LAURENCE PHILLIPS - Client Director
Laurence has been working for full service and public relations agencies since 1997. He has devised and implemented across the board marketing and PR campaigns for a wide range of national and regional clients. He has unrivalled contacts in the media across Wales and the South West and in many trade sectors.
He began his career in his native South Wales as a marketing manager for regional newspapers. An “old guy” surfer and Welsh rugby fan he lives in North Somerset with his family.
Professional services; social and affordable housing; software development; charity; hotel and leisure; health clubs; pub retailing; beer brands and drink industry; property development (residential and commercial); property planning.
ANITA ALEXANDER - Commercial Manager
Anita Alexander has worked in the public relations industry since 1986. She has organised events throughout the UK and dealt with just about every type of media situation, from dealing with newspaper journalists through to major media launches and press conferences.
Anita has a wide knowledge of print and design, having worked previously in the print machinery industry and she has the vital role of ensuring projects run on time and within budgets. Her management skills extend to detailed event organisation for both Empica and its clients.
Print industry; managed offices; product launches; award entries; project management.
JUDITH SKORUPSKI - Account Manager - London
Judith is based in our London office and has an extensive background in news and entertainment. She began her journalistic career as a trainee reporter on Bristol United Press’ Observer series before moving to the company’s Evening Post title as a senior journalist.
Her career also includes producing for both national BBC and ITV television, including Trevor MacDonald Meets for ITN; Kilroy for BBC1; Sex Wars for BBC Scotland; youth show The Mag for Channel 5; Living Issues for Thames Television and the Carlton Debate for ITV hosted by Alaistair Stewart, and for radio stations including BBC local radio, GWR FM and Network News.
Before joining Empica Judith worked in new media as news manager of the government's website UK Online (now www.direct.gov.uk) and was in daily contact with 10 Downing Street.
In her spare time Judith enjoys studying languages including French, German, Spanish and Italian and is currently trying to get to grips with Latin.
charities; commercial and residential property; education sector; law; accountancy; small businesses; retail; health; recruitment.
KAYLEIGH SYDENHAM - PR Manager/ writer
Kayleigh joined Empica in 2009 after graduating with first class honours in English Language at the University of the West of England.
It was at university that she began writing for the student newspaper and a passion for journalism and public relations was born.
Her experience includes internships with the Meningitis Research Foundation’s communications office and in the Bristol Evening Post newsroom. She also gained valuable experience working within a B2B PR agency, where she worked on various food and beverage brands.
At Empica Kayleigh works with a range of clients from charities and hotels to travel companies and property developers. She also handles social media accounts to increase online presence.
Outside of the office Kayleigh is an avid reader, traveller and lover of food!
charities; social media; events; hotel and leisure; health and beauty; travel and tourism; residential property
SIMON HARDING - Journalist / Account Manager
An experienced NCTJ qualified journalist and PR manager, Simon has worked on newspapers across the West Country, including the Weston Mercury, Gazette Series, Bristol Observer, Western Daily Press and Bristol Evening Post.
An accomplished writer and sub editor, he edited the popular Bristol Observer free newspaper series during its heyday in the 1990s and has held posts including production editor on the Western Daily Press features department and editor of the motoring sections of the Post and Press before being appointed commercial features editor in 2005.
His public relations experience ranges from commercial property trends analysis to carbon credit trading and the travel industry.
Alongside a long career in newspapers, Simon has published nine books, two horror fantasies under his own name as well as a series of historical novels on the English Civil War writing as Nicholas Carter. He is a qualified mini rugby coach with Keynsham rugby club.
Newspaper, newsletter and magazine design and production: motoring and automotive; commercial and residential property; publishing; travel; local history and community sports sponsorship.
CLIVE BURLTON (MCIPR) – Non-Executive Director
Clive Burlton is a highly accomplished corporate communications professional, who has held senior positions in major PLCs. He is adept at stakeholder management and his roles have included media relations and human resources.
At Wessex Water PLC he held senior positions including Head of Human Resources and Investor Relations Manager during more than 20 years with the utility. He has also held senior consultancy positions with Lloyds TSB and Consort Medical plc in the UK and undertaken sales promotion projects across Europe for FMCG businesses including McDonald’s, Walkers Snack Foods and H J Heinz.
In 2011 he published his first book Trenches To Trams and is an enthusiastic local film archivist and has worked with the BBC on radio and television programmes. He is a volunteer with Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives and through producing a charity CD, has raised funds for Help for Heroes and the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum. He has also introduced a fundraising lottery for a local cricket club.
His role at Empica includes business development and strategic advice.
Utilities; museums; human resources; broadcast media; video; finance and banking sector; employee relations; investor relations; medical device manufacturing, sales promotion; customer relations; charity fundraising; script writing.
ELAINE NELSON-SMITH - Administrator
Before joining the Empica team, Elaine Nelson-Smith spent more than 20 years working in the travel industry. She embarked on her career in her native South Africa and travelled the world extensively before settling in Britain. She brings to the team a wealth of experience in administration and, among her many duties, daily updates the TV and radio exposure database and distributes cuttings to our clients.
WILL POWELL - PR Assistant
Will carries out vital backroom tasks for the account managers helping to ensure stories get
out to as many outlets as possible and monitoring client activities. Will previously worked in
the billing department of a major utility and is a stencil artist, carrying out both commissions and creating original work on the days he is not at Empica.
Online portals; social networking.
NICKI SAMPSON (MCIPR) - Freelance
Nicki Sampson started in PR in the mid ‘80s, and has promoted the services and products of a wide variety of clients nationwide. She is equally at home working with high-tech engineers, housebuilders, lawyers and on consumer accounts, whether through the media or by means of events organisation.
After several years’ consultancy experience, Nicki spent a decade as a senior lecturer in marketing at the University of the West of England, during which time she gained an MBA with the Open University. Latterly she combined her lecturing with the role of marketing communications director for Bristol Business School.
Nicki is a keen advocate of proactive PR strategies, and is particularly interested in campaign planning, as well as the nitty-gritty of execution. She loves writing too, and has just finished her first novel. She is a keen foodie, and does zumba and kayaking to try and counteract that.
NATALIE BIRRELL - Associate Director
Natalie Birrell is a PR and marketing communications professional with over 15 years' experience. She started her working life as a local press reporter before embarking on a career in public relations.
She works as a consultant to Empica while also managing her own portfolio of clients. She assists Empica in devising strategies for clients as well as implementing them. She is known for her strategic thinking, creativity, media relations, copywriting and people management skills. She also runs PR and media training workshops.
MAGNUS CARTER (MCIPR)
Works closely with Martin Powell on our crisis handling and training courses. Magnus has an international reputation for media training and crisis communications. Started his journalistic career as a newspaper journalist with the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle upon Tyne, later working as a freelance for National newspapers. He later gained more than 20 years experience in news and current affairs broadcasting, working with the BBC (BBC Scotland and the Today programme) and commercial companies in both radio (Intake Editor at Independent Radio News, and presented the award-winning AM programme on LBC in London) and television (TV-AM, Thames News and Meridian).
He is an associate consultant at Bristol Business School at the University of West of England where he was previously a senior lecturer in postgraduate journalism before founding Mentor Consultancy in 1998.
Magnus has worked with many corporate and public sector clients to ensure that media encounters become a positive opportunity, even in times of crisis. He is a Member of and Approved Trainer for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the author of Handling the Media!