Gareth Mead: Head of Media Relations at Virgin Media
Gareth spent eight years working for the BBC, including in Leeds whilst completing his degree at the University. Having reported for a range of broadcast programmes including BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5Live, he left journalism in 2005 and joined the world of PR. Working in corporate and financial public relations, he was named CIPR’s Young Communicator of the Year in 2008 and was soon after asked to join Virgin Media to head up the company’s media relations department. He currently runs the Press Office for a business worth £16 billion, with 8 million customers and in one of the most competitive and fast-changing industries around.
Amy Byard: Account Manager, Umpf PR
Amy was named #14 in a list of the most influential women in digital under the age of 30. Her first job was in digital marketing at an Agency called Epiphany in Leeds City Centre. She was the first employee in that department so over the 2 years she was there she got the opportunity to build up a department of seven people. Clients included Waterstones and Debenhams. She is now an Account Manager at a traditional PR and social media agency, Umpf.
Ben Solly: NHS press office
Ben works as a Communications Officer for the NHS West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Commissioning Support Unit. He provides communications for the NHS clinical commissioning groups in Leeds and Bradford. Ben is responsible for the social media accounts, updating the websites, awareness campaigns and general PR work. Before he joined the NHS he worked freelance as a boxing writer for Secondsout.com and Boxing News Magazine.
Rachel Kennedy: Leeds City Council marketing
Rachel was fortunate to get the first job she applied for after graduation last year but that wasn’t without filling out plenty of other applications in between! After a graduate application process, which included different stages of suitability testing, she gained a job with Leeds City Council. Rachel works in communications and marketing for sport and the Chief Executive’s Office in strategy and improvements, which means she sees see both the political side and the more commercial side of the Council.
Harriet Mumford: PR for Nelson Bostock Communications
Harriet works at Nelson Bostock Communications doing Technology PR. Clients include HTC Corporate (Global), Facebook, Canon consumer products and the Europe and UK Hydrographic Office.
Lisa Brook: Publications and Promotions Manager, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Press Manager and Programmer, Leeds International Film Festival
After interning at film festivals during her time at the School, Lisa has gone on to programme, promote and manage at the two largest film festivals in the country outside of London. Now splitting her time between Leeds and Sheffield, Lisa has worked in every area of film festival work, including the selection of films for festival programmes, implementing new marketing and press strategies to grow audiences, managing gala events and awards ceremonies and welcoming filmmakers, press and guests from all over the world to Yorkshire.
Ellie Jones: Assistant Show Manager at the Royal Horticultural Society
Ellie started her career in BBC Local Radio as a freelancer. She then had a series of fixed term contracts ranging from mid-morning programme production to project managing the broadcasting of all 40 of the BBC’s local radio stations at the RHS Flower Shows: Chelsea, Hampton Court Palace and Tatton Park. In July 2012, Ellie left the BBC to pursue a permanent role with the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society, UK’s leading gardening charity) and was promoted to Assistant Show Manager.
Adam Taylor: Cicero Group
Adam graduated from the University of Leeds in 2008. He has since worked for Royal Bank of Scotland in the Business Services Department and more recently as a Parliamentary Researcher for a Conservative MP. He currently works for Cicero Group, a public affairs and corporate communications agency, where he has worked for clients including Aberdeen Asset Management, Barclays, Brewin Dolphin and Tomorrow’s People.