Portland will continue as Heathrow’s comms & public affairs agency after being reappointed, after 5 years already
Portland will continue as Heathrow’s comms and public affairs agency after being reappointed, after the airport got companies to pitch for the work in September 2017. The brief includes internal communications, external and public affairs, media relations and crisis and issues management, and is designed to “build further trust and pride in the airport”, a spokesman for Heathrow said. Portland have had the job for over 5 years. PRWeek understands that the monthly retainer on the new account is over £20,000, making it worth more than £250,000 per year, before any additional project fees are added. A major focus for Heathrow in 2018 is trying to persuade government to let it build a 3rd runway. Heathrow has spent a vast amount of comms and PR over recent years, on its lobbying and campaigning on the 3rd runway. A vote on the draft Airports NPS (ie. on the runway) is expected in Parliament towards the summer. Heathrow’s review of their PR company followed the appointment of Nigel Milton as director of comms in January 2017, and Josephine Roberts as head of media, who oversees the Heathrow press office, in June 2017. Milton said Portland “will support in-house teams across our corporate communications programme, including internal and external activations”.
Portland pips H+K to retain Heathrow brief on monthly retainer “in excess of £20,000”
by Sam Burne James (PR Week)
Portland will continue as Heathrow’s comms and public affairs agency after being reappointed in a pitch process that saw it come up against Hill+Knowlton Strategies in the final round.
It was reported in September that the account with one of the world’s busiest airports was being reviewed. Portland had held the work for more than five years.
PRWeek understands that the monthly retainer on the new account is in excess of £20,000, making it worth more than a quarter of a million pounds annually before any additional project fees are added.
A major focus for Heathrow this year is the right to build a third runway – after one of the biggest comms and lobbying campaigns in recent years, the Government approved plans for the hub to build another runway in October 2016. A vote on the matter is expected in Parliament towards the second half of the year.
Heathrow’s review followed the appointment of Nigel Milton as director of comms in January 2017. Milton said: “2018 will be a significant year in Heathrow’s history as the business prepares itself for further momentum in our expansion campaign, Brexit and increasing world-class passenger service and numbers. We are delighted to have Portland’s counsel and colleagues alongside us as we move through the opportunities and challenges all will pose.”
He said Portland “will support in-house teams across our corporate communications programme, including internal and external activations”.
Milton also commented that the pitch process “highlighted the quality of communication agencies out there”, and thanked the agencies involved. He said: “The decision was made after careful consideration was shown towards all the excellent strategies presented, by what is clearly an incredibly talented and exciting industry to be in.”
Portland UK MD Mark Flanagan said: “We’re just delighted to extend our relationship with Heathrow and are looking forward to the next phase of our work together. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved together to date and can’t wait to support Heathrow across the full range of their communications at this vital time for the airport and the country.”
Some info on Portland’s clients, and some less than savour work in the past. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_Communications#Clients
Heathrow calls pitch for wide-ranging PR brief
September 25, 2017
by Robert Smith (PR Week)
Heathrow Airport has called a pitch for a wide-ranging PR and public affairs brief held currently by Portland, following the arrival of two senior comms pros.
Heathrow has called a pitch for its PR brief, currently held by Portland
Incumbent agency Portland, which has held the account for five years, has been invited to re-pitch for the business.
The brief includes internal communications, external and public affairs, media relations and crisis and issues management, and is designed to “build further trust and pride in the airport”, a spokesman for Heathrow said.
He continued: “The time is now right to identify the best partner to take Heathrow’s communications forward as we focus on supporting operational and commercial colleagues in delivering outstanding performance, transforming customer service and achieving sustainable growth.”
The pitch coincides with Heathrow appointing Nigel Milton as director of comms in January, and Josephine Roberts as head of media in June.
Roberts, who was previously head of UK media at McDonald’s, takes over from Julia Weir, who had worked for the airport in a variety of roles since 2006.
Reporting to Milton, Roberts has been tasked with overseeing the Heathrow press office, as well as its consumer and film content team strategy.
PRWeek has contacted Portland for comment.