A leading independent communications agency has appointed a senior public affairs consultant to further strengthen its work in the transport and infrastructure sectors.
John Morris joins Freshwater’s London team bringing with him a wealth of experience in stakeholder engagement, political communications and public affairs.
Prior to joining the Freshwater team, John was public affairs director at Birmingham International Airport, one of the country’s largest airports serving almost ten million passengers per year. Here he built a broad constituency of support for a successful £70m runway expansion and lobbied for the airport to be properly served by the planned HS2 Birmingham Interchange station.
John’s experience in transport also includes heading Virgin Trains’ public affairs and communications team during its successful launch into the UK market in 1997.
He was also the managing director of Virtue Solutions that worked to launch Arriva Trains Wales and has served as the managing editor of Railway World magazine. John is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).
Working with Freshwater, John will provide expert counsel to Freshwater’s range of clients in transport, planning, infrastructure and public affairs. His strategic insight will bolster Freshwater’s award-winning public affairs division and will help drive new business for the consultancy.
John said: “It’s a good time to be joining Freshwater. Its sustained growth is fuelling serious ambitions to consolidate and grow its client base across the transport sector, both in public affairs and integrated communications. Freshwater has a strong background in the sector and I look forward to being a part of its future progress, particularly at a time when the railways - and infrastructure in general - is enjoying a high, and growing, public profile. As the focus on infrastructure increases, so do the opportunities for communications professionals to add serious value to organisations in both private and public sectors.
“Delivering strategies to help clients fulfil their objectives is something I am passionate about, especially in a sector that so acutely impacts the country’s prosperity and affects so many people.”
The wider group provides integrated communications services for a variety of clients including Thompsons Solicitors, Welsh Government, Unite the Union, Specsavers, BT, the Cavendish Square Group of NHS Trusts, First TransPennine Express and HS2 East.
With specialist sector and channel teams, Freshwater’s services include stakeholder engagement, political consultancy, digital and graphic design, media relations, video and events.
Freshwater’s group managing director Angharad Neagle said: “We are really pleased to have John on board. His experience and insight will be of great value to Freshwater and our clients as we continue to grow. We’ve established ourselves as one of the leading public affairs consultancies in the transport sector and I have no doubts that John will help us build on that.”
Read John’s Freshwater article: ‘RAIL SECTOR COMMENTARY: What did the Victorians ever do for us?’