IT is all change for the City of Edinburgh press office as media manager Stewart Argo has been poached to join PR agency Weber Shandwick – just as Lesley McPherson (formerly of Aegon), gets settled into her new post as the council’s communications chief.
Argo has been with the council since 2007, during which he managed a series of “challenging” issues – such as the trams fiasco. He is also an avid tweeter and the organiser of a highly popular, but very rare, series of media networking events at various bars across the city.
In his capacity as Weber’s assistant director, he will be reporting to the Edinburgh office’s head, Harry Hussain, and will also work with the digital strategist, Craig McGill.
Argo said: “Weber Shandwick has amassed considerable experience in advising on complex projects within Edinburgh, and I’ll be using my own experience with the council to help the business develop this offering.”
Moray Macdonald, managing director, said: “Stewart will play a key part in maintaining our growth strategy which has seen income increase by 15 per cent this year. He’ll be a strong addition to the team.”
Argo’s move follows other recent developments in the Scottish PR sector. Nicki Sturzaker parted company with The Big Partnership last month after three years as head of the Edinburgh office. There has been no word on a replacement.
Buchanan Communications has just closed its office in the city. Diane Stewart, who headed the operation, is now working privately with a couple of its clients. Carrie Clement has moved to 3X1, while Karyn McShane is on the look-out for a position.
Chaos on the high seas
Gareth Williams, chief executive of travel search company Skyscanner, knows all about the ups and downs of wandering the globe.
Recently he described to the Edinburgh company’s in-house editor, Sam Baldwin, how he and his wife were once attacked by pirates on a diving holiday in Zanzibar.
It was a serious incident – several of the boat’s crew were injured trying to fight the intruders off and everyone had valuables stolen.
Everyone except for Williams, who got off relatively lightly – mainly because his room was so messy that the pirates failed to find his money or his passport among the possessions strewn on his cabin floor.
He said: “It was a really frightening experience and certainly the closest I’ve come to ‘holiday hell’.”
No Balls for broker
Wealth management company Charles Stanley had an Ed Balls moment last week as the firm’s official Twitter account unleashed a post consisting only of the company’s name.
The shadow chancellor sparked an online phenomenon now known as “Ed Balls Day” as keen Twitter users have now celebrated the occasion for two years by repeating the eponymous message in their thousands. Charles Stanley’s stray tweet was rapidly taken down, presumably to avoid the same fate.