Affairs, WA Communications, said:

“Amy is a hugely respected political figure and we’re delighted to welcome her as we build our senior team. She will bring unparalleled insight to our Strategic Comms practice, both from a political and media standpoint. This unique blend of expertise is a perfect fit for WA as we continue to develop our team of experts and create more holistic offerings for our clients, rooted in deep insight.”

Amy Fisher, Director, Strategic Communications, said:

“It’s clear that there are significant challenges ahead for the country; at such a time, it’s even more important that clients receive properly integrated PR and PA support, and carefully thought-through advice.

“I hope to add significant value to WA’s pedigree in the public affairs landscape, and combined with my experience in communications, and crisis comms, contribute to WA’s truly blended offering across the market. I look forward to helping clients navigate their way forward.”

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