Ben Verinder - Managing director
Ben leads on strategic consultancy, client liaison and project management. He is one of 50 founding Chartered public relations practitioners, a PR and marketing awards judge and regular speaker on reputation management and research.
Ben is a former in-house communications director with a background in print, online and radio journalism. He has considerable experience in public relations, reputation research and education management.
David Payne - Research manager
David manages data analysis, respondent recruitment, fieldwork teams and research reporting. He is also the lead interviewer on specialist projects and helps design project plans and questionnaires.
David has extensive experience in education, enterprise and skills research as an insight agency director with a background in planning, economic development and local Government policy.
Joanna Benson - Lead researcher
Joanna has extensive experience in education, having worked as a school bursar before moving into research. She has carried out a wide range of education and skills research assignments over the past decade.
Joanna has particular knowledge, skills and experience in interviewing young people, quantitative and qualitative telephone interviewing, face to face interviews and focus group facilitation.
Rae Southern - Researcher/Project management
Rae is a Prince 2 practitioner and qualified accountant. She has significant experience in IT project management and software engineering.
Rae helps design and deliver projects and has worked with a very wide range of education and skills clients.
Justina Hart - Editorial and copywriting
Justina is an award-winning author, journalist and copywriter who delivers expert writing, editing and media relations services for clients.
Justina began her career as a features writer and commissioning editor for national newspapers before shifting into public relations and copywriting via online journalism. She has extensive social media and digital publishing experience, is the author of fiction and non-fiction books and a commentator on cultural matters for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service.
Ed Melia – Media and stakeholder relations
A former radio producer for BBC and Independent radio, Ed is an award-winning media relations expert, specialising in education, having co-ordinated the highly successful National Adult Learners Week Awards ceremony and publicity for many years.
Ed has a wealth of experience providing specialist communications consultancy for high-profile partners, including national bodies and initiatives and has managed PR, events and internal communications teams.
James Murphy – Specialist research
James is a brand, reputation and trends analyst working in the field of socio-economic and commercial change who supports Chalkstream on specialist research projects.
As editorial director at the Future Foundation, James headed the team which converted the company’s research programmes into useful, future-focused findings. Clients included Boots, Eurostar, BA, Lloyds, Standard Life, Save the Children, O2 and Facebook.
James co-authored the book The Big Lie (interpreting your customer’s inner life for profit), which won the EMM Marketing Book of the Year in 2014.
Sue Wolstenholme – Leadership training
Sue is a former President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. She was among the first 30 in the world awarded CIPR Chartered Practitioner status.
Sue's work includes international projects raising professional standards for senior PR practitioners in countries as diverse as China, Keyna, Switzerland and Croatia. She has an MSc in Public Relations and has supervised PhDs on the subject for the University of Exeter.
Sue supports Chalkstream in delivering reputation and communication training for senior leaders in education.
Alison Arnot – Internal communications
Alison supports Chalkstream in the delivery of internal communications training for managers and leaders in education. She is a multi-award winning communications professional with an MSc in public relations whose expertise covers media relations, internal communications, crisis management and public affairs.
Alison’s work has been recognised with awards from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the Institute of Internal Communications, HEIST, and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She is a regular speaker and trainer on crisis communications and internal communications.