Our Team

Cool Blue is a team of creative individuals working together to find fresh ways to bring our clients’ brands, products and services to life.

Whether that’s through the intelligent use of PR, social media, marketing, design or digital campaigns our winning work creates differentiation and competitive advantage for our clients.

We have a human touch, a flair for the original and an unfailing ability to deliver outstanding results, and that’s why our growing list of clients represents some of the UK’s best-known brands.

PR and Marketing

Tanya Garland
Tanya Garland
Managing Director
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Tanya Garland

Managing Director

Tanya set up Cool Blue 15 years ago following roles with Hill & Knowlton and JWT. Since then the agency has grown its client roster to include FTSE 100 companies as well as some of the UK’s most respected brands.

Apart from leading and growing the business, Tanya’s interest and expertise is focused on the relationship between brand development and design. This lead to an extensive portfolio of award winning creative communications work spanning lifestyle to science and education to regeneration.

Tanya enjoys taking a hands-on role with clients, working on brand positioning campaigns and developing perception of brand through enhanced design.
Ben Groom
Ben Groom
Associate Director
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Ben Groom

Associate Director

A results-driven public relations and social media expert, Ben has over ten years’ experience planning and delivering high profile integrated campaigns for leading brands including C.P. Hart, Dualit and Multiyork.

With a focus on interiors, lifestyle and hospitality, his enviable address book includes the very best contacts in luxury goods, home-interest and food and drinks.

Passionate about creating real engagement, Ben ensures that all campaign activities are fully integrated across traditional PR, social media and web.
June Kelly
June Kelly
Account Director
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June Kelly

Account Director

June is well-qualified for her specialist role in media relations as she spent more than a decade as a chief news reporter on newspapers within the Trinity Mirror group. As a journalist she also knows how to communicate directly with key opinion formers and information providers.

She has generated millions of pounds worth of coverage for Cool Blue’s clients across print, broadcast and digital media and has considerable knowledge and experience of a variety of subject areas, including: science, technology, energy, higher education and regeneration.

Experienced at dealing with a range of stakeholders, her work has been consistently recognised as among the best in the UK by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
Sophie O'Mahony
Sophie O'Mahony
Account Director
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Sophie O'Mahony

Account Director

Sophie has worked in PR for over 10 years. After completing her BSc Psychology degree at Durham University she began her career in PR working on large scale national campaigns.

Since joining Cool Blue she has delivered fully integrated campaigns for financial services, law, higher education, social enterprises and technology. These experiences, coupled with a PR professional’s creativity and flair, mean that Sophie devises and implements highly effective strategic campaigns which deliver fantastic results. Her work has been consistently recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations as some of the best in the UK.
Jess Mayhew
Jess Mayhew
Account Director
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Jess Mayhew

Account Director

Jess is an experienced PR professional who has handled international campaigns for some of the world’s best-known consumer and technology brands including JVC Electronics, Fujifilm, Polaroid, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.

During her time at Cool Blue Jess has managed a number of large-scale digital, design, social media and PR campaigns for clients in the legal, retail, digital and social enterprise sectors.

Jess’ work has been consistently recognised as some of the best in the UK by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
Anna Wells
Anna Wells
Account Director
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Anna Wells

Account Director

Anna has eight years’ experience in the PR industry working at Marks & Spencer HQ were she was responsible for the delivery of high profile integrated campaigns for  interiors, kidswear and seasonal events. She joined Cool Blue as a dedicated and focused expert on consumer PR, with extensive knowledge in retail, social media and the interiors industry.

Over the years Anna has built up an impressive network of strong working relationships with key national press contacts from Editors to Feature Writers and Stylists across interiors, shopping, kids, beauty and fashion. This wealth of contacts adds further depth and range to Cool Blue’s insiders address book.

Anna also leads the way as a creative art director producing imagery that has achieved mass national coverage and has gained her a reputation in London as a leader in her field.
Hannah Davies
Hannah Davies
Account Manager
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Hannah Davies

Account Manager

Hannah is an expert in the media makeup of the North East having worked for 10 years across The Journal, The Sunday Sun, The Metro North East, The Gateshead Post and BBC Radio Newcastle. She worked in student radio and newspapers at Manchester University before moving to London to work for a publishing company.

After joining The Journal, Hannah won Features Writer of the Year and was heavily involved in content development for The Journal.

Since joining Cool Blue Hannah has led award-winning campaigns for Digital City, Gentoo, Winns Solicitors and Applied Graphene Science.

She is an adept user of social media within her campaign work.
Julie Martin
Julie Martin
Account Manager
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Julie Martin

Account Manager

Julie is a highly experienced award-winning digital editor and journalist. She has a fantastic understanding of the North East landscape and its business communities. Julie is former head of multimedia for Trinity Mirror and launched and edited a series of community websites which were awarded Online Community of the Year by the Association of Online Publishers.

She has an MA in Multimedia Journalism and led a newsroom of traditional print journalists into the digital arena, helping them develop online skills in order to reach a wider audience and drive community engagement.

Julie also helped Trinity Mirror recruit an army of community journalists to publish news items to a series of award-winning hyper-local websites.
Adrienne Hunter
Adrienne Hunter
Account Manager
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Adrienne Hunter

Account Manager

With an extensive career in newspapers including stints as the editorial director of a regional newspaper group and as the award-winning features editor of a major regional daily, Adrienne has an insider’s knowledge of the media.

This is complemented by a strong track record in corporate and internal communications with both private and public sector organisations including BT, Tata Steel, Yorkshire Housing Group and the Government’s Department of Communities.

Adrienne’s journalistic skills were recently rewarded by the achievement of an MA in journalism at the University of Sunderland, awarded with distinction.
Laura Emmerson
Laura Emmerson
Account Manager
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Laura Emmerson

Account Manager

A qualified journalist and experienced PR practitioner, Laura has a broad range of experience. Her understanding of the media was established by working with some of the biggest media agencies including CBS Outdoor, Publicis Groupe and Global Radio.

As a journalist she has written for a number of lifestyle and business magazines, while her PR experience includes brand building campaigns for clients including Kopparberg, Brand Alley and ScS. She enjoys writing creative content for multi-media channels and coming up with innovative ideas that take her clients’ PR activity to the next level.
Hannah Waugh
Hannah Waugh
Account Manager
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Hannah Waugh

Account Manager

A dynamic and experienced interiors PR professional, Hannah’s agency experience has led her to work with over 30 brands within the home interiors and lifestyle sector.

Extremely well-connected, Hannah has built and nurtured a strong network of key industry contacts with ongoing relationships across both print and online media. Above all, she applies her specialist knowledge and sound understanding of how the media works to develop game-changing campaigns.

Her work has taken numerous brands to a new level of positive exposure amongst media and consumers.
Lucy Bowes
Lucy Bowes
Account Executive
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Lucy Bowes

Account Executive

Since graduating from Durham University, Lucy has worked in consumer PR with brands such as Calligaris managing their presence at Clerkenwell Design Week.

Specialising in media relations, brand activation and event management Lucy has an extensive knowledge of the design sector and has been involved in raising brand awareness with media and the public through a range of creative campaigns and activities.

Her work delivers great results for clients, helping to increase awareness across a range of audiences.
Lottie King
Lottie King
Account Executive
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Lottie King

Account Executive

Lottie works across a range of sectors including retail, lifestyle and education to support client campaign activity. She delivers media relations, social media  and digital campaign activity preparing reports and analytics against client objectives on an ongoing basis.

Lottie has a flair for community campaigns and played a key part in attracting over 27,000 people to the inaugural Festival of Thrift in Darlington, County Durham.
Tom Hodgson
Tom Hodgson
Jnr. Account Executive
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Tom Hodgson

Jnr. Account Executive

As a recent graduate from Northumbria University, Tom offers invaluable support to the account management team as Junior Account Executive.

Tom works across a range of accounts providing public relations and social media support, as well as helping to prepare reports and analytics.

When he’s not tackling his workload, he’s training or playing some serious rugby.

Digital and Design

Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith
Studio Manager
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Kevin Smith

Studio Manager

A highly experienced studio manager, Kevin’s career in the creative industries spans more than 20 years. With a strong belief in attention to detail and robust methodology Kevin secured IS0 9001 accreditation to Cool Blue’s business and studio systems.

Kevin has an in-depth knowledge of design, artwork, print and digital work and an understanding of what turns ordinary into great work.  Brands and organisations to benefit from his creativity and project management skills include Carlsberg, Scottish Hydro Electric, Visit Britain and the NHS.
Katie McNamara
Katie McNamara
Social & Online Strategy
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Katie McNamara

Social & Online Strategy

Listed in the 2013 Drapers ‘30 Under 30 Ones to Watch’ and shortlisted for the 2013 Retail Week Retail Ambassadors Programme, Katie has been recognised as one of the UK’s rising social strategy stars.

Katie knows what people want to talk about online, how to drive engagement and bring brands to life on social platforms.

She has spent the last five years developing highly successful social and digital marketing campaigns as Brand Content Manager for Very.co.uk and as Web Content Editor for Marks & Spencer.

Katie’s expertise includes comprehensive brand marketing, commercial understanding of social media campaigning and the ability to integrate digital and offline campaigns that produce commercial results.
Ben Robinson
Ben Robinson
Head of Digital
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Ben Robinson

Head of Digital

Ben attended Sunderland University where he graduated in Internet Information Systems.

He gained experience working for some of the North East’s top creative web development firms and now leads Cool Blue’s digital team.

He is an authority on the development and implementation of a wide range of digital solutions from developing web and mobile apps, to social media, ecommerce, and digital to real world platforms.

His wide skill-set ranges from server-side to client-side standards compliant web development in a range of languages, through database engineering, graphic design, and electronic prototyping to create interactive electronic devices.

His work also allows him to indulge his interest in emerging technology of all kinds.
Neil Fletcher
Neil Fletcher
Senior Creative
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Neil Fletcher

Senior Creative

Neil is head of Cool Blue’s design team, planning and delivering creative campaigns for a range of clients that never fail to provide the wow factor.

He has more than 12 years’ experience and a portfolio of stunning examples of print and digital design.

Working with a range of clients across retail, professional services, recruitment, property, B2B and regeneration Neil has a reputation for excellence and innovation.

He has produced award-winning work for FTSE 100 companies including Unilever and Johnson Matthey and highly differentiated campaigns for exciting high growth businesses such as Story Homes, Barker & Stonehouse and Clinkards.

As well as being a talented graphic designer Neil is also an exceptional illustrator which can bring another dimension for clients seeking truly bespoke designs.
Fallon Armstrong
Fallon Armstrong
Senior Creative
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Fallon Armstrong

Senior Creative

Keeping abreast of consumer trends and the latest ‘must haves’ means Fallon is able to lead the way in digital design, illustration and photography.

She’s worked with international, national and regional brands, and her portfolio includes concepts for John Cullen lighting, L’Oreal, Redken and Occa Home.

Fallon has an MA in design professional practice and a BA Hons in fashion marketing. All of that knowledge mixed with a unique sense of style and originality means she’s continually producing eye-catching, engaging, fresh-thinking designs for a range of clients across a variety of sectors.
Michael Watts
Michael Watts
Senior Creative
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Michael Watts

Senior Creative

Michael has over 10 years' experience working with an impressive client list such as Bet365, NHS, Berghaus, Land Securities,

Barker & Stonehouse and Benfield Motor Group.

He believes passionately in ideas and they’re at the heart of everything he does. Whether they’re the big powerful ideas that help businesses take a significant leap forward, clever ideas that fly under the radar straight to their mark or simple sweet-spot ideas that resonate with everyone they touch Michael will ace the creative challenge.

Michael specialises in brand identities and fully integrated campaigns.
Tracy Appleby
Tracy Appleby
Senior Creative
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Tracy Appleby

Senior Creative

With over 15 years' industry experience, Tracy has worked on a huge range of sectors for local and national accounts including Harveys, Lloyds TSB, Pizza Express and the National Trust to name but a few.

Not just about pretty pictures, Tracy has a strong business sense, which is at the forefront of all her design work. She’s worked on just about every platform going from TV to cinema, digital to direct mail. A perfectionist with a keen eye, Tracy has art directed major campaigns and photography shoots.

A brand specialist, Tracy has built and developed several brands throughout her career, ensuring a cohesive and clear proposition is communicated across all touch points.
Lee Thompson
Lee Thompson
Creative Designer
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Lee Thompson

Creative Designer

Lee has more than ten years’ experience in the fields of graphic design and print. He previously worked as the design account handler for a leading regional media organisation.

He has top-notch art-working skills with a flair for creative design and is well practised at working to tight deadlines and under pressure. Lee works across a range of client materials and campaigns and always delivers the goods.
Pete Gardener
Pete Gardener
Graphic Designer
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Pete Gardener

Graphic Designer

Pete graduated from Northumbria University in graphic design, and in the eight years since, he has worked for prestigious clients including Mercedes-Benz, Knight Frank, Fortnum & Mason and Newcastle University Business School.

He is an expert in creating brand identities and has a specialism in illustration.

Pete’s emphasis as a graphic designer is on giving clients first-class service, responding to their requirements while maintaining a high level of creativity that results in a unique response and end product.

In his personal life, he’s a lover of soul music with a passion for illustration, history, museums, city breaks – and confesses to a strong appreciation of brogues and taches.
Lee Freeman
Lee Freeman
Artworker
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Lee Freeman

Artworker

Chris Neale
Chris Neale
Lead Developer
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Chris Neale

Lead Developer

Apart from working at some of the UK’s most innovative digital companies Chris has also created bespoke digital products and services during his time running his own tech company.

He has a passion for new web technologies and developing highly usable software for the web. His work spans a wide range of languages, platforms and channels turning his hand very ably from front-end to back-end solutions meaning that he’s highly experienced in each step of the development process.

Chris is also an excellent problem solver who is adept at finding solutions to digital challenges and likes nothing more than getting stuck into tasks that require agile thinking and a combination of skills.
Adam Mills
Adam Mills
Web Developer
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Adam Mills

Web Developer

A graduate in web and multimedia from Teesside University, Adam’s expertise is found at the cutting edge of both the technical and design areas of web development.

He specialises in mark-up languages including HTML 5, CSS3 and JavaScript/jQuery, other key skills include the creation of mobile platforms and responsive design.

He eats, sleeps and dreams about digital technology. As such he's the first to the table with new ideas and solutions for the team to work with.
Loc Dinh
Loc Dinh
Web Developer
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Loc Dinh

Web Developer

Loc has made Newcastle his home after moving to England from Vietnam to study for a Master’s degree in Business IT at Northumbria University.

Since graduating Loc gained experience by working at some of the North East’s leading niche digital agencies before joining Cool Blue as an expert in creating user-friendly web based applications and ecommerce solutions.

Web and digital technologies are Loc’s big passion both at work and in his leisure time.
David Baird
David Baird
Senior Account Manager
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David Baird

Senior Account Manager

David is an expert in all things marketing and holds a first-class honours degree in marketing management.  With a keen eye for detail, he puts his knowledge to good use managing  key accounts from brief through to delivery.

With considerable experience of delivering high-profile online and offline campaigns and collateral for leading brands, David takes the time to understand the needs of the client and uses that information to add value throughout the project.

We keep him busy - ensuring Cool Blue’s  projects are delivered on time, on budget and with great results.
Rachel Burgess
Rachel Burgess
Senior Account Manager
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Rachel Burgess

Senior Account Manager

Rachel is an experienced Studio Account Manager with a background in both creative and digital work. She has previously handled national retail accounts dealing with project management, online marketing, social networking, E-commerce and digital strategy.

She has a keen eye for detail and understands the importance of good communication and deadlines when it comes to delivering successful campaigns.
Natacha Toledo
Natacha Toledo
Studio Account Manager
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Natacha Toledo

Studio Account Manager

Natacha has 10 years’ experience and expertise in project management within integrated creative agencies and large international organisations.

She is adept at ensuring that projects are planned and delivered to clients’ agreed goals, budgets and timelines.

Her role is to create a seamless client experience across projects, ensuring success against campaign goals and efficiency in the process.

To do this Natacha works across Cool Blue’s PR, Marketing and Design Studio teams ensuring that projects flow smoothly and that all milestones are met.

 

Financial and Administrative Team

Trudi Chapman
Trudi Chapman
Commercial Manager
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Trudi Chapman

Commercial Manager

Trudi is in charge of all things financial at Cool Blue. She is responsible for managing key accounts  and ensures the smooth running of the business.  Making the financial wheels go round and generally shepherding a team of creatives into keeping their client files up to date isn’t the easiest of jobs but Trudi delivers the goods.
Aileen Duncan
Aileen Duncan
Administrator
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Aileen Duncan

Administrator

Aileen ensures a smooth running office. Making the essential office services seem a breeze she deals with all-comers to Cool Blue with her charming smile and maybe even a slice of her homemade cake!
Holly Rowley
Holly Rowley
Administrator
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Holly Rowley

Administrator

Holly’s the go-to person in our Newcastle Toffee Factory offices when it comes to all things admin.

She studied travel and tourism at Gateshead College, before becoming a business administrator for a major training organisation.

Holly’s skills cover facilities management, accountancy and she has qualifications including Level 2 and 3 Business Admin and Customer Service, Safeguarding, ICT and Excel and an A1 Assessor Award.

She says she’s a sucker for social networking, loves travelling to new places and attending music events around the world. She's pretty good at playing nanny to colleagues needing a flight, train or hotel in a hurry.
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