Former news director launches communications agency

A former news director has launched a communications agency to support businesses as they rebuild following the Covid pandemic.

Chris Leggett, who held the role of director of marketing and communications for Express & Star publisher Midland News Association, has set up Birmingham-based public relations and marketing agency Osborn.

Leggett said: “Osborn has been launched to provide businesses with practical, experienced support as they regroup following the Covid lockdown. Clients have come on board already, all facing a range of challenges around communicating with external and internal audiences, which is where they have needed targeted help.

“Inevitably, some are looking for support with crisis situations around restructuring or making significant changes, which we can support through tailored communications support.

“What is encouraging for the wider economy are the clients who have grown during lockdown, presenting Osborn with opportunities to build engagement for further growth.”

Leggett, who lives in Lichfield, can draw upon nearly 25 years’ media experience, having worked as a senior editor at a national and regional level.

As a member of the company board he was director of marketing and communications for privately-owned publisher MNA for three years until December 2019, having previously worked as brand and communications manager from 2012 to 2016.

As well as leading the marketing and communications team, he also played significant roles in the Express & Star photo archive project, which saw thousands of historic photos digitised using National Lottery funding, and the Ladder apprenticeships drive, which helped 1200 people secure work.

Leggett joined the MNA as electronic editor in 2006, overseeing the growth in the audience for online content. Prior to this, he was an online journalist for the BBC News website based in London and spent three years as a national section editor on ITV Teletext, having worked as a reporter on local newspapers in London and Hertfordshire.

He added: “I am able to provide clients with national and regional media experience, as well as insights into how they can grow their reach through digital and traditional channels.

“It is early days but the response from clients has been encouraging, presenting new opportunities to grow Osborn and its services.”