This is very excting news for us. I have known Richard for about five years and can’t think of anyone better suited to this new type of role. It’s the PR equivalent of signing Lionel Messi (though as a Liverpool fan he would probably prefer Torres). Here’s a litte bit of content and an old fashioned press release:

Richard Sambrook, the BBC’s Director of Global News and a member of the BBC’s Management Board for the last ten years, will be joining Edelman, the world’s largest independent PR firm, as Global Vice Chairman and Chief Content Officer in May this year.

He will be the company’s first ever Chief Content Officer, helping Edelman clients produce written, video and audio content to tell their own story in direct and engaging ways. Sambrook will report to EMEA President and CEO David Brain and will be based in London. He will also sit on the Global Executive Committee, chaired by Richard Edelman.

Global CEO and President Richard Edelman said: “We are delighted to have someone of Richard’s calibre and experience joining our global team. His journalism and senior media company management resume is difficult to rival; equally important to us and our clients, Richard has been at the forefront of the digitisation of news and its interaction with the audience and stakeholders. Through his work establishing several BBC News channels (BBC News 24, BBC World News, BBC Arabic, BBC Persian) and his own long-term and personal commitment to social media, he understands very well how the audience is now – to use his own words – ‘on the pitch’, how content and news must be shaped by the needs of the consumer, and the new opportunities provided by social technologies.”

David Brain, Edelman President and CEO EMEA, commented: “With the fragmentation and decline in many traditional forms of media, every company needs to become its own media company. It has to tell its own story and in ways that people can easily engage with, share and shape. That’s sometimes easier to say than it is to do. In Richard, we now have one of the world’s most accomplished creators and managers of content to help our clients do just this.”

Richard Sambrook said: “I’m delighted to be joining Edelman in this new senior role. They are a firm which I have long respected. Edelman’s leadership with digital media and their work on Trust and public engagement sets them apart and I’m greatly looking forward to helping develop their content production and their approach to crisis and issues management.”
Richard will also assume leadership of Edelman’s Global Crisis and Issues practice towards the end of the year as veteran Mike Seymour begins to stand down from his full time role in that position.

“It is impossible to overestimate the impact Mike Seymour has had on our business since he has been here“, said Richard Edelman. “He is one of the world’s best known and most respected crisis counsellors. He has personally managed international crises for companies such as Bechtel, Coca-Cola, Hoffman LaRoche, Heineken, Nike and Unilever. He has also created a global network of over 150 crisis experts across the Edelman office and affiliate network around the world that we believe is unrivalled. He is irreplaceable and consequently I am delighted to say that he will continue in a senior counsellor role after helping Richard get up to speed.”