Corporate headhunters are searching for a high-profile figure to spearhead a new marketing body to promote Edinburgh on the international stage following concerns the city was lagging behind its UK rivals.
Newspaper The Scotsman reported that executive search specialist FWB had been brought in by the city council to find a new figurehead for the capital “following widespread concern from business figures that the city was not selling itself hard enough, particularly overseas”.
It is understood a salary of about £110,000 will be offered to the successful candidate, who will lead new body Marketing Edinburgh, promoting the city as a destination for tourism and business events, as well as a hub for inward investment and the creative industries.
Late last year the City of Edinburgh Council gave its backing to the creation of a single promotional body for Edinburgh, building on the existing public-private partnerships in the city and the combined strengths of Destination Edinburgh Marketing Alliance (DEMA), Edinburgh Convention Bureau (ECB) and Edinburgh Film Focus (EFF) to raise the global profile of the city.
The business case which went before the council drew on an exhaustive analysis of competitor cities across the UK to reveal the need for a central body leading a city-wide approach. From April 2011, the new organisation will create added value through closer coordination of city promotion activity, drawing together both public and private investment.
The Scotsman reported that a key responsibility of the chief executive will be increasing the amount of money Edinburgh spends on promoting itself, from the current figure of about £2m a year - compared with £6.2m spent by Manchester, £4.9m by Glasgow, £3.4m by Newcastle and £4.8m by Leeds - to about £5m.
Although a board of directors for the new company is not yet in place, it is hoped it will be formally up and running by the spring.