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Communications team

Job titleNameEmail addressTelephone
Director of Communications Rachel Barson +44 (0)1904 324462
Administrator  Caroline Drury 
+44 (0)1904 323424

Our teams

Digital and Creative Services

Head of Digital and Creative Services: Dan Wiggle (

Brand and Creative Services

Team lead: Post vacant

Team responsibilities:

  • University brand development, asset management and advice
  • Management of the University's brand platform for self-service access to assets, brand guidelines and on-brand templates for print and digital formats
  • Photography and video production for External Relations projects
  • Graphic design and print production for External Relations projects
  • Maintaining a roster of external suppliers for creative projects

Web Content Strategy and Operations

Team lead: Post vacant until August 2024 (maternity leave)

  • Content strategy, quality assurance and governance for the University website
  • Content design and production
  • Communications support for the University community, including delivery of website updates, digital signage updates and more as via or the website update request form
  • Publishing support and advice for the University, including training on the Web CMS

Digital Platforms and User Experience

Team lead: Paul Kelly, Digital Platforms and Developments Manager (

Team responsibilities:

  • Management of the Web CMS
  • Design and code for Digital Pattern Library website templates and related front-end web development
  • User experience (UX) research and design for core External Relations projects and in collaboration with other teams for other digital projects and platforms
  • Digital communications platforms strategic insight
  • Website search and external search engine optimisation
  • Digital platform analytics

Research Communications

Head of Research Communications: Sarah Heathwood (

Team responsibilities:

  • Leading on the delivery of research communications activities in line with the University strategy and research strategy
  • Building the University’s research reputation, with a focus on research strategy objectives
  • Working closely with colleagues to help maximise the visibility and reach of our research, our teams and what drives our research
  • Developing high quality website and multimedia content in support of research communications
  • Supporting colleagues by leading a Research Communications Network
  • Support the use of The Conversation for increasing reach and visibility of academic and research expertise

Internal Communications

Head of Internal Communications and Engagement: Deb Ward

Team responsibilities:

  • Leading on internal communications with staff and students throughout the University, including developing communication campaigns and advising on communications planning
  • Managing central University social media channels and advising on departmental social media
  • Identifying audiences and utilising key communications channels including web, digital screens, staff and student newsletters, email and social media to engage with our internal audiences
  • Providing guidance and advice to colleagues to support their communication needs



Job title Name Email Telephone
Head of Events and Deputy Director of York Festival of Ideas Sarah Mitchell  +44 (0)1904 324633
Events Officer Naomi Richards +44 (0)1904 322064
Events Officer Portia Hewitt +44 (0)1904 324123
Events Officer  Suzanne Thorn +44 (0)1904 324123
Assistant Events Officer Hannah Francis +44 (0)1904 324298
Events Marketing Officer Sue Bennett +44 (0)1904 324778
York Festival of Ideas Officer Vacant    

Media Relations

Job title Name Email Telephone
Head of Media Relations Alistair Keely +44 (0)7795 315029
Deputy Head of Media Relations (job share) Samantha Martin +44 (0)7384 238 979
Deputy Head of Media Relations (job share) Shelley Hughes +44 (0)7384 238992