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WHO WE ARE

WHO WE ARE

We are a friendly, open and inclusive organisation with a diverse membership from all areas of our industry, including CEOs, MDs and board members of the PR Week Top 150 agencies, heads of communications and communications directors of large corporate organisations as well as small, disruptive start-ups, owners of boutique consultancies and independent consultants.

Women in PR is run by an elected committee, who represent the diversity of our membership. You can find out more about them and their experience and passions below….

Women in PR Committee

Women in PR is run by an elected committee, who represent the diversity of our membership and volunteer their time. You can find out more about them and their experience and passions below.

Bibi Hilton MPRCA

President

Managing Director, Golin

Member PRCA PR Council

Member PRCA Board

I am passionate about improving gender equality in our industry. In my four years as Golin MD, I have introduced returnships, flexible working and mentoring with the result that Golin is the only large agency with a reverse gender pay gap in favour of women. I work a 4 day week and am proud to have been included on Management Today’s Part-Time Power List in 2017 and recognised as one of the 14 most influential women in communications by PR Week.

To my younger self I would say….

“Don’t be intimidated, everyone else is just faking it til they make it too”

Claire Foster, Chart.PR, Dip CIPR, MCIPR

Vice President

Senior communications manager, financial and corporate, Direct Line Group

Headline Money PR Professional of the Year

PRCA In-House Professional of the Year

CIPR Outstanding In-House Team

PRCA In-house Team of the Year

PR Week Issues and Crisis Management

PR Moment Financial Services Campaign of the Year

With 15 years’ experience, both agency and in-house, I currently work in external affairs for Direct Line Group, a FTSE 100 insurer with brands such as Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege Insurance in its portfolio.

To my younger self I would say…..

“Invest in CPD. Be kind and respectful to everyone. Be curious – is there a better way of doing things? Keep being creative. Pass it on – when you have help from others it might be difficult to pay it back so pay it forward.”

Nicola Hyde MPRCA

Treasurer & Membership Secretary

Consultant

With extensive experience in PR and communications built over a number of years, I have held senior positions in global agencies, co-founded an award-winning consultancy and run high profile national and international campaigns across a wide range of industry sectors including not for profit.  As an independent, I now work with SMEs, coaches and am a charity Chair.

To my younger self I would say….

“It’s your life so make it work for you; don’t be afraid of challenges, enjoy the opportunities and appreciate the people you meet.”

Jane Baerselman MPRCA

Events Secretary

Director, Teal Communications

Food and drink communications and events organisation has been my specialism for over 20 years, so coordinating the many seminars, panel debates, media lunches and drinks events is a natural fit and delivers exciting and engaging networking occasions for the members of Women in PR.  We look forward to seeing you at one soon.

To my younger self I would say…

“See every challenge as an opportunity, don’t put anything off until tomorrow and life’s too short to drink rubbish wine.”

Nicky Imrie

Women in PR mentoring programme co-lead

I’m co-founder of The PR Network, which I run via a job share with George – we also job share our WPR Committee role! I have 20 years’ experience in b2b, b2c and corporate PR.

To my younger self I would say…

“Have confidence and faith in yourself and follow your heart – in life, and in business.”

George Blizzard

Women in PR mentoring programme co-lead

Co-Founder, The PR Network

I’ve run The PR Network for 13 years alongside Nicky Imrie, and bring my experience running international PR programmes and working with talented senior women all over the world to the committee.

To my younger self I would say…..

“Try and find a job that you enjoy every day and not settle for anything less.”

Ebony Gayle

Member benefits secretary

Accredited independent PR & Communications specialist & owner of  Ebony Gayle Communications

I am an author and accredited PR and Communications Specialist, with well over a decade of experience advising, overseeing and implementing PR and marketing communication strategies and campaigns. I have worked across a variety of industries including, start-ups, health and fitness, entertainment, leisure and more. I am a volunteer for the CIPR and co-founder of the CIPR Independents Network. I am also a regular contributing writer, presenter and producer for the 5x award winning online magazine Inspire LS.

To my younger self I would say…..

“There’s only one you! Go for what you want in life, you are your only limit and have the power to create the life you desire.”

Anna Geffert

Partnership/Sponsorship Secretary

I have worked agency side for over ten years and I joined WIPR on the mentoring programme shortly after the birth of my son three years ago. I was so inspired by the objective and considered support and advice I received that I knew I had to be a part of this truly empowering and passionate group of women.

To my younger self I would say…

“Have confidence in yourself and it’s ok to fail – it’s sometimes the only way to learn.”

Sarah Samee

Women in PR blog editor & marketing

Head of communications, Cifas

I have 18 years’ strategic communications experience, both public and private sector, in-house and consultancy. In my current role at Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, I have helped the organisation win six industry awards and led the creation of a new team, overseeing marketing, brand, PR, events, public affairs, digital and member engagement. I am also a trustee at Sutton Carers’ Centre and am passionate about raising awareness of the challenges faced by young carers.

To my younger self I would say….

“Don’t feel so pressurised to fit in with others – it’s okay to be you. You’re pretty awesome!”

Abbie Sampson

Social media lead

Director of External Affairs, Energy UK

A media handling, strategic communications and public affairs specialist with extensive experience in the private, public and charitable sectors, I have previously held roles in 10 Downing Street and at the consumer group Which?.

To my younger self I would say….

“Trust your instincts and always voice your opinion, even – or rather especially – when you are the only one in the room with that view.”

Ali Jeremy MPRCA

Committee Member

Director of Marketing and Communications, NSPCC

I work at the NSPCC as Director of Marketing and Communications. Prior to this role I was Director of Communications at BT Retail and BBC Worldwide. I spent my early career in agencies.

To my younger self I would say….

“Feel the fear – it’s good for you”

Jo-ann Robertson

Committee Member

CEO, Ketchum UK

Having spent 16 years in global consultancies, I am proud to be one of the few big agency female CEO’s in the UK. With a background in corporate communications, sustainability, and issues and crisis, I have worked across most sectors and industries. I am passionate about bringing increased diversity to our industry as this is what delivers the best work for clients and makes the workplace stronger.

To my younger self I would say….

“Life is great, don’t get distracted by the lows, focus on getting back to the high.”

Ruth Allchurch

Committee Member

Managing Director, WE UK

Chairman PRCA Consumer Group

I’ve spent the last 25 years in consumer PR both agency side and in-house with Diageo, working with some incredibly talented women across the industry. I’m excited to meet the members of Women in PR and our future female leaders at upcoming events, networking sessions and through our mentoring programme.

To my younger self I would say…

“Always strive to step outside your comfort zone – you’re so much more capable than you realise.”

Women in PR Ambassadors

The committee is supported by a board of Women in PR Ambassadors – senior male and female leaders who draw on their influence and resources to help Women in PR achieve its mission.

The Ambassador programme was launched in 2018 and is the first time men were welcomed into the organisation in an official capacity, recognising that we need male as well as female change agents to achieve our mission. The Ambassadors were selected and voted on by the committee and are drawn from diverse backgrounds, sectors and roles across the industry.

You can find out more about the Women in PR Committee and Ambassadors below.

Amanda Coleman

Head of Corporate Communication, Greater Manchester Police

Amanda has more than 25 years’ experience both as a journalist and in communication roles. For almost 20 years she has worked in senior communication roles within the police service and is currently responsible for Corporate Communications at Greater Manchester Police.

Initially, Amanda worked on local newspapers throughout the North West of England before moving into public relations working for a number of public sector organisations.

She has led the communication team at Greater Manchester Police during some challenging times including the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in May 2017, the murder of two police officers in 2012, August 2011 riots, death of the former Chief Constable and numerous counter terrorism investigations.

Amanda was chair of the national Association of Police Communicators (APComm) from January 2013 to December 2017.

In 2017 Amanda became a Fellow of both the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). Amanda will be chair of the PRCA Council in 2019.

Evadney Campbell MBE

Co-founder, Shiloh PR

Evadney Campbell is a successful, dedicated and creative university lecturer, broadcast journalist, trainer and public relations consultant with over thirty years of experience in education, consultancy and media. Evadney who’s listed as one of the Top 100 Most Influential British Entrepreneurs – Richtopia.com, worked with the BBC as a video journalist, radio presenter and producer across TV, Radio and online. She is now a published author. PTLLS certified and with a strong ability to develop and engage learners at undergraduate, postgraduate and professional level. An active volunteer in her community, Evadney was awarded with an MBE for her services by the Queen in 1995.

Jackie Cooper

Senior Advisor, Edelman

Jackie has over 30 years entrepreneurial experience in brand creative, business and personality strategy.

In 1987 she co-founded JCPR, running campaigns including the launch of O2, Allied Domecq, Mary Kate & Ashley, Wembley Stadium and the final flight for Concorde. JCPR was acquired by Edelman in 2004 – Jackie served as Creative Director and Vice Chair of Edelman UK, running campaigns including Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, Dirt is Good for Omo/Unilever and the Halo launch for Xbox.

In 2011 Jackie was appointed Global Vice Chair of Brand Properties, establishing global entertainment counsel for clients. Jackie was appointed Global Chair, Creative Strategy, joining the Executive Committee in 2013. She established the firm’s formal creative offering, building a global community of 650 creatives, planners and production talent. She led Edelman at Cannes, hosting events with Jamie Oliver, Will Smith and Ellen Pompeo.

In August 2017 she decided to move to a Senior Advisor role, working on a portfolio of work including building Edelman’s offer with UEG in Europe while still advising senior global clients. She is a Board Advisor for Jamie Oliver Holdings and on the global think tank for Kidzania.

Joan O’Connor

PR Director Coca-Cola Europe

Joan has over 25 years experience in consumer and corporate PR both in Consultancy and In-House roles.

Her management and leadership experience has focused on building and promoting brands, protecting reputation and driving consumer understanding around products and brand values.

An expert in marketing communications and reputation management, Joan has led brand and corporate communication strategies for Coca-Cola brands across multi-markets, traditional, digital and social channels and across a variety of stakeholders.

While at Coca-Cola Joan has been responsible for launching new brands and categories over the years including Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Glaceau Vitamin Water, Glaceau Smart Water, Fuze Tea, Adez and Honest. Joan has also led some of the company’s best known campaigns including Share A Coke, Coke Christmas Truck, Diet Coke Hunk, Diet Coke fashion collaborations with Jean Paul Gautier, Karl Lagerfeld and Marc Jacobs, and the music collaboration with Mark Ronson for the London 2012 Olympics.
Joan is currently vice Chair of the PRCA Consumer Group.

Nicola Green

Director of Corporate Affairs, Telefónica UK Limited

Nicola Green is a board-level UK communications director with complex experience in European coordination and corporate reputation. She is a communications industry figurehead, an active campaigner for Women in PR and a regular feature in PR Week’s UK Power Book.

Nicola was appointed as Director of Corporate Affairs at Telefónica UK Limited (O2) in 2016, having served four years as Director of Communications and Reputation. She has responsibility for Corporate Communications, Public Relations, Internal Communications, Public Affairs and Social Media Response. Nicola works directly with Telefonica UK’s CEO and offers daily strategic counsel and guidance to the Executive Leadership team.

Nicola joined O2 UK (acquired by Telefonica SA in 2007) in 2003 as Head of Media & Communications and, since then, has led her team to win PR Week’s In House Team of the Year on two separate occasions. She directed the re-positioning project of The Millennium Dome to ‘The O2’ and introduced the iPhone to the UK. Under Nicola’s leadership, O2 has achieved the highest corporate reputation in the sector and remained the industry’s most loved brand.

Prior to joining O2, Nicola worked for a number of major blue chip brands including Dr Pepper and Orange (2000 – 2003), where she helped build the brand and manage its flagship partnerships with BAFTA and the Glastonbury Festival. During her tenure, Nicola also launched the prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction.

Nicola began her career at global public relations and communications firm, Burson-Marsteller, where she worked for a number of FMCG clients. She has a degree from the University of Leeds and in May 2018 graduated with a Non-Executive Director Diploma from The Financial Times.

Nicola lives in South West London with her husband and two young children.

Andrew Soar

Creative communications director, freelance

With over nine years of experience in the communications industry, Andrew has become synonymous with building culturally relevant brands and devising creative campaigns that win a ton of awards for the likes of M&S, Ben & Jerry’s, Cancer Research UK, Baileys and Direct Line.

Coming into PR with an interesting back story, he is a passionate advocate of driving a more diverse environment in comms, believing that a lack of diversity is one of the principal issues threatening the industry today.

David Gallagher

President, International, Omnicon Public Relations Group

David oversees cross-agency client service internationally , manages partnership agencies across Europe and Singapore and leads group development activities including mergers and acquisitions. Prior to OPRG held senior positions for Ketchum in Washington, the UK and Europe, and developed the agency’s global corporate citizenship initiatives. He has led national and global communications trade organisations and chaired a number of communications awards juries, including Cannes Lions. His daughter, 17, is interested in design and communications – “for now.”

David Holdstock

Director of Communications, Local Government Association

Leading a number of award-winning teams, David has significant  experience of campaigns, reputation management, crisis communications  and public affairs.  Working with the Foreign Office, helped to develop police and Government communications in Bulgaria.

The LGA’s communications support and improvement work has supported more than 100 councils and David introduced and helped to develop the LGcommunications future leaders programme, aimed at supporting talent in the public sector communications industry.

David was national Chairman of LGcommunications between 2008 and 2012 and the PRCA in-house professional of the year in 2010.

James Coyle

Head of PR, Social Media and CSR, Samsung Electronics UK

James and his teams look after the corporate reputation and external communications for one of the largest consumer electronics brands in the world. He has worked agency-side, with Brands2Life and Pitch, and also internationally when he took on an 18 month assignment in Azerbaijan as Head of Communications for the European Games.

Tony Langham

Co-founder and CEO, Lansons

Tony Langham is an adviser, entrepreneur and chairman with over 30 years front line experience building and protecting the reputations of companies, organisations and Governments. His recent clients include the Isle of Man Government, Fidelity, The FCA, The Co-operative Bank, Hargreaves Lansdown and the IFC Forum.

He is Chief Executive of Lansons, the leading reputation management consultancy he co-founded in 1989, and is a non-executive Chairman in the financial technology, market research and horse racing industries.
The 2017 PR Week PowerBook lists him as one of the 300 most influential PR people in the world and in 2016 he received the Mark Mellor award for outstanding contribution to the UK public relations industry from the Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA). In 2014 and 2015 Debrett’s named Tony as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK.

His first book Reputation Management : The future of corporate communications and public relations is published by Emerald Publishing in December this year.

“Great event. Feeling super inspired by @JackiePRCooper Thanks! @WIPRUK”

Miranda Thomas, associate director, Communications Management

“Excellent @WIPRUK @WomenInPA event @NewsUK HQ. Full of insight and advice from exceptional panellists”

Kelly Baker, Associate Consultant, FleishmanHillard Fishburn

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