Ben Clarke-Groom

Ben Clarke-Groom

Associate Director

Ben Clarke-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.

Tanya Garland

Tanya Garland

Managing Director

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 led 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.

Sarah Gibbs

Sarah Gibbs

Senior Account Director

Sarah Gibbs

Senior Account Director

Sarah is a passionate and experienced PR professional with extensive experience in the interiors and lifestyle sectors. Sarah has spearheaded and implemented fully integrated, creative campaigns for brands such as Crown Paints, Harveys, Morsø, AGA Cookshop and Harvey Jones. As a specialist in crafting identifiable visual identities for both household names and new kids on the block, Sarah excels in coordinating multi-purpose editorial shoots, creating engaging brand materials and hosting full scale press events. Sarah has nurtured a strong network of contacts across on and offline media to ensure results and exceed expectations.

June Kelly

June Kelly

Account Director

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

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.

Tom Keighley

Tom Keighley

Account Manager

Tom Keighley

Account Manager

Tom is an experienced former journalist who has worked on the business desk on one of the region’s busiest newspapers. His career developed alongside the evolution of news into a constantly changing digital product and he was also instrumental in setting up a major North East online news platform.He's interviewed everyone from Prime Ministers to international business magnates and has a nose for what will make a great story for clients. When he’s not writing Tom can normally be found digging through crates to satisfy his vinyl records obsession.

Jonathan Aldridge

Jonathan Aldridge

Account Manager

Jonathan Aldridge

Account Manager

Jonathan is a talented communications professional who built his career in the heart of Westminster within the DWP, the UK’s largest government department. As a senior communications manager he was heavily involved in shaping communications strategy to effect behavioural change, and the resulting work won numerous awards from a range of professional bodies. Prior to this he worked in the London office of leading international multi-discipline agency Teneo Blue Rubicon, delivering integrated campaigns for well-known international brands and the London 2012 Olympics. His work is proof that PR is much more than getting media coverage and is more about using the most effective methods of communication to hit specific objectives. He has an MA in English from Cambridge University and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Lucy Bowes

Lucy Bowes

Account Manager

Lucy Bowes

Account Manager

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.

Kristin Neely

Kristin Neely

Account Manager

Kristin Neely

Account Manager

Kristin is an enthusiastic and dynamic public relations account manager specialising in interiors. He has worked with a wide spectrum of brands in the sector, from paints to blinds, furniture to fabric houses.Since launching his career, Kristin has built a reputation for securing targeted coverage in national broadsheets, leading magazines, websites and blogs. With extensive experience managing editorial photoshoots, developing media assets and hosting press events, Kristin devises campaigns that not only excite the press but meet business goals.

Adrienne Hunter

Adrienne Hunter

Content Production

Adrienne Hunter

Content Production

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.

Chloe Watson

Chloe Watson

Senior Account Executive

Chloe Watson

Senior Account Executive

Chloe has an impressive range of experience working on integrated and social media campaigns for clients in retail, interiors, house building and education.Her skill set includes media relations, social media and digital campaign planning and delivery to achieve client objectives.With a keen interest and specialism in social media campaigning Chloe also provides advice and support to colleagues and clients across a full range of social campaign activity from social commerce to community engagement.

Sarah Hawkins

Sarah Hawkins

Junior Account Executive

Sarah Hawkins

Junior Account Executive

Sarah joins our team with three years’ of advertising experience, working on interior titles such as House & Garden and The World of Interiors, as well as fashion titles including Vogue. Sarah has a thorough understanding of the interiors sector and has been involved in raising brand awareness and communicating key messages with the public. With a particular enthusiasm for social media, Sarah has a confident and creative approach to planning and delivering thoughtfully tailored and targeted campaigns.

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith

Studio Manager

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.

Ben Robinson

Ben Robinson

Head of Digital

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.

Fallon Armstrong

Fallon Armstrong

Senior Designer

Fallon Armstrong

Senior Designer

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.

Tracy Appleby

Tracy Appleby

Creative Team Leader

Tracy Appleby

Creative Team Leader

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.

Gavin Downey

Gavin Downey

Senior Designer

Gavin Downey

Senior Designer

Gavin has worked on a wide range of leading brands within the north east region and beyond. He took the leading role in the recent full rebrand of the North East Chamber of Commerce and played a key role in inception, development and implementation of Thirteen Group’s brand following the merger of Fabrick and Vela; worked on the branding of Fabrick; and has delivered brand refresh work for the National Railway Museum at York. Gavin is highly experienced in the complexities of branding projects. He takes a thoughtful and thorough approach to the process resulting in high quality creative concepts that work across all mediums.

Lee Thompson

Lee Thompson

Designer

Lee Thompson

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 Gardner

Pete Gardner

Designer

Pete Gardner

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

Lee Freeman

Artworker

Lee has more than 16 years artwork experience working across a range of sectors for top name brands, including Jennings Motors, Reid Furniture, Cargo Home Shop, Harveys Furniture, Lloyd Motor Group, and Barkers Northallerton. Fast and efficient, Lee is keen to keep on improving his skills and keeps up with the latest technology. When he’s not at work he’s happily practising design by coming-up with new tattoos to add to his own canvas of artwork.

Adam Mills

Adam Mills

Web Developer

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.

David Baird

David Baird

Senior Studio Account Manager

David Baird

Senior Studio 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.

Emma Shard

Emma Shard

Studio Account Manager

Emma Shard

Studio Account Manager

Emma is a dynamic marketing professional with a diverse range of marketing communications skills. With experience of managing a variety accounts from national to regional brands across a multitude of channels, she works with a strategic and concise approach to deliver projects on time and within budget. Emma’s appreciation of all things design and digital ensures creative outputs are top notch and on brief - she is conscientious, passionate and personable ensuring you are kept fully up to speed on your Cool Blue journey.

Trudi Chapman

Trudi Chapman

Commercial Manager

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

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 home-made cake!

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