Jaguar Land Rover hires PR firm to boost ‘British’ status

November 8th, 2008 - 12:42 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 8 (IANS) The Tata Group owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is hiring a prominent British public relations firm to boost its corporate credentials.The agency, Portland PR, has initially been hired till next spring. It will focus on issues surrounding the recent change of ownership to the Tatas, the company’s investment in green technology and its strategy to get through the economic downturn.

Poprtland’s hiring coincides with the Indian company’s plan to regain Jaguar’s “iconic British brand” status.

JLR wants to position itself as a “blue-chip British corporate”, on a par with retailer Marks & Spencer.

The company’s communications and public affairs director Simon Warr told PR Week, the leading British weekly magazine for public relations practitioners: “We’re the largest car company in Britain and so are a major corporate player. We need to start mixing with other British major corporates. We should be up there with Marks & Spencer.”

He said that the firm had traditionally enjoyed a good relationship with motoring correspondents, but that its presence on the business pages was limited.

The drive to raise its corporate profile comes at a tough time for auto manufacturers. British car sales have fallen heavily in recent months, with Land Rover particularly hard hit and further job cuts expected at the firm.

JLR is also understood to be seeking a specialist public affairs agency, as previous agency Lexington Communications will continue to be used by the firm’s former owner Ford.

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