The 2018 awards were judged by a panel of industry leaders and experts. The judging was a rigorous two stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries were discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

See below for the members of the 2018 judging panel.

Olga Andrienko

Head of Global Marketing, SEMrush |

Olga is the Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush. Together with her team she has built one of the strongest international communities in the online marketing industry. In 2016 Olga mainly focused on tapping into new markets, and YoY average revenue growth from top 10 new markets was >90%. During last year she has been working on increasing the share of PR and social media in the conversion funnel, and revenue coming from referrals has already doubled by the end of 2017. Olga is a sought-after speaker at leading marketing conferences such as SMX, Pubcon and BrightonSEO.

Dawn Anderson

Lecturer in Digital and Search Marketer, Researcher and International SEO Consultant, MMU |

Past roles at Carat and Latitude, working on search marketing campaigns for major brands. 

International Search Marketing Conference speaker on SEO and Digital Marketing Strategy.

International SEO Consultant to brands in-house teams covering ecommerce, home and garden, sports, travel, food and nutrition, legal, finance and insurance.

A decade in SEO.  Researcher into search engine crawling and crawl efficiency.

Laura Crimmons

Founder, Silverthorn |

Laura is the Founder of Silverthorn, a PR, social media & content marketing agency. Laura is a regular trainer and speaker at industry events such as INBOUND2017, Learn Inbound, UnGagged Vegas, Yoastcon, SMX München and BrightonSEO, where she has delivered the link building/Digital PR training since 2013.

She won PR Moment’s Young Professional of the Year 2017, was named in The Drum’s 2017 50 Women in Digital Under 30 and was nominated for the CIPR’s Outstanding Young Communicator 2017.

David Edmundson-Bird

Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing & Enterprise, MMU |

David is Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing & Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he runs a number of digital communications programmes, and is also the Associate Director for Digital Innovation.

He is Course Leader for Manchester Met’s full-time MSc Digital Marketing Communications. He also set up their first part-time MSc in Digital Marketing in 2007, a programme that has now graduated nearly 330 high-profile professionals into the sector.

David founded Manchester Met’s Agency Life programme 6 years ago to enable students to experience live work skills in the workplace very early in their course. He has enjoyed several spells in academia as well as senior management roles in the digital sector, and even helped to set up Manchester’s second web design agency back in 1995.

 

Nick Entwistle

Creative Director & Founder, One Minute Briefs & Bank of Creativity |

Nick is the Creative Director at Trunk in Manchester, working with agencies and brands to create compelling content to engage their audiences.

One of his recent campaigns, to help encourage donations for Neuroblastoma sufferer Isabella, went viral with 20 million views across social media and reached national press and TV news.

He was also responsible for the film and social campaign that led to the NHS beating Justin Bieber to Xmas Number 1.

As well as this, he runs the social advertising community platform One Minute Briefs which encourages instinctive creativity. Nick hosts annual events, holds educational workshops with D&AD & the V&A and delivers talks at agencies, universities and the likes of BBC, Glug and Pecha Kucha. He has recently released his second OMB book and also has books published for Agency Quotes, which is a popular social feed he created with Vikki Ross, where the creative industry around the world share #ThingsYouHearInAgencies.

Lyndsey Evans

Head of PR & Social Content, Iceland Foods |

Lyndsey is an award-winning brand content specialist with over 20 years’ experience both in agency and client-side and has worked on 70+ brands across 22 different sectors. Following stints at Bentley and Shop Direct, she went on to head up content marketing at AO.com, where she was Head of PR & Brand Communications. There she took the brand from limited brand awareness to a household name, rebuilding the brand’s SEO profile following a google algorithmic penalty, launching the AO life content hub and heading up award-winning search campaigns. Lyndsey is currently consulting at Iceland Foods, with a focus on merging their PR & social team to deliver a brand-focused content offer, and was ranked as one of the Top 50 in-house communicators in the north in 2017. 

Samantha Fay

Senior Vice President – Global Brand Strategy, Guinness World Records |

Sam is responsible for Guinness World Records’ global brand strategy, new product development, strategic partnerships and also heads up the innovation division, The Records Lab. She develops creative campaigns with top agencies and brands all over the world to take the world’s best known brands to new, record-breaking heights!

Her favourite moments over the years have included presenting Michael Jackson with his certificates, meeting the Queen and sharing the lawn at the White House with Michelle Obama.

Sam is an experienced keynote speaker and in the last 12 months has delivered sessions at various prestigious industry events including Cannes Lions, Spikes Asia, Festival of Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer Europe Summit, Chief Strategy Officer Summit New York, and the China International Advertising Festival.

She is also a regular on judging panels and sits on the jury for the European Sponsorship Awards, UK Public Service Sector Awards, PR Moment Awards, Creativepool Awards and the Brand Film Festival.

Oli Francis

Head of Creative, Sky |

Oliver heads up a creative team at Sky’s in-house agency, Sky Creative. His team work across campaigns, focusing on content as a means of promotion. He has an eclectic background at sky; producing and directing live TV and content for F1 and Rugby Union as well as running a creative social/PR team in entertainment. Recently a dad for the first time, you’ll find Oli in the office bright and early with dark bags under his eyes and the occasional latent trickle of vomit down his back.

Rick Guttridge

Managing Director, Smoking Gun PR |

With 20 years Public Relations and communications agency experience, Rick has helped to build and protect the reputations of some of the best known consumer brands around, including Silentnight, Rentalcars.com, Red Bull, Jaguar, Persil, Nissan and The North Face.

A media geek from a young age (he blames his writer Uncle), his career has seen him land front page client coverage in titles as diverse as the Guardian and Daily Star, deliver stunts that have become internationally famous and start Twitter trends from the iPhone invariably glued to his hand.

Ask him about playing beach football in Dubai with Eric Cantona, pitching to Miss Costa Rica in a swimming pool in Miami, retiring Olympic medal winners or swapping shirts with Bear Grylls.Don’t ask him to measure your PR impact via AVE nor about which football players he’s helped keep out of the press.

He co-founded Smoking Gun in 2010 to build a creative agency ruthlessly focused on building irresistible momentum for its clients, underpinned by intelligent measurement.

The approach has seen the agency awarded with PRCA Measurement champion status and won over 5​0​ awards.

Kristal Ireland

Head of eCommerce and Retail, Virgin Trains East Coast |

Previously voted as one of the UK's Top 30 Women in Digital Under 30. A specialist in Social Media and Digital Brand Strategy, Kristal is an award winning, strategic and experienced digital marketing expert. A regular digital conference speaker and industry commentator Kristal has worked in digital for over a decade developing digital solutions for some of the UK’s biggest brands.

Rax Lakhani

Digital Brand Communications Strategist |

Rax is a seasoned communications strategist with over fifteen years’ experience specialising in online engagement and social media marketing.

Having worked with some of the world’s best-known companies across a variety of sectors, Rax now offers independent consultancy helping agencies, public sector organisations and consumer/b2b brands on bringing their digital marketing strategies to life. He also is a part-time lecturer in digital content creation and online engagement.

As a judge for the UK Content Awards, Rax will be looking-out for entries that manage to connect creativity to measurable results.

Paul Morris

GLOBAL DIGITAL DIRECTOR, PZ CUSSONS |

Having worked in Digital for 18 years, Paul now leads global digital: strategy, consumer experience, technology/advertising adoption, ecommerce, digital transformation and digital capability development. This ensures that Digital supports brand objectives, integrates across the marketing mix and engages throughout the customer lifecycle by working in partnership with each of the PZ Cussons Brand teams.

Before the Co-op (from Food > Funeralcare), Paul had experience of working both client and agency side with brands including Wickes, Laterooms, Silverstone, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Cash Generator and Park Resorts.

Oscar Romero

Head of Performance Media, Spark Foundry | Performics |

Oscar Romero is a results driven marketing specialist with over 15 years’ experience in both client and agency-side roles. In his career, he has been responsible for the strategic marketing of all digital channels, including Search, Social and Programmatic Video. 

Oscar began his first role in 2000 as an SEO consultant, working for small and medium-sized companies, and has since held roles at PDV, Hewlett Packard and I-Level. He is currently Head of Performance Media at Spark Foundry | Performics; a leading performance marketing practice in the Publicis Media Group. His biddable media experience spans a wide range of verticals, including FMCG, Retail, Financial Services, Travel, Telecoms, Automotive and Pharma.

Now at Spark Foundry | Performics (Publicis Media), Oscar is an avid believer that innovation is pivotal to delivering strong client results. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to develop and implement award winning search strategies for globally recognised companies, including P&G, Samsung, Skyscanner, GSK and more.

Hannah Smith

Head of Creative and Outreach, Verve Search |

Hannah spent 7 years working in offline marketing (they just called it ‘marketing’ back then) until her fairy godmother told her that the internet was the future. Not one to ignore such sage advice, she made the switch to online in 2007. By day she’s Head of Creative at Verve Search, and by night she dreams of owning a book shop.

Michelle Wilding

Head of SEO & Content, The Telegraph |

Michelle is an Australian award-winning journalist turned digital marketer who specialises in content strategy, natural search and media creation.

She graduated with a BA in Communication Studies (Journalism) and is armed with more than a decade of experience across marketing and publishing for both big and small brands and publications. Having moved to London from Sydney in 2016 for a new challenge, her current appointment is Head of SEO & Content at The Telegraph Media Group.