Judges


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

From a transparency perspective, we may video aspects of the judging session to show on the evening and give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.

Become a Judge Previous Judges

Head judges

Lucie Brand | Group Brand Content Manager | Legal and General

With 20 years’ experience in marketing and communications, Lucie’s most recent role is Group Brand Content Manager at Legal and General (L&G). Lucie cut her teeth working in the communications team in an acute NHS Trust for 8 years and went on to hold senior roles in further education and an NHS community trust where she was Head of Communications and Engagement. Throughout her career Lucie has specialised in strategic communications and digital project management and is more recently enjoying working on social media and brand content for L&G to support their inclusive capitalism ethos.

Laura Crimmons | Senior Digital Manager | Ringier

Laura is Senior Digital Manager at international media group Ringier AG. Her experience spans clients from start-ups to global companies and across a range of industries and territories. She is a regular trainer and speaker at industry events such as INBOUND, SMX Munich, PRmoment, UnGagged Vegas, Turing Fest, Learn Inbound and BrightonSEO. She is also a judge at various awards including EU Content Awards, UK Search Awards, UK Content Awards and MENA Search Awards.

Ric Rodriguez | Director of Strategic Projects | Vashi

Ric Rodriguez is an experienced digital marketer, with a background that stretches across agency, brand and vendor-side. Ric is the Search Director at Vashi, the bespoke fine jewellery brand, where he currently leads the performance team. He joined from NYSE-listed technology company Yext, where he was the European search marketing expert. Prior to this, Ric led teams at well-known agencies, most notably within iProspect, where he grew online market share for two high street finance brands - and at Croud, where he oversaw all SEO activity for a well-known B2B business across over 100 markets. He was also a part of iCrossing’s, multi-award winning L'Oreal team. Ric is co-author of the Amazon bestselling book "Mastering In-House SEO" and often speaks at marketing conferences.

Tom Rowlands | Content Manager | On the Beach

I’ve got 10 years of experience working in both print and digital marketing roles, across a range of industries from FMCG to retail to beach holidays. I now work as the Content Manager at On the Beach in Manchester, where I – with the help of my incredible team of writers – am responsible for managing all online product information, applying SEO best practice to create holiday landing pages, and producing engaging digital content, either as standalone campaigns or to support our creative brand work.

Bianca Spada | Social Media Consultant | Apple

Bianca is a global digital strategy expert with 10 years experience of delivering successful digital strategies and global campaigns in some of the world’s leading and cutting edge companies. She is an expert in consolidating and creating brand new social strategies to significantly increase the visibility of brands online. Bianca has a proven record of radically turning around performance and generating 3-figure growth within 12 months of working in a company.

Judges

Jenny Abouobaia | SEO Consultant

"Jenny is an experienced and highly accomplished SEO consultant, speaker, and mentor. As a Search Engine Optimization specialist, her goal is to help online businesses meet their full potential through the use of proper SEO. Originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne in the UK and a "forever Geordie" at heart, but, the appeal of year-round sunshine of the Red Sea coast is where Jenny has called home for the past six years. Jenny's specialty within search falls in affiliate SEO, with years of expertise in both building and managing six-figure affiliate niche sites for clients worldwide, with a focus in the APAC region. She is also the Co-founder of Clever Touch Marketing a leading agency based in the MENA region that works specifically with niche affiliate sites and specializes in the development and production of SEO conversion content and delivers done-for-you affiliate websites. Jenny is a strong advocate for women in SEO. Her agency was founded with the goal of offering more opportunities and long-term, steady employment for women. This is still true today, with over 80% of her staff and her entire management team being exclusively female. She is an active member of multiple female-positive SEO communities including Women in Tech SEO and Sisters in SEO. Most recently, while still managing her agency and actively performing client work, Jenny has built a mentoring and consulting program specifically for budding female SEOs, where she looks to support as many women as possible as they start their careers within the industry. Jenny is also a judge and accomplished speaker within the SEO community. Working regularly with Don’t Panic Awards, Jenny has been included on the 2021 judging panel for the APAC Search Awards, Canadian Search Awards, and Company Culture Awards. She can also be seen as an expert speaker, panelist, and guest on numerous SEO webinars and podcasts including the Lion Zeal Show, SEO SAS, The InLinks Knowledge Panel, SEO Mastery Summit, and Semrush."

Carlotta Bonafini | SEO product owner | Vodafone

Carlotta is leading the SEO team at Vodafone UK, where she is overseeing the development of their new digital strategy. She started her professional career in the marketing field working for Expedia in the search department. She directed many regional projects before moving into a global position where her initiatives created outstanding results whilst pioneering new processes. She supervised both creative campaigns and technical projects, and launched many impactful ideas. Carlotta graduated from London Metropolitan University and Milan Catholic University and has been living in London for over 9 years. Passionate about high-tech, she is working on improving her coding skills and is always eager to expand her technical knowledge.

Lisa Carr | Director | Lansons

Lisa is one of Lansons consumer and financial services experts, bringing 15 years of experience developing leadership strategies and positions for her clients. She helped create and bring to market the award winning launch of Metro Bank, the UK’s first high street bank in over 100 years, she also headed up the high impact media engagement programme for MoneySuperMarket for five years. She now works with LV=, Aldermore and the Post Office to name but a few of her clients. Lisa has won a host of awards for her work, has previously been elected to the PRCA PR Council and is an active member of the PRCA Digital Group. She regularly chairs panel debates on industry issues for the PRCA.

Justin Clark | Social Media Consultant | JustSocial

Justin is a social media and digital crisis communications specialist with more than 10 years’ experience leading social media, PR and digital communications in Government and the public sector, both in the UK and overseas. A regular keynote speaker at major social media conferences across the UK and Europe, Justin is the Chairperson for the UK’s largest public sector social media and crisis communications conference series, runs Manchester’s fastest growing social media industry event series (SocialMCR), and judges some of the world’s biggest industry awards. Justin runs social media consulting firm, JustSocial, where he provides strategic counsel and operational advice to some of the world’s biggest brands. Justin also works as a Non-Executive Director and Social Media Director for multiple UK agencies.

Michael Costanzo | Head of SEO | Internet Fusion Group

Michael recently started his new role as Group Head of SEO at Internet Fusion Group, a fast-growing e-commerce company specialising in gear and lifestyle products across surf, skate, snow and equestrian, as well as premium street and outdoor fashion. Prior to this, Michael has spent the last 3.5 years as Senior SEO Content Manager at Trainline, where he was responsible for driving the international growth strategy through truly scalable and editorial content initiatives across 13 languages. Michael has also spent the earlier part of his career agency-side, working across an extensive range of verticals including retail, FMCG, e-commerce, B2B, finance and more for some of the world’s biggest brands such as Johnson & Johnson, GE, Tiffany & Co. and many more.

David Crawford | Founder | The Digital Strategy Unit

David Crawford has worked for the last 25 years in marketing and digital agencies of all shapes and sizes. He was most recently Managing Director of Branded3, one of the UK’s leading search agencies, and has also held senior positions at McCann, BJL and twenty-six. He has worked directly with clients such as American Airlines, UPS and Bentley as well as help a couple of tech start-ups develop and deliver their digital & marketing strategies. He now works with creative, digital and tech agencies as a Non-Exec Director, Board Advisor and Coach.

Paris de Reuck | Content and Community Strategist

Paris has worked in social media and SEO for thirteen years, with eight years spent heading social media, influencers and editorial teams at MediaCom and OMD. Paris now works directly with companies and startups helping them find creative ways to grow through social media advertising, content and influencer marketing.

Lyndsey Evans | FOUNDER | COLLABORATIVE FOLKS

Lyndsey runs the PR & communications freelance network, Collaborative Folks, which she launched after 20 years working in both inhouse and agency marketing communications roles, spanning PR, content marketing and brand strategy. Prior to this she headed up comms at retailers AO.com and Iceland Foods, as well as worked at some of the north west’s biggest agencies. Lyndsey’s experience spans 70+ brands across 20 sectors and includes Bentley Motors, Gumtree, Very, Specsavers and Marks & Spencer. At AO.com, Lyndsey transformed the brand's reputation from a little-known online white goods specialist to one of the most talked about emerging online retailers over a four year period. She also introduced the company’s first PR, content and influencer team and after inheriting a decimated search profile brought the business' search rankings back to page 1 from page 100 following a Google penalty. Lyndsey has won many industry awards and has been named a top 50 in-house communicator in the north.

Terry Fisher | Marketing Director | Movebubble

Terry quickly found himself immersed in the world of digital marketing and SEO; starting his own consultancy company at the tender age of 17 and subsequently going on to receive millions of unique visitors to his client’s and his own ventures. Following management roles at Deliveroo, Betway, William Hill and Investoo group, Terry sits as the Marketing Director at Movebubble - the app currently disrupting the property rental market

Dee Goldstraw | Senior lecturer | Manchester Metropolitan University

A senior lecturer in marketing and digital communications at Manchester Metropolitan University, Dee specialist area is content marketing, where she teaches across a number of content strategy units. Reading for her PhD has taken her research into the area of exploring online influencers, in particular on Instagram, and their impact on women. A PR professional for more than 15 years, Dee has worked in a mixture of PR, digital marketing and events agencies across the north of the UK as well as working freelance.

Richard Keenan-Heard | Head of SEO | Trainline

Richard joined Trainline three years ago from GroupM agency Wavemaker where he spent five years working for global brands including GE Digital, GE Healthcare, Tiffany, Michelin, Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer. As a result, he has a diverse background in SEO and brings a wealth of experience to the judges’ panel. With a growth mindset and a passion for trains matched only by his determination to help customers find the best options for sustainable travel, Richard has assembled the team from the ground up. Now boasting a breadth of talent and expertise across European train travel, the Trainline team continue to take on new, more complex challenges.

Pete Knott | Associate Director | Lansons

Pete is one of Lansons’ content and social media experts, bringing 10 years of experience creating multi-channel campaigns across a variety of different sectors. When it comes to content Pete has a passion for making the complex simple and takes pride in finding new ways to engage audiences online. Throughout his career, he has worked with some of the UK’s leading brands, including Aviva, Legal & General and IBM.

Steve Kuncewicz | Head of Creative, Digital & Marketing Sector Group | BLM Law

Steve is a Partner and Head of Creative, Digital and Marketing at BLM Law in Manchester. He specialises in intellectual property, media social media and privacy law and is listed as a "recommended lawyer" in the Legal 500’s 2019 edition, and was a Co-founder if the Bulletproof Agency Network. He is a regular media spokesperson, and has given interviews to the local and national press through BBC Breakfast, Sky News, ITV, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC London. Steve is also the Manchester Publicity Association’s Honorary Solicitor and Co-Chair of Creative ProManchester.

Mark Leech | Product Expert | Force24

Mark's 15 years of experience in content both in-house and agency-side, managing content campaigns for household name brands such as Interflora, AO.com and Kayak, has led Mark to his current role helping marketers leverage the power of content through automation.

Laura Lesser | Culture & Innovation | O2 (Telefonica UK)

Laura is a creative and media specialist for brand marketing with experience across leading telco, retail and FMCG brands. She volunteers as a Comms Director at the Conscious Advertising Network and is passionate about technology and ways for brands to be relevant in customers' lives. Currently leading culture and innovation in the marketing communications team at O2 (Telefónica UK) across brand campaigns, CSR initiatives and sponsorships such as The O2 and England Rugby. Highlights include the idea to turn The O2 into The O3 and leading social for the Rugby World Cup campaign.

Trond Lyngbo | Senior SEO Consultant

Trond Lyngbø is the founder of Search Planet and a senior SEO Consultant. He has over two decades of experience in SEO, e-commerce, content strategy and digital analysis. His clients include multinational Fortune 500 corporations and major Norwegian companies. Trond has helped grow businesses through more effective search marketing and SEO strategies. He is most passionate about working with e-commerce companies and web shops to develop and expand their omni-channel marketing initiatives.

Debra Mastaler | President | THE MASTALER MEDIA GROUP

Debra Mastaler is the president of the Mastaler Media Group, a publisher of trending business news and editorial views by industry.

Hannah Smith | Founder | Wonderist

Hannah Smith 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 marketing in 2007. Over a five and half year period at Distilled, she was part of the creative team which delivered over 14,000 pieces of linked coverage. Then, for close to three years, she led the creative and PR team at Verve Search. In that time she was responsible for launching more than 150 creative content pieces which generated over 8,250 pieces of linked coverage. Her work for clients has won multiple awards, and she’s spoken at numerous conferences including MozCon, SMX, SearchLove, and BrightonSEO. In 2019 she founded Worderist.com offering consultancy, coaching, training, and ongoing support to help agency-side and in house creative teams make content which delivers results.

Danielle Smith | Managing Director | Communicator

Danielle is an agency leader with extensive experience in building strong C-level relationships, providing strategic direction and driving commercial success. Danielle has a strong track record of leading social, digital and integrated campaigns for some amazing brands (including McDonald’s, Coke, Kellogg’s, Heineken, BrewDog and Mattel) that resonate with consumers, drives sales for clients and creates agency growth.

Alexandra Tachalova | Founder | Digital Olympus

Alex is a frequent speaker and the founder of Digital Olympus. She also helps clients with PR, content marketing, link building, and email outreach.

Become a judge

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