MEET THE TEAM

gp8Craig Ling
Director and Head of the Southern Region

A former Political Communications Advisor to a number senior politicians, as well as Business Policy Advisor to the Liberal Democrats, Craig now leads our offices across South and Central England, as well as our work on major national clients including HSBC and Sainsbury’s. Craig has a wealth of in-house and consultancy-side experience, including a stint as the Head of Campaigns at the national disability charity, Scope, where he helped coordinate the largest public protest by disabled people in UK history.

Best thing about working at Grayling
It’s a cliche, but the people! You spend so much of your life at work, so genuinely getting on with your colleagues is so important.

Favourite hobby
Cycling – the bike comes everywhere with me. In the last couple of years, I’ve done races in the Alps, Tuscany and in Northern Spain for starters.

What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
I grew up on a diet of grunge – think Pearl Jam and the Smashing Pumpkins, but if you put me on the spot my soundtrack would have to include, Van Morrison – Queen of the Slipstream; Joni Mitchell – Case of You; and Che Gelida Manina from La Boheme.

Tea or coffee?
Single Malt.

Richard ChapmanRichard Chapman
Associate Director

Richard has over 15 years of corporate communications experience. He spent the first part of his career in London advising a variety public and private sector organisations, including Government departments, property agents, banks and recruitment companies. In 2005, Richard joined the Grayling London team and then relocated to Bristol in 2008. As well as being highly experienced in B2B media relations, digital communications and crisis management, Richard has also been media-trained by the BBC. When he’s not at work, Richard spends his spare time with his young family.

Best thing about working at Grayling
The people!

Highlight of your career?
Getting the opportunity to work in Grayling’s Hong Kong office.

What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?

Round Are Way by Oasis for my misspent youth; The Sweetest Thing by Jackie Wilson when I got married; and Goldmine by Cereus Bright for my kids.

Tea or coffee?
Builders tea first thing, coffee mid-morning and earl grey tea in the afternoon, thanks.

Helen BellHelen Bell
Associate Director

Helen has over 15 years’ experience in public relations, having begun her career at London-based Firefly Communications in 1999 before moving to Bristol in 2003.
Helen’s areas of expertise span property, retail, education and environment – most recently having led PR for Bristol’s tenure as the European Green Capital 2015. She specialises in community relations and stakeholder engagement, and has a strong track record in crisis management.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Have a cuddle with my gorgeous four year old daughter Grace. Around 6.30am usually!

Highlight of your career?
Ooh, so many! I am torn between the opening of Cabot Circus in September 2008, a development that I had worked on for over five years and which completely transformed Bristol city centre, and the unveiling of two life-size wicker whales in Millennium Square in July 2015 which attracted local, national and international media coverage.

Describe yourself in three words?

Chatty. Tenacious. Loyal.

Tea or coffee?
Tea – every time. Skimmed milk, one sugar please.

KaraKara Nelson
Associate Director

Kara is one of Grayling’s consumer PR experts and leads Grayling’s retail division, directing some of the company’s biggest clients. She’s passionate about understanding what makes consumers tick, and thrives on coming up with creative ways to reach audiences and change behaviours. A seasoned practitioner with over 10 years’ under her belt, Kara is particularly experienced at developing integrated PR, experiential and digital campaigns. She has a Marketing Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Best thing about working at Grayling?
Being able to work on big campaigns and with big brands, but away from the London rat race. We’re also a friendly bunch, everyone is very supportive and sociable.

Favourite hobby
My new favourite hobby is the trapeze – currently having lessons at the fantastic Circomedia in Bristol.

What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Where to start! Several songs from my childhood – Graceland by Paul Simon, This Must Be The Place by Talking Heads, Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat.

Everybody Dance by Chic reminds me of the time I danced on stage at Glastonbury next to Nile Rodgers, and unbeknown to me, was broadcast live on the BBC to about 10 million people. Anything by Fleetwood Mac and Prince. Essentially I’m stuck in a timewarp.

Tea or coffee?
Coffee.

MeganMegan Dacey
Account Director

Megan has worked across a range of consumer and digital campaigns, from some of Grayling’s biggest clients to regional and local projects, giving her strong knowledge of local and national markets. She has particular experience in consumer media relations, event management, digital and social media strategy and engaging targeted audiences at a grass-roots level.

What drew you to PR?
I love working in a fast paced environment that involves something new every day. PR gives you the opportunity to get stuck into topics you would never explore, and you get to meet such a variety of interesting people.

What inspires you in the workplace?
Good ideas – especially during brainstorms and team meetings. Getting together as a team to talk about ideas for clients and removing any ‘boundaries’ means that ideas can be really exciting and the possibilities are endless!

What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Foo Fighters – Everlong
Muse – Stockholm Syndrome
Jay Z – 99 Problems

Describe yourself in three words
Chatty, passionate and (a little bit) clumsy!

Tea or coffee?
Coffee

b2Lucy Doyle
Account Director

Lucy works in Grayling’s corporate communications team, though she has considerable experience working on regional, national and even international consumer campaigns. With more than five years PR and comms experience to her name, this combined knowledge enables her to use her skills where they’re most needed, leading accounts as diverse as financial services and law to hospitality and music festivals!

What drew you to PR as a career?
Talking and writing are the two things I do/love the most so it made professional sense! Plus, I love living and working in Bristol so when the opportunity to get involved in some great local projects came about, I couldn’t really say no.

What inspires you in the workplace?
People that are passionate about what they do and are willing to share their knowledge and experience to help others.

Describe yourself in three words
Addicted to coffee (but failing that: ambitious, perfectionist, tenacious)

Best thing about working at Grayling?
As well as working alongside a fantastic team, it’s the opportunity to work on small, local projects and with huge international clients – all at the same time!

Tea or coffee?
I drink both, but I couldn’t function without coffee.

lucy1Lucy Newman
Account Manager

Lucy has been working in PR for four years and joined Grayling in 2016 from Citizen Relations in London. Her experience spans a wealth of consumer and digital communications, for clients including Hampton by Hilton, Bacardi and Sony, allowing her to gain in-depth knowledge of both the local and national media landscape.

Best thing about working at Grayling?
The people, closely followed by the top biscuit selection

Highlight of your career?
Being on a private island in Puerto Rico drinking rum. All for the greater good of a client, for reals

What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Frank Sinatra – I’ve got you under my skin
Barry White (yup) – My first my last my everything
Florence & The Machine – Coffins
Todd Terje – Inspector Norse
Romare – All Night
Diana Ross – Upside down

Tea or coffee?
Earl Grey by day, rum by night

Cait Dacey1Cait Dacey
Senior Account Executive 

Master’s Graduate Cait works across a wide variety of accounts and is a core member of Grayling’s retail team, supporting on the regional, national and digital strategy for a number of high profile clients. She has an in-depth knowledge of the media landscape across the South West and Wales, and has built up strong connections with local journalists and bloggers.

What drew you to PR?
My sister! After hearing her talk about how great PR is for five years, I did work experience with the team in Bristol and absolutely fell in love with it. I was incredibly lucky to be offered a job in the office after my work experience and haven’t looked back since. So, even though I hate to say it, taking my sister’s advice was the best thing I’ve ever done!

Best thing about working at Grayling?
The people!! Some of the funniest, craziest and kindest people I’ve met.

Best advice anyone has ever given you?
You have to love what you do otherwise you will go mad! Something I really took to heart and truly believe.

Tea or coffee?
Very strong black coffee, two sugars please!

Rebecca Elmer
Junior Account Executive

Beki has joined Grayling from national news agency SWNS where she worked as a news reporter, regularly securing coverage in both national and regional titles. She has a great understanding of the media in the Bristol patch and has strong relationships with journalists across a broad range of titles. She graduated from the University of York in 2015 with a first class degree in History and spent two months as an intern for MHP communications, working on international campaigns such as NHS Blood and Organ Donation’s #Missing Type.

What drew you to PR as a career?
I’m really passionate about writing, research and communication, but most of all I love the way a great campaign can completely change the news agenda. I love tapping into conversations to challenge and develop perceptions – whether that’s a national campaign affecting the country, or the impact a small charity can have on a local community.

Best advice anyone has ever given you?
Be yourself – it sounds very cheesy but it couldn’t be more true. Everyone here in the Bristol office brings something unique to the team and it’s a great environment to work in!

Describe yourself in three words?
Driven. Honest. Bubbly

Tea or coffee?
A classic builder’s brew is a must to kick off a busy day!

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