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New officers for PR body

Clare Smith elected as chairman of PRCA Scotland

Clare SmithThe PRCA has appointed Clare Smith, the Scottish Government’s chief marketing officer, as the new chairman of its Scotland Group.

Clare will be supported by new vice chairman Natalie Buxton, a director at Weber Shandwick. The duo were elected after being uncontested during the election process.

They will take over the roles with immediate effect. Ms Smith succeeds Lesley Brydon (Clark), who has chaired the PRCA’s Scotland Group for four years.

PRCA Scotland co-ordinator Wilma Littlejohn will continue to provide additional support.

Francis Ingham, PRCA director general, said: “I would like to thank Lesley for all of her fantastic work over the past four years. She has taken the group from strength the strength, helping us to embed the PRCA as a force to be reckoned with north of the border.

“Clare and Natalie’s appointments are great news. Their combination of in-house and agency expertise, and their deep industry experience, will allow PRCA Scotland to continue its ascent.”

Ms Smith said: “I am delighted to be appointed for this role. I decided to put myself forward because I am deeply passionate about the industry and am keen to continue championing PR as a discipline which really pulls its weight in the wider communications mix. I am looking forward to building on the excellent work already carried out by Lesley and Wilma.”

Mrs Brydon said: “In the four years since I’ve been leading the PRCA in Scotland, the communications business has experienced unprecedented change.

“That’s where the PRCA comes in – supporting professionals as their industry transforms, provoking new and interesting ideas and opinions, and providing clear thinking on the big issues affecting the PR industry today – evidenced most recently by the campaign for prompt payment of agencies in #30Days.

“I am sure that Clare and Natalie will be strong advocates for the PR industry in Scotland.”

Ms Smith has been chief marketing officer at the Scottish Government for more than two years, before which she was its head of PR and international marketing manager.

She also held roles at Edinburgh Napier University and KD Media. In her current role she leads on both international and domestic marketing and PR. The Scottish Government won in-house team of the year at last year’s PRCA DARE Awards.

Ms Buxton has worked in public relations consultancy for ten years, the last seven with Weber Shandwick, and has vast experience in strategic communications across a range of sectors, notably energy, property and tourism.

The PRCA’s Scotland Group offers an outlet for Scotland’s community of PR practitioners, offering networking opportunities to share expertise and insight.

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