Orkney’s new digital communications manager logged on for business this week, overseeing several key islands websites in a bid to boost the county’s online profile.

Former BBC journalist Andrew Learmonth will act as webmaster for the recently revamped Orkney.com portal, while contributing to the Orkney Tourism Group, Orkney Food and Drink and Orkney Crafts Association websites. He will also work closely with local businesses to help increase their social media presence.

Orkney born Andrew, who graduated with a degree in Corporate Communication from Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University in 2003, was employed as a press officer with Orkney Islands Council between 2003 and 2007. He then worked and travelled in Canada before joining BBC Radio Orkney as a broadcast journalist in 2009.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to helping promote Orkney, its people and its products, ensuring the islands develop and maintain a strong, united and engaging online presence. In addition to encouraging people to visit or move to Orkney, we’re also keen to drive sales for local businesses and draw further investment into the county. Fundamentally, it’s about maximising Orkney’s potential online, so it’ll be an exciting and challenging role for me.”

Andrew’s post is jointly funded by Orkney Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) as part of the Orkney Marketing Scheme.

Ruth Kirkpatrick, head of business growth at HIE in Orkney, said: “Orkney Islands Council and HIE have worked in partnership with the private sector for over 20 years to build and maintain a strong external awareness of Orkney.  Andrew’s appointment will ensure full advantage is taken of digital media opportunities to share all that Orkney offers with as wide an audience as possible.”

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