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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 (

Content and Creative Team

Team lead: Alice Mannix, Content and Creative Manager (

Team responsibilities:

  • University brand development, asset management and advice
  • Photography and video production for External Relations projects
  • Graphic design and print production for External Relations projects
  • Content strategy, quality assurance and governance for the University website
  • 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 Developments Team

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
  • Website search and external search engine optimisation
  • Digital platform analytics
  • Digital advertising

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 goals
  • Building the University’s research reputation, with a focus on research themes, capabilities and impact
  • Working closely with academic colleagues to help maximise visibility and reach of their work
  • Developing high quality website and multimedia content in support of research communications goals
  • Support the use of The Conversation for increasing reach and visibility of academic 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 titleNameEmailTelephone
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
Events Marketing Officer Sue Bennett +44 (0)1904 324778
York Festival of Ideas Officer Lisa Kazianka  +44 (0)1904 324119 
York of Festival of Ideas Intern Hannah Francis +44 (0)1904 324298

Media Relations

Job titleNameEmailTelephone
Head of Media Relations Alistair Keely +44 (0)1904 322153
Deputy Head of Media Relations Samantha Martin +44 (0)7385341616
Press Officer Shelley Hughes +44 (0)1904 323918