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Former regional journalist takes up new role as PR chief

Mike ShieldsA former regional journalist has taken up a new role as PR chief at a digital marketing firm.

Mike Shields, left, has been appointed head of PR at Lincoln-based agency Distract.

Mike began his career on the Barnsley Chronicle in 2008 and later went on to work as a senior production journalist for Northcliffe Newspapers, now part of Reach plc.

He has since worked as a communications officer for West Lindsey District Council, as well as with a number of PR firms.

Said Mike: “I’m thrilled to be joining Distract at such a busy time. The scope of the projects the agency takes on and the potential for PR to be part of this is phenomenal.

“There’s a very real change happening in public relations at the moment, gone are the days of simply sending out a press release and hoping for the best.”

Distract managing director Peter Watson said: “We are starting 2019 with a really valuable addition to our services as an agency.

“Mike brings experience and contacts with him that our clients will find invaluable.”

Other recent job moves in the regional press and related sectors include the following:

* The Bristol Post has appointed Adam Postans as local democracy re[prter, covering Bristol, North Somerset and other areas, while Daniel Chipperfield has been promoted from trends writer to content editor.  Joseph Wilkes takes on the role of head of trends.

* Craig Gibbons has been appointed sports editor of the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald, replacing Martin King.  Craig was previously a sports reporter working across the Bromsgrove Standard, Droitwich Standard, Malvern Observer, Leamington Observer, Coventry Observer, Solihull Observer, and Rugby Observer.

* Graeme Copas, group sports editor at the Maidenhead Advertiser and Slough & Windsor Express for the past 21 years, has left his role.

* Arj Singh has left his role as lobby correspondent at The Yorkshire Post after landing a role as deputy political editor of HuffPost.

* The Dundee Evening Telegraph has announced a series of newsdesk changes with deputy news editor Ross Logan stepping up to become acting head of news after Dawn Morrison left to go on maternity leave.  Meanwhile David Wren has joined the paper as deputy news editor having previously been sports editor at the Kimkarnock Standard.

* Matt Joy has joined the Slough Observer Series as a reporter.

* Aimee Stanton has joined the JPIMedia data and investigations team as central content reporter reporting to news editor Claire Wilde. Aimee has been a member of the group’s central content team in Edinburgh for the past two years.

* Archant has appointed Richard Porritt as business editor working across the Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times, replacing Mark Shields who has joined BBC Look East.  Richard was previously political editor at the titles.

* Peter Swindon has moved from the Herald on Sunday to the Sunday Post as a news reporter.

* Laura Ferguson has joined Glasgow Live as digital journalist, moving from the Aberdeen Evening Ex[ress where she was a news reporter.

* Abigail Rabbett has been appointed senior digital reporter at Cambridgeshire Live, while Anna Savva is now senior reporter and Andrew Georgeson senior sports reporter at the website.

* Tom Peterkin has moved from the role of political editor at The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday to the same role at The Press and Journal.

On the move yourself?  Let us know at [email protected] or via @journalism_news on Twitter.

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