Media Movers: Roisin McGroarty, John Donnelly, etc

WELCOME to Media Movers, reporting the latest moves within the Scottish media, including promotions and retirements.

FIRSTLY, congratulations to Roisin McGroarty appointed editor at the weekly local newspaper, the Irvine Times – published every Wednesday. She was previously news editor at sister titles, the Ayr Advertiser, the Carrick Herald and the Troon Times.

Congratulations too to Lee McCann, appointed reporter at the Kincardineshire Observer and Mearns Leader newspapers. A journalism graduate from Robert Gordon University, he worked at The Fraserburgh Herald until the summer of a couple of years ago, to pursue other interests, including DJ-ing.

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THE organisation to promote Edinburgh both at home and abroad, Marketing Edinburgh, has itself a new chief executive: John Donnelly, who joins on a 12-month contract from the body organising next year’s Commonwealth Games, where he was commercial director.

His CV includes working for some of the UK’s biggest marketing agencies, including BD Network and The Marketing Store Worldwide.

Donnelly’s appointment follows the announcement of a new head of marketing: Nick Hudson, whose career includes working with brands such as Heineken and Kellogg’s.

Donnelly succeeds Lucy Bird, who stepped down last year.

Marketing Edinburgh was last year criticised in several quarters for a marketing campaign around the strapline, ‘Incredinburgh’, which now no longer operates.

Donnelly – pictured, and who has lived in Edinburgh for 21 years – is quoted in a Marketing Edinburgh media release, as saying: “Like others who have joined recently, I understand what the private sector is looking for. I’ve worked with major brands including Coca-Cola, Peugeot, and Unilever, not to mention launching the sponsorship, merchandising and ticket-sale strategies for Glasgow 2014. From that experience, I know how important it is to deliver tangible, financial benefit through marketing – and that’s the main message that I’ll bring to the way that Marketing Edinburgh cultivates relationships.

“There have been notable achievements by Marketing Edinburgh in the last couple of years, particularly when it comes to business tourism. My job is to ensure that there are more successes such as these, particularly in the private sector; bigger, better and more often.

“Edinburgh is such a creative city. It’s packed full of seriously impressive agencies and talent. That’s the standard that I’m setting for Marketing Edinburgh. Our work needs to be of the finest quality and really deliver the very best results possible for the city.”

On Incredinburgh, he is further quoted, as saying: “Everyone has an opinion when it comes to creative work. Incredinburgh was certainly a bold campaign. Of course, there were learnings that Marketing Edinburgh had to take on board but I believe we must not be afraid to give Edinburgh the promotion it deserves; marketing that’s imaginative, clever and, above all else, innovative.”

Donnelly is in the post for twelve months, as the organisation needed someone swiftly in place who could turn its business plan into action and, says Marketing Edinburgh, “maintain momentum gained since the beginning of this year”. A search for a permanent chief executive is already underway.

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AT the pro-Scots independence campaign, Yes Scotland, director of communications, Susan Stewart, has stepped down.

She was with the organisation for ten months and will continue to operate as a Yes Scotland ambassador.

The announcement was made by Yes Scotland as part of a shift in strategy which, says Yes Scotland, will be “to concentrate yet more resources into the local ground campaign around the country, which is where Yes strategists believe next year’s referendum will be won”.

Adds a Yes Scotland media release: “To support this ground campaign, a number of roles and duties have been re-allocated, resulting in a more streamlined headquarters operation in Glasgow, with a greater focus on communication within an integrated strategy, communications and digital media team under chief executive, Blair Jenkins. Communications director, Susan Stewart, stands down to move to a new ambassadorial role within the wider Yes campaign.”

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THE Faculty of Advocates has a new director of public affairs – John Robertson, who has succeeded Bruce McKain, who has retired.

Robertson has joined from The Scotsman Publications Ltd, which he joined in 1974, initially with the Edinburgh Evening News, before moving to The Scotsman, in 1988.

McKain is a former law correspondent at The Herald.

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AND finally, former political editor of The Sunday Post, Campbell Gunn, has been appointed a senior special adviser at the Scottish Government. He has particular responsibility handling the media.

The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s Scottish Press Awards was at The Sunday Post for 43 years, the last 14 as political editor, which he stepped down from in March.

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ON the move yourself? Do tell, by emailing us, here.