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Manchester PR and communications agency Roland Dransfield has opened an office in London and announced a restructure, alongside key promotions and new appointments.

Having just passed its 23rd year anniversary in business, founder and MD Lisa Morton, has become CEO.

Alex Bell, a former Manchester Evening News journalist and Roland Dransfield head of media, has been named Chief Operating Officer, while Head of Digital Sam Hughes is now Creative Director. Both have been with Roland Dransfield for more than four years.

Martha Moore has been promoted to Account Manager and Eleanor Gorick has returned as full-time Account Executive following a year internship, having now graduated from the University of Manchester.

Roland Dransfield has also hired Charlotte Venn and Niamh Allsopp as Executive Assistant and Finance Manager and Junior Content Creator respectively.

Maria Murphy, who joined Roland Dransfield from university seven years ago, is now heading up the agency’s London office, based in Devonshire Square in the city of London.

The 29-year-old Account Director, a well-known face in the Manchester business community, has relocated to London to build Roland Dransfield in the capital whilst still maintaining a presence in the north west. Maria will be heading up a recruitment drive to support the agency in London.

It follows a “transformative” 12-month period for the agency, which has seen it grow annual revenues by 25% and recently land MPA’s best PR Agency of the Year 2019 (under 25 employees) for the second year running.

Roland Dransfield Founder & CEO Lisa Morton said: “It was a natural decision to open in London as almost 50% of our existing clients are based there and they have made it clear that if we have boots on the ground in the capital they’d be able to extend their scope of work.

“The move fitted in with Maria’s personal plans and it’s worked seamlessly. Our north west clients have found it valuable and are already benefitting from the opportunities that the move presents.

“We are very happy with our decision to expand and it’s been something we have been discussing for a while.

“Roland Dransfield already has a number of new instructions which we will be announcing in the New Year.”

Lisa added: “The restructure and growth over the past 12 months is a direct result of an extremely committed team that lives and breathes the values that are important to us professionally and personally.

“One year ago, we changed ‘PR’ to ‘Purposeful Relationships’, which is what we are known for and what gets us out of bed in the morning. We created the ‘Roland Dransfield Way’, 15 principles by which we live and work. And this has been at the core of the most transformative period in the agency’s history.

“Probably the most important principle we have adopted is ‘plant trees you’ll never see’ – our commitment to create a legacy out of respect for those who follow. It’s about doing much more than just the job in front of us.”

Roland Dransfield has represented a variety of charitable foundations and movements over the past 12 months, including Vincent Kompany’s Tackle4MCR, The Skullfades Foundation, Elle for Elle, Michael Carrick Foundation, Football Beyond Borders and Manchester Beat Cancer.

Each team member is given two paid volunteering days per year to spend time with a charity that is meaningful to them.

Lisa, who founded Roland Dransfield in the summer of 1996, said: “The commitment and leadership shown by the entire team has been overwhelming and has enabled us to achieve substantial business growth, and more professional and personal development across the team than we have ever done to date.

“It’s very deserving that these promotions have been made and restructuring the agency reflects the loyalty and complete passion the whole team has shown over the past 12 months. Roland Dransfield is a team of leaders, whatever their level of seniority.

“We have very clear growth ambitions in both Manchester and London and we are very grateful to have such great clients who share the same values as us.”