Chris Barry, the managing editor of, is to leave journalism to take up a senior role with Influential, the PR and communications agency.

Barry, 43, has been appointed PR director of the Liverpool-headquartered agency’s Manchester office.

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He leaves after over seven years, latterly as managing editor of its North West, Yorkshire and Midlands regions.

He had joined the business news service in October 2008 after a 10 year stint at the Manchester Evening News, where he was business editor.

His brief at Influential will be focused on business to business PR campaigns. The agency’s Manchester office handles the national briefs for construction giant Morgan Sindall and drug developers Redx Pharma, as well as regional briefs for business advisors Grant Thornton, law firm Shoosmiths, wealth management firm Quilter Cheviot and the Sci-Tech Daresbury science park.

Sara Wilde-McKeown, Influential managing director, said: “Chris is one of the most respected business journalists in the North of England whose market insight and work ethic are known to all who have encountered him. He is a genuine character with a tough but fair modus operandi.

Influential MD Sara Wilde-McKeown

Influential MD Sara Wilde-McKeown

“These qualities, along with his professional integrity have over many years earnt him in the position of being a trusted figure with civic and business leaders, able to secure exclusive after exclusive. He is deeply rooted in the business community, a son of Manchester and someone who can help us grow Influential.”

Barry, who began his career at the Press Association, said: “After more than 20 years in journalism, it was a really big decision to move. I know I have found the right ‘home’ at Influential – I think its vision for growth, the calibre of its people, quality of clients and the fantastic results it delivers, set the agency apart. I’m very excited about this new chapter in my career.”

He will report to agency director Chris Hulme and take up his new role in March. The agency is currently relocating its Manchester base to new offices at 82 King Street, the former Bank of England.