PR firm Big Partnership has appointed ex Scottish National Party aide Paul Robertson as its new head of public affairs.
The former SNP communications boss joins from top 10 London consultancy Portland, where he spent four years.
Paul’s appointment is a significant investment in the future of our business.”
Alan Barr, chief executive, Big Partnership.
Prior to working at Portland, Mr Robertson, who was born and raised in Aberdeen, was the SNPs head of research and policy at Westminster.
He was responsible for developing policy and political strategy on reserved issues, and was a senior aide to successive SNP leaders at Westminster.
Mr Robertson will now work across Big’s four offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester to strengthen the agency’s public affairs advice and support to clients, as well as help to grow the business.
‘Accomplished and highly respected’
Big chief executive Allan Barr said: “Paul’s appointment is a significant investment in the future of our business.
“He is an accomplished and highly respected public affairs practitioner who is well-placed to lead the development of a growing part of Big’s business and our offer to clients.
“As we emerge from the pandemic and attention turns to economic recovery, Paul’s extensive knowledge and insight into Scotland’s political and regulatory landscape will be an invaluable support for our clients looking to build connections and partnership with government.”
Former Harlaw Academy pupil Mr Robertson joined the SNP at 16 and then had a brief spell working as a case worker for then Banff and Buchan SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford.
In 2014 he managed Ms Whiteford’s office in Banff and Buchan again, as well as the Banffshire and Buchan Coast Yes campaign during the last independence referendum.
The following year he played his part in the SNP surge of 2015, and was soon following Ms Whiteford on the road from Peterhead to parliament.
Mr Robertson remained a key behind-the-scenes adviser for the SNP at Westminster until 2017, when he left to work advising corporate giants on public affairs and communications.
In 2019 he returned again to the north-east after being selected to succeed Ms Whiteford as the SNP candidate in the party’s former Banff and Buchan stronghold.
He was able to increase the party’s vote and vote share, but fell short of winning the seat back from Conservative David Duguid.
Mr Robertson said: “Big is an exciting agency that is trusted by clients, with some of the most high-profile challenges in the media and policy landscape in Scotland today.
“I’m thrilled to be able to add my skills and experience to the impressive range of services and expertise that Big offers to current and prospective clients.”