Our associates

Rebecca Griffiths

Public Relations

Rebecca is an experienced media relations specialist with an impressive track record of delivering successful, high-level communications campaigns within education, science, HR and business. She has an extensive contact book within national, international and trade media, a great eye for a news story and loves nothing more than turning a complex piece of academic research into something internationally newsworthy. Over 12 years Rebecca has worked closely with a large number of universities, membership organisations, national charities, corporates, senior academics and schools to boost their influence and help them reach the right audiences. Rebecca brings experience from University of Cambridge where she managed PR for the University’s international operations, including the Vice-Chancellor’s tour of India.

Before joining Communications Management she was Account Director at Colman Getty PR specialising in issues-based campaigning, where her clients included Make Your Mark (the then-Government’s national enterprise campaign), the Association of Graduate Recruiters, social mobility charity Career Academies UK and the Natural History Museum. She was also integral to pioneering and delivering the Arts Council’s first ever list of ‘Women to Watch’ in the Cultural and Creative industries, which achieved widespread national media attention upon its launch. In her spare time Rebecca can usually be found in a playground or soft play centre with her two energetic young sons.

Michael Lavery

Associate Strategist (HE)

Michael has led marketing, communications and development in two UK universities before becoming a consultant specialising in brand and reputation in both education and private sectors. Michael was Executive Director (and a member of the University Executive Team) at Teesside University for 6 years where he led a team of 70 staff responsible for strategic marketing, branding, communications, student recruitment and fundraising. Prior to Teesside, he was Director of Communications and Marketing at Durham University for 6 years. In his earlier career, Michael was Head of Communications for Reg Vardy plc, Europe’s leading motor retail group and also worked in several marketing, advertising and PR agencies. Alongside his work for Communications Management, Michael is an adviser to the House of Lords, an adviser and global trustee to the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and has carried our consultancy projects for the University of Oxford, John Hopkins University (USA), and Dublin City University.

John Callen

Associate Marketing Specialist

John’s education sector expertise is built upon commercial sector experience at board level with a number of top agencies. His roles spanned from data driven direct marketing and sales focused campaigns for clients such as Linguaphone and GUS to high level brand planning. He led both launch and development programmes for brands such as Birds Eye, Sega, Microsoft, IBM and Nestle. Since 1991, John has focused on the Higher Education sector commencing as Director of Marketing and Communications at the University of North London for nine years and led its fully integrated brand, marketing, communications and development strategies. Since 2000 John pursued a consultancy career initially with Riley Consulting and subsequently establishing his own practice, specialising in strategic and operational marketing and communications solutions in Higher Education. Consultancy assignments have included both Interim Directorships – for eight universities – which mean he maintains a current view of the real challenges for HEIs and also Project Assignments which have ranged from commercially oriented business case audits and assessments (for an EFL provider) and professional qualifications marketing (for a financial sector association) to strategic brand planning, core messaging mapping and conversion/CRM processes and operational plans for a wide range of HEIs. John’s extensive achievements in HE marketing have been achieved through his continuing commitment to the relevance and value of analytical and results driven commercial approaches appropriately adapted to the sector.


Rachel Smith

Public and Community Consultation

With more than 20 years’ experience in some of the most challenging public consultation and stakeholder engagement arenas, Rachel brings a wealth of knowledge to bear for our clients when going through the estates planning process. Rachel provides strategic advice to educational institutions nationwide on their public consultation strategies building strong and enduring alliances based on open and respectful engagement. She brings a rare blend of community consultation, public affairs, media and marketing communications skills, coupled with teaching experience which can be invaluable in engaging with students and pupils.

Recently she has undertaken a programme of schools engagement around oil and gas exploration with numerous junior and high schools in the North West of England. She has supported a number of colleges including Brooklands College in Surrey and Notre Dame Catholic College in Liverpool who were looking to rationalise their property portfolio and realise assets. Her role involves engaging with the full range of audiences from ward councillors and community groups to lecturers and the students themselves giving them a role in helping to shape their new learning environment. Her experience in managing contentious applications and the public furore around them is unmatched and she has handled major development in greenbelt, football stadia on public parks and even directed communications around potential fracking sites, the most combative consultation environment in the UK today.


Liz Guildford

Public Relations

Liz has worked as a public relations and marketing consultant for over ten years, predominantly for employee benefits providers, management development bodies, recruitment agencies and support services, commercial training organisations and business schools. Prior to starting her freelance public relations career in 2005 Liz worked as a press officer for City University Business School (now Cass Business School) and a graduate retail management trainee for B&Q. She holds a postgraduate diploma in Public Relations, awarded by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, as well as qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She is a graduate of the University of York where she was awarded a BA (Hons) in Politics with Educational Studies. Liz’s expertise is in the development and delivery of media relations strategies and programmes. Her key skills also include project management, copy writing and editing for online and offline publications, case study development, award entry preparation, internal communications and issues management.

Chris Reed

Social Media and Digital Communications

Chris has over 20 years’ communications experience spanning PR and social media, helping organisations amplify their stories to targeted audiences worldwide. Specialising in social for the last few years, he has developed and implemented creative social media strategies and campaigns for a broad range of clients across the Education sector and beyond, advising on paid, earned and owned social media.

Away from the education sector, notable clients include LinkedIn, Arup, Virgin Media Business, Starwood Hotels (now Marriot), Eurostar and TfL. He’s the author of several social media ‘best practice’ guides for one of the best-known social media monitoring tools, and regularly runs digital transformation programmes for organisations which trying to dovetail their social, PR, and marketing and comms teams. He’s also a reputation-management and crisis communications expert, working with a broad range of customer-facing businesses including airports, international hotel chains and rail companies to provide training, support and crisis communications consultancy. He speaks regularly at industry events and shouts a lot at Arsenal. He is @chris_reed on Twitter.


Lal Tawney

Strategic Consulting

Lal provides strategy and change management consultancy to help education providers navigate their strategic priorities and organisational challenges. Lal’s areas of expertise include: differentiation and brand development, internationalisation, distance learning and digital enablement, student journey and operating model design, student recruitment process and practice reviews. Lal has unique experience and skills of working within in the education sector and having a commercial focus. Lal has worked extensively with The Open University, London South Bank University and The British Council, and has previously held senior management positions with KPMG, Barclays and Santander. Lal developed The Open University’s business plan to expand its international student base, and as Director Open University Worldwide, Lal took responsibility for operationalising the plan. This involved creating a new business unit, designing and setting a tailored international student experience implementing a new website and establishing an outsourced student contact centre.


Claire Haworth

Schools Sector – Public Relations

Claire has 13 years of experience working in PR for the schools sector. She was media relations manager for the National College for School Leadership and led on campaigns to promote key developments in the world of education such as National Leaders of Education, system leadership, and school business managers. She’s worked with school leaders and teachers across the UK as well as many of the agencies and businesses that support them. Recently her clients have included the Trent Academies Group, the World Class Schools Quality Mark, and online children’s encyclopaedia Q-files. Prior to moving into PR, Claire was a newspaper and broadcast journalist.


Phil Williams

Reputation Research

Phil is an experienced education marketing professional who takes a strong customer-centred approach to marketing communications and messaging. He was the first Marketing Manager at two West Yorkshire FE Colleges in the 1980s/early ’90s and has since held senior marketing roles at both Huddersfield and Keele Universities. He specialises in marketing research and evaluation, perception and communication audits and the development of messages for key target audiences. His other interests include poetry and creative writing and he is married with two student-age daughters.


“Communications Management is a committed partner to the sector – they have supported several of our awards and their team have a record of pitching well targeted ideas for news and opinions. I have always found them to be engaged, knowledgeable and professional in their approach.”

John Gill,

Editor, Times Higher Education

Interested in joining our talented team?

We’re always on the hunt for potential new recruits to join our ranks, either in client-facing roles or as part-time associates – or as part of our client services support team. If you are enthusiastic about education, inspired by skills, or feel you can bring a new area of expertise to our operation – we’ll be pleased to hear from you. While we’ve tended to recruit from in-house pr and communications backgrounds in education or from other consultancies with transferable interests for our consultancy team, we’re looking out for bright and eager talent who can learn quickly and adapt to life in Communications Management. We may not have any immediate roles available – but if you can convince us that you will add value and bring growth or if you are prepared to have your details on record until the next suitable recruitment opportunity then please do get in touch. In the first instance please send your CV and a covering letter with details about your interests and what you are looking for – to:
Justin@communicationsmanagement.co.uk or link in with Justin Shaw, our Managing Director, via LinkedIn.

We would love to hear from you

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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