Justin Clark, Founder & MD, JustSocial Ltd

Justin is the Founder and Managing Director of JustSocial Ltd, a specialist social media consultancy for the public sector. Justin is an expert in social customer service, digital crisis communications, strategic development and social transformation, and works with some of the UK and Europe’s largest public sector organisations. Justin’s experience spans more than 10 years across social media and digital communications in Government and the Education and Transport sectors across the UK and the Middle East. Justin previously led a social media revolution at Transport for Greater Manchester, transforming how the largest transport authority outside of London communicates with its customers. A Non-Executive Director for crisis communications and social media agencies, Justin is the founder of the #SocialMCR event series in Manchester, an experienced public speaker, trainer and the UK Brand Ambassador for Hootsuite. Justin also mentor’s young social media professionals and is a proud advocate for causes related to Mental Health and Multiple Sclerosis.

Russell Barnes, Head of External Communications, Legal Aid Agency

Head of External Communications, Legal Aid Agency

Russell was appointed Head of External Communications for the Legal Aid Agency in March 2019. Since joining he has put into place the agency's first proactive communications strategy. This aims to build relationships with legal aid firms by improving customer service communications, and to fight misrepresentation in the media by telling the agency story through its processes.

Prior to this Russell was Head of Digital Communications at Defra, where he developed a digital skills training course for the comms directorate, and tranformed Defra's Twitter account into the 3rd best Government account in PR Week's yearly round-up. He's also worked in digital comms teams at both Cabinet Office and GDS, and before that he ran and managed websites for a number of entertainment companies, including Channel 4, AoL and Flextech Television.


Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Mind

Vicki Nash is Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, the mental health charity. A seasoned campaigner, Vicki leads Mind's policy, lobbying and campaigns work, ensuring we reflect the needs and experiences of people with mental health problems and speak truth to power. Issues range from welfare reform and benefits, to improving access and quality of mental health services, and tackling stigma and discrimination.

Vicki previously held positions at Breakthrough Breast Cancer (where she led the organisation’s public campaigns and parliamentary influencing work), the Holocaust Educational Trust where she worked with Government and politicians to set up the now established Holocaust Memorial Day, and Basildon District Council, helping to skill up local voluntary and community sector organisations.


Emma Reynolds, Communications Director, Defence Infrastructure Organisation

Nana Crawford, Social Media Manager, British Red Cross

Laurian Hubbard, Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet Office Communications

Laurian is a CIPR Fellow and award-winning Chartered PR Practitioner. With over fifteen years’ experience in PR, communications and marketing she is currently working as the Strategic Communications Lead for Citizens and Nations on the UK Transition Campaign in the Cabinet Office. Previous roles have included working in the public sector in Australia, Welsh Government and the Chambers of Commerce. Laurian is the Founder and Co-President of Women in PR Cymru, International Board member of Global Women in PR, a CIPR Council member; and committee member of CIPR Cymru. She is also a CIPR Chartered Assessor and has been Head Judge for CIPR Cymru Pride Awards for the last three years.

Julie Rendle-Eames, Head of Customer Experience, West Sussex County Council

At a time of austerity West Sussex County Council, like other local authorities, needs to find a different way to deliver its services. A key focus for us is delivering the right outcomes for our customers, where thinking about the service we provide them is at the heart of all we do – every decision, every action.

Like all other authorities we have a transformation programme delivering change within our organisation which works alongside continuous improvement. To continuously improve we must maximise on the people and systems we have, taking a pragmatic approach to deliver efficiencies at low cost.

We are taking the approach of ‘Doing the Basics Brilliantly’ where we target high effort areas for our customers, focusing on making it easier for them to get the help they need, when they need it.

By taking this approach we have made improvements within our Highways Service to reduce failure demand and cost, and have removed high levels of demand impacting on our expensive front line services.

This has been a win-win for our organisation and for our customer’s experience. We have applied this approach to other areas of our organisation and seen double digit call volumes reduce year on year.

Emma Leech, Director of Marketing and Communications, Nottingham Trent University

Richard Etienne, Deputy Head of Internal Communications, Department for International Trade

Richard is a senior communications professional within HM Government with over 15 years of experience within the public, private and third sectors as a communications consultant, specialising in brand development and global campaigns.

Former official videographer to Theresa May during her time as prime minister, Richard currently uses his marketing and communications expertise to strengthen and advocate inclusive leadership within the Civil Service. 

Co-chair of the BAME Network at the Department for International Trade, Richard is using his influence in his capacity as head of leadership communications within the department to increase BAME representation at senior levels. 

Currently DIT's representation at senior level is at 8%, two percentage points higher than the Civil Service average.