Meet the team
Chief Executive Officer
Karen’s knowledge of the industry comes from her long career in foodservice. Before joining William Murray in 1998 as managing director, Karen worked for Unilever, Allied Lyons, Douwe Egberts and Brasilia UK ltd as their marketing director.
After two years at William Murray Karen led a management buy-out. Under her leadership the agency has confirmed its leadership position as the UK’s number 1 agency in food, drink and hospitality.
Everyone knows Karen, which is testament to her dedication to the industry – not only through working with some of best known brands but also for her time she gives to support industry associations and charities.
Since 2008 Karen’s been listed in the ‘Who’s Who of Britain’s Business Leaders” and in 2011 was voted as one of the top 100 most influential women in industry.
Greatest passion outside work?
“Cats, dogs, horses – virtually anything with four legs.”
Anita is passionate about the power of good communication and the impact it has on a business. It was this drive that led her to being awarded PR Week’s ‘Young Achiever Award’ aged 26. Since then she has continued to stand out in the industry as someone with a track record for delivering award-winning integrated campaigns for clients ranging from IBM, Castrol, Hilton and City Inn. With 25 years experience under her belt, she still gets a kick from clients’ reaction when they see great results.
Anita enjoys sharing insight and is a regular speaker and contributor to press. She is also a supporter of industry associations including PR advisor to Master Innholders; Westminster Kingsway College, where she advises budding catering entrepreneurs and Women’s 1st where she acts as a mentor and judge for the annual Shine awards.
New challenge on the horizon?
To learn Spanish that goes beyond ordering a beer!
Stephen has a wealth of experience under his belt. One of his greatest achievements was introducing Pizza Express pizzas to supermarket customers and creating a £30m brand in its first year of sale.
Stephen developed a number of innovations in the UK retail chilled market that included soups, pizzas, salads and sauces, making Geest Prepared Foods Plc the market leader in each category and over £250m a year from Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrose.
His ability to spot a new product opportunity led to a number of awards including the highly coveted Gold Q Award and a Grocer Award.
If there’s one thing we could find fault with Stephen is that he’s a life long Luton Town fan – we wish them better luck next season!
Claim to fame?
“Introducing the PizzaExpress brand into supermarkets, with fantastic results for the manufacturer, the restaurant group and the retailer.”
Dave brings with him bags of hospitality and media experience. He started his career at the Financial Times before taking a gamble to head up PR for Ladbrokes.
During his time at Ladbrokes Dave was responsible for working with NSPCC and generating just over £1m in charity fundraising during the year-long corporate partnership, was part of the management team that lobbied government on the abolition of betting duty and acted as company spokesperson for TV and radio.
Dave is a qualified marketeer who understands brands. His love of the hospitality industry comes from his time with IHG, the world’s largest hotel company, most famous for its Holiday Inn brand. Dave left IHG to become a consultant and after four years returned to IHG as global internal communications director responsible for engaging the company’s 350,000 employees.
Most surreal moment?
“Sitting down for a coffee and biscuit with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 10 Downing Street to talk about a charity initiative. The biscuits were terrible!”
Making the complicated simple.
Daren specialises in digital communications, with a proven track record over the past 12 years with successful campaigns in Food, Drink, Hospitality, Legal, Technology and Financial sectors.
He is a regular author on Social Media Today as well as many other industry related publications and an active advocate of the positive role social media can play in business.
Daren successfully delivered online solutions for Unilever, Cadbury, Electrolux and Environmental Agency amongst many others.
“Social Media has evolved and the age of Social Business is here.”
Elaine has been a vital part of the William Murray team for 20 years. An experienced bookkeeper, she processes our invoices and payments and makes sure we keep our costs tightly under control.
Thanks to her good management, William Murray Communications has remained on a sound financial footing all this time.
“June – when everyone else is winding down for their summer holiday, I’m tying up all the loose ends ready for our financial year end.”
Despite now living in Melbourne, Australia, agency founder Sue is still on call. A journalist by training, she moved into PR in 1986 and launched William Murray PR a year later.
Since selling the business in 2000 to spend time with her young family, she has freelanced in the City and for government departments, while maintaining a keen interest in the hospitality sector.
With husband Ian McKerracher, the former chief executive of the Restaurant Association, she has first hand operational experience. For five years they owned a multi-award-winning gastro-pub in the idyllic Somerset village of East Coker.
Favourite new saying?
Group Account Director
With 9 years’ agency experience, Clare has successfully turned her hand to all areas of the marketing mix. After gaining a degree in communication studies Clare joined an integrated marketing agency where she developed communications plans for leading international housing developers. After another stint at a top London agency working with a range of consumer and B2B clients, Clare joined William Murray where the taste for the food and drink industry was too tempting.
Never losing her passion for marketing, Clare gained her Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma in 2009 and has headed up the Unilever Food Solutions account for several years, working on well-known brands such as KNORR, PG tips, Hellmann’s and Flora.
Clare is now the group account director for the agency overseeing key accounts.
Favourite work-related saying?
“Dont leave your personality at the door.”
After graduation, Charlotte joined one of the big London agencies and was rapidly promoted from PR assistant to senior account executive, all the while working for high profile food and drink clients.
Charlotte gained a huge amount of experience, but after three years was ready for a move. She joined another agency that specialised in interiors, but it just wasn’t her. So she stayed for a year, and then came to William Murray Communications. “I was so pleased to be back in food and drink. No two days are ever the same.”
“A road trip around the Golden Triangle in California.”
As an ex-journalist Fiona has a keen eye for a story – and the inside track on what journalists do (and don’t!) want.
After completing a BA honours in journalism, she joined the Courier Group in Oxford as a reporter securing interviews with the likes of Keith Floyd, Boris Johnston and Gucci’s Tom Ford, before taking a year out to travel Australia and Fiji.
Returning to the UK, Fiona’s cocktail bar experiences landed her a job with William Reed’s glossy drinks magazine CLASS and from there she joined William Murray Communications. Fiona has been with the team since November 2006 and has experience on brands including Unilever Food Solutions, Elior, FCSI, 3663, Greene King, Lyons Seafoods and Britvic.
Best headline ever?
“Without any doubt…The SunSport’s headline in 2000 when Celtic got thrashed 3-1 by Inverness CT in the Scottish Cup. Super Caley go ballistic, Celtic are atrocious. Love it!”
Senior account manager
Rachelle is an all rounder in food, drink and hospitality with PR, event and marketing roles under her belt. She has more than ten years’ experience that started at Caterer & Hotelkeeper organising high profile events for the magazine.
In 2004, Rachelle joined William Murray and quickly began to thrive on the ‘other side’, taking on new challenges with a variety of clients including, P&G Professional, HP Foodservice, Lyons Coffee and ISS Eton among others. Rachelle then took on the role of events director running a successful Education Road Show.
Unfortunately in 2007 Rachelle moved to a marketing agency working on strategic planning projects, returning to William Murray three years later.
“Lots of things, but knowing every day is a fresh start and seeing my daughter smile at me every morning.”
Senior Account Executive
After gaining a first class honours degree in Journalism and English language, Donna is always looking for a new angle to get our clients’ names and brands in the headlines.
She started her career in PR as a graduate trainee at Kindred Agency, the UK’s number one public sector agency. During that time, Donna worked on a number of PR and social media campaigns with clients like the Department for Education and the School Food Trust.
Since joining William Murray in 2010, Donna has worked on a range of clients including: Unilever Food Solutions, Quorn Foods, Master Innholders and The Kids Food Company. She has also made a name for herself as a ‘PR and social media’ expert appearing in Marketing, PR Week and PR Examples online since launching her blog ‘Prime Time’.
Biggest PR achievement?
“Helping to secure 300 pieces of coverage on the first day of a campaign launch.”
Senior Account Executive
Having graduated with a degree in history from the University of Manchester in 2010, Louise threw herself in to the world of PR.
Combining her love of food and drink with her career, she jumped at the chance to join the William Murray team in October 2010 and never looked back.
Working on a number of accounts for the agency, Louise has gained a valuable set of skills and range of experience. She loves the diversity of projects she works on everyday, the challenge of implementing successful campaigns and seeing the results roll in!
Having spent the past three years child minding and bringing up her own young sons, Bel has returned to the world of PR. Before starting her family she worked for a leading London PR Agency for 10 years, progressing up the corporate ladder from receptionist to project coordinator and personal assistant to the director.
Bel is a key player in the smooth running of the office, juggling diaries and dates and managing the features process so we never miss an opportunity.
Greatest passion outside work
“My family and cooking.”
Rosanna brings with her a wealth of B2B and B2C FMCG, lifestyle and food and drink experience. A natural communicator and with a passion to excel in the communications industry she left her job eight years ago to rough it with the youngens to study a degree in Business and Public Relations.
Since then she has propelled herself into the world of communications and has worked both in house and agency side for some of the UK’s biggest brands including John Lewis, Red Tractor Assurance and The Co-Operative.
Rosanna is passionate about developing creative concepts in order to develop strategic, integrated campaigns, driving the food and drink industry forward.
Rosanna is an active member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Marketing Communication Group and believes that networking and collaborating with other professionals to develop and promote businesses and brands is the way forward.
If I wasn’t a fab PR what would my ideal job be?
Roxy in the West End show Chicago!
After obtaining an HND in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management, Carrie worked for several years in the sector before making a move to sales and then marketing for Lyons Tetley Catering Business, eventually taking responsibility for all catering branded teas.
Carrie was headhunted in 1987 to work as account manager/director on the then Van den Bergh Foodservice account for Clark and Taylor Advertising, as well as Douwe Egberts and Quorn Foodservice where she could exploit her strategic, creative and social skills.
After a few years of running her own business and raising her two sons, Carrie has returned to the sector she is passionate about, by joining the team at William Murray Communications as an account manager.
Carrie loves to sing and cook although not necessarily at the same time!
Graduating in 2011 from the University of Exeter with a degree in History, Emma gained some experience in copywriting and also completed work experience for a number of magazine titles including Closer magazine, before deciding communications was the right path for her.
Emma then jumped straight in to the PR world, working at a consumer healthcare agency and also a film PR agency, before starting her career at top consumer agency Frank PR, working on a variety of brands such as Accolade Wines, Cow & Gate, Ocado and Hotels.com. She also worked on big brand events such as a Disney film premiere at BAFTA and the Call of Duty launch!
Emma joined the team in November 2012 and is looking forward to learning new skills and applying her previous food and drink brand work successfully to William Murray, while making some great new contacts in the hospitality industry.