The UK’s small but much-travelled farming and agricultural press corps hit Edinburgh yesterday to formally meet Stephen Hutt, the new chief executive of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.
A briefing on the Society's £30 million development plans for its Igliston home came in advance of next month’s premier showcase for the RHASS – the Royal Highland Show – which attracts an average attendance of 180,000.
It was also a significant day for Ross Muir, a founding director of O’Leary RM Public Relations.
Muir has been press officer for the Royal Highland Show for the past 20 years, including editing the members’ magazine, The Review, for the RHASS. And the Dunfermline-based PR outfit has been awarded a new contract to handle the overall corporate affairs side of the master plan for the Ingliston development.
Muir was recently recognised with the UK Guild of Journalists’ prestigious Netherthorpe Award, as agricultural communicator of the year, for his 'outstanding service to journalism in the food and farming industries'.
He studied agriculture in Aberdeen ahead of joining the staff of the Scottish Farmer magazine as a trainee, moving to The Scotsman before signing up with a features agency in Fleet Street, London. He also had a spell on the farming desk at the Press and Journal in Aberdeen.
He then set up his own PR consultancy, in the early 1970s, and began freelancing with the BBC, STV and Grampian TV – in both radio and television. He is best-known for his 25-year stint as presenter of the award-winning BBC TV farming programme, ‘Landward’, which took him filming across the globe.
A documentary he presented and scripted about rural life in Papua New Guinea won him the One World Broadcasting Trust’s award for best regional television programme.
Muir merged his company with Judith O’Leary’s PR firm six years ago and the business now trades as O’Leary RM Public Relations.