City PR firm Barques has recruited the former editor of the Birmingham Post and Coventry Telegraph to its team.

Alun Thorne has joined the Jewellery Quarter-based agency as a director and will focus on new business development in the West Midlands, Manchester and wider North West.

He will also oversee the company's increasing focus on social media and digital PR.

This is Mr Thorne's second spell in the PR industry after previously working for Core before returning to the Birmingham Post and eventually taking over as editor.

He said: "When I started out writing the Bewdley page in the Kidderminster Chronicle, I could never have imagined what a fantastic career I would have enjoyed in the regional press, meeting thousands of fascinating people, interviewing my heroes and being involved in some of the region's biggest stories.

"These experiences, combined with editing two major titles during the media's inexorable move towards a digital future, has not only given me some fantastic insight but also a desire to seek out new challenges so the opportunity to join an established and respected business like Barques PR and help them grow is incredibly exciting."

Paul Skipp, who established Barques PR with fellow director Jilly Cosgrove four years ago, added: "Alun's arrival is fantastic news for Barques PR and our clients.

"He is one of the most talented journalists in the region, has huge experience of operating in the media and has gained invaluable insight into where the industry is heading in the digital age.

"His contacts in the West Midlands business community are second to none. We are confident that Alun's arrival will help our business expand by winning new clients here in Birmingham and also further afield as we build on our recent successes."