FRAME, the Glasgow-based ­creative marketing agency, has embarked on a joint venture that will see it move into consumer public relations for the first time.

The company has joined forces with Edinburgh corporate communications and strategy specialist Charlotte Street Partners and ­experienced PR operator Stephen McCranor to develop the business.

Mr McCranor, formerly director of communications at Greaves Sports, heads the company.

The new agency satisfies a long-held ambition by Frame to offer consumer PR services, and follows its successful diversification into digital marketing.

Frame Digital, also a joint venture, was born shortly after Frame was acquired by Gary O'Donnell and Angus Walker in a management buyout in 2009.

Meanwhile, Charlotte Street Partners has identified opportunities to move into consumer PR as it has grown rapidly since its launch by Malcolm Robertson and Andrew Wilson in January.

The two companies struck up a commercial relationship when Frame was appointed to create and run the Charlotte Street Partners' website, which led to talks about working together.

Mr McCranor, who worked alongside Mr Robertson at Beattie Media in the 1990s, was invited to join those discussions.

Mr McCranor said: "The result is a joint venture between us all. The management team of the five people have got varying complementary skill sets and about 93 years' experience between them in promoting major businesses and brands.

"It was a no-brainer for me - when people like this ask you to a party, believe me, you party with them. For me it is too exciting an opportunity and the time was right."

Frame is the majority shareholder in Frame Creative, with Charlotte Street Partners and Mr McCranor holding stakes in descending order of size.

The new agency has begun life with two major clients, Greaves Sports and Finsbury Foods, on board, with planning for Greaves's Christmas campaign currently the main item in its in-tray. Work with Finsbury is expected to ramp up early next year.

Mr McCranor said the opportunity had also come at the right time for him personally. Having built up significant experience on the agency side of communications over 11 years with Beattie and The Big Partnership, he switched to work in-house at Greaves in 2009.

He said: "Growing up in the agency environment, and that being all you know, leaving that world to spend time client side is crucial if you want to fully understand the client-supplier relationship from both sides. The next natural step for me was to take that experience into a new agency, but doing that with Frame and Charlotte Street is a huge advantage."

Below the five-strong management team, Frame Creative will be supported by the team at the Edinburgh office of Charlotte Street Partners, as well the "shared infrastructure" of Frame's office in Glasgow. That includes back-up in administration, finance and creative resources, provided by a team of more than 50 staff.

Mr McCranor said: "We will be hiring throughout the first year of the operation and we will be sensible about it. We'll be putting in place the right people for the right clients."

Asked how he thought Frame Creative would differ from other PR agencies, Mr McCranor said: "The world of consumer PR can be a bit fluffy, and this will not be fluffy. For me it's about talking the same language as our clients, and helping them speak the same language as their customers. The end product of that are ideas and communication that helps a client promote and sell their offering."

Mr O'Donnell said: "It has been a long-standing goal of ours to expand into PR. The time is right now because we have the right partners in place."