PARIS — Health communications specialist Véronique Simon-Cluzel has joined Finn Partners as vice president. She previously worked on autism advocacy with the French Secretary of State for people with disabilities and was public relations head for the ARC Foundation for Cancer Research. She has also worked for other healthcare comms agencies and been a journalist covering women’s wellness and health. Simon-Cluzel reports to senior partners Marie-Hélène Coste, senior partner and Mina Volovitch.

DUBAI — The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) has conducted a survey into the impact of Covid-19 on the PR industry in the region and found that more than 60% of respondents have a negative outlook for their business for the rest of 2020, with 63% of agency respondents and around 40% of in-house respondents saying they will see a significant decrease in projects and activity for Q2. In addition, 41% of respondents are considering redundancies to mitigate the business impact of the pandemic; 31% of private sector in-house comms teams have already made redundancies, as well as 23% of agency respondents and 10% of public sector teams.

STOCKHOLM — Klas Landelius has been named as the new CEO of Diplomat Communications. He has more than 10 years’ experience as a strategic communications advisor with a focus on business transformation, transactions, IPOs and crisis management. Landelius joins from JKL Kekst CNC where he headed the financial communications practice in the Nordic region. He replaces Sonja Rasin, who has been CEO of the Diplomat Group since October 2019.

BERLIN — Digital specialist Piabo PR has hired Felix Willikonsky as its new head of digital communication. He joins from streaming service DAZN, where he was head of social media DACH. In his new role, Willikonsky will expanding the agency’s digital communication unit and broaden the content offering for integrated B2C and B2B communications.

LONDON — Scape Group, the public sector construction partnership, has appointed Citypress after a competitive pitch. The agency’s brief covers corporate, trade and social media support alongside research and political stakeholder engagement. Scape Group works with over 1,000 public bodies to deliver construction, infrastructure and consultancy projects (pictured), and is currently performance managing £5 billion of live projects.

MADRID — Apple Tree Communications has expanded its leadership team in Spain with the addition of Jaime Lobera as its new managing partner for brand strategy and development. Lobera joins from senior in-house roles; he began his career at Unilever and has been the CMO of brands such as Campofrío, Mahou San Miguel and Kraft (Mondelez). He was also head of corporate communications and institutional relations during his most recent period with food group Campofrío.

LONDON — Stand Agency has been appointed by Clinical Partners, one of the UK’s largest private providers of mental health services, to support the organisation with PR and digital media activity. The project will highlight Clinical Partners expertise in providing digital and face-to-face help with a full range of mental health conditions.

LONDON — Financial services specialist Liminal has lauched a new European network, Fincom Alliance, bringing together owner-managed agencies to help banks, asset managers and fintechs roll out communication strategies in core European markets. The members of the alliance include TE Communications (DACH), Fargo (France), Mymediarelation (Italy), ALL Comunicação (Portugal) and comma (Spain).

LONDON — Student marketing agency Hype Collective is launching a Student Influencer Network to help brands engage students in new ways online, as colleges and universities shift to a more digital teaching model. The network will focus on hyper-local influencers and ‘rising stars’ within the student community on platforms such as TikTok.

LONDON — SharpEnd, the Internet of Things agency, has bolstered its client leadership team with the addition of marketers Eddy Peters and Paul O'Connor. Peters joins from Pernod Ricard's Gin Hub, where he was the global digital lead, and will lead the agency’s focus on wines and spirits. O'Connor was the global brand manager at Ballantine’s and will manage growth of the agency’s FMCG portfolio, which includes PepsiCo, Unilever and Nestlé.