Princess Sales VP Brian O’Connor Moves to PR
PHOTO: Brian O'Connor will move from a sales position to head public relations for Princess Cruises. (Courtesy of Princess Cruises)
It’s official: Brian O’Connor, vice president of North American sales for Princess Cruises and Cunard, will succeed long-time Princess PR chief Julie Benson upon her retirement.
O’Connor has overseen field sales since 2012 but before that had a long and high-profile career in public relations. He will become vice president of public relations at Princess on June 1. Benson will retire May 29 after 32 years in a PR role with the Love Boat cruise line.
In his new role, O’Connor will lead the team accountable for media relations, publicity, social media, community relations, ship introductions, and special events. He will be responsible for issues management and crisis communications, and also will also oversee collaboration among the international public relations teams in the United Kingdom, Australia, and throughout Asia.
O’Connor joined the company in 2006 as director-public relations for Cunard and was promoted to director-marketing and public relations in 2009.
In 2012, he moved to the sales side and led the field sales team representing both Princess and Cunard. He is credited with strengthening trade relations and growing distribution with North America retail partners. As he transitions from sales, he will complete his term as chairman of the CLIA Trade Relations Committee. The company is searching for his replacement.
Prior to joining Cunard, O’Connor served as director of public relations at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, where he was responsible for publicity and media relations for more than 125 events annually, including red carpet charity galas, political fund-raisers, and award shows such as The Golden Globe Awards.
O’Connor is a past president and five-term board member of the Public Relations Society of America-Los Angeles Chapter. He also is a graduate of the Protocol School of Washington’s protocol officer training and certification, and is a member of Protocol Diplomacy International-Protocol Officers Association.
O’Connor is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Communication Arts & Sciences.
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