Speakers


Katie Perkin,  Sussex Police

Head of Corporate Communications

Frances Browning,  Direct Line

Head of Brand PR and Social Media

Louise Johnson,  Calderdale Council

Communications Manager

Louise currently manages comms, PR, marketing and public affairs for Calderdale Council, managing a diverse offering to customers across one of the biggest rural boroughs during challenging financial times. Previously, she was Communications Director for Capita working on high profile, Government contracts for over 10 years.

Rob Simpson,  Tata Steel Europe

Head of Media Relations

Rob has helped maintain public and political support for Tata Steel during a period of unprecedented change. Tata Steel became the second highest-profile UK business story in 2016 as it battled factors which threatened its survival. Rob previously worked for the global engineering company Siemens and was a spokesman for the National Farmers’ Union during the national foot-and- mouth disease outbreak in 2001.

Nick Foley,  National Trust

Head of Communications

John Shield,  BBC

Head of News

Wendy Jarrett,  Understanding Animal Research

Chief Executive

Wendy began her career at Burson-Marsteller, working on various issues management and crisis preparedness projects. In the intervening 27 years she has helped many organisations think through their communications plans for a wide variety of possible scenarios, both positive and negative.

Francis Thomas,  London Midland

Head of Corporate Affairs

Francis joined London Midland following record numbers of train cancellations in 2012. Tasked with rebuilding trust and confidence in the organisation, passenger satisfaction has increased, performance has improved and London Midland has rebuilt relationships with key stakeholders and the media. Previously Francis held senior positions with Boots, Lego and Ofqual.

Penny Fox,  BIS

Head of Strategic Engagement

Tash Carpenter, British Paralympic Association

Communications Manager

Tash has spent eight years at the British Paralympic Association, working to build the profile of the ParalympicsGB team at the summer and winter Games. Rio 2016 was her fifth Paralympic Games and her second as Chief Press Officer for the ParalympicsGB team. In her position as Chief Press Officer, she was part of a five-strong senior leadership team that led ParalympicsGB to their most successful Games ever.

Jim Sheldrake, Novartis

Director, Issues and Risk Communications,

Jim is the group communications lead for issues management and crisis communications at Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland.  Since 2010 he has managed numerous product, regulatory, ethics and safety issues, and also led the company communications response to public health emergencies including Ebola and the 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami. 

Dylan Sharpe, The Sun

Head of PR and Deputy Lead Writer

Dylan joined the leader writing team at The Sun in January 2016 and now regularly writes the iconic ‘Sun Says’ editorial columns. He was named as one of PR Week’s ‘29 under 29’ in 2011 and awarded ‘Rising Star’ in 2012 by US magazine Campaigns and Elections.

Dee McIntosh,  Battersea Dogs Home

Director of Comms

Matthew Morris,  ICRC

UK & Ireland Spokesperson

Matthew is the UK & Ireland Spokesperson / Senior Communications Advisor for the ICRC in London. He joined the team in July 2015. His responsibilities include raising public awareness of the ICRC's global activities and managing media relations within the UK & Ireland.

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