Sue Primmer

Sue Primmer

Sue Primmer is a partner in a specialist financial services consultancy providing clearing, risk and regulatory services to global banks and international exchanges, where she holds responsibility for marketing and corporate communications. She was previously Director of Corporate Communications for one of the UK’s fastest growing financial services consultancies where she also established the company’s graduate and management training programmes.

Sue’s career spans private and public services and both large and small organisations. She was previously Assistant Chief Executive, Communications & Consultation for Hackney Council, dealing with local issues as well as with the impact of national policy and working as part of the Olympic Host Boroughs to secure a meaningful local legacy from the Games in the run up to London 2012. This followed six years as Director of Communications for the University of Birmingham.

During this period, Sue also: acted as media and public affairs lead for the Russell Group over the introduction of tuition fees; founded the Midlands’ Media Centre training several hundred leading research academics, diplomats and business leaders in media skills and; struck a strategic alliance between the University and the BBC, securing a BBC Drama Village on campus.

Before this, Sue was founding Editor of birminghampages.com, an early dotcom start-up owned by Chrysalis media. This followed five years as Director of Communications for one of the UK’s most senior Church of England Bishops, who was also a member of the House of Lords and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Envoy to the Vatican State.

Sue began her marketing career helping Luton College of Higher Education to become a ‘challenger brand’ in higher education and achieve University status following earlier posts in medical and veterinary publishing. Sue is an English graduate from Cambridge University and has a second degree in the construction of gender in Shakespeare from the University of Durham. Sue is married and lives in East London with her family.

Gaby Taylor

Gaby Taylor

Associate

Gaby has 17 years’ public and third sector communications expertise, with a specialism in health. She has worked on national campaigns for the Department of Health, regional NHS projects and led the regional marcomms for the BHF in the West Midlands and South West. She was Director of Communications for Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (BWC), leading communications at Birmingham Children’s Hospital from 2012 to 2017.

Gaby increased the national profile of the organisation to the point where it has become the media ‘go-to’ hospital for children’s and women’s care, securing documentary series on BBC2, Channel 4 and numerous live broadcasts on national TV. Gaby also developed the NHS’ first real-time ‘patient feedback app’, which attracted national award recognition from the Guardian, PR Week and AHCM for its innovative, open and transparent approach to feedback.

Prior to working for the NHS she had 10 years experience working on UK Government campaigns for client departments including Department for Education, the Home Office and the Department of International Trade.

Stuart Baird

Stuart Baird

Associate Director

Stuart is an award-winning communicator who has worked within the industry for 24 years, including in the Strategic Communications Unit at No 10 Downing Street, and specialises in digital and social media and engagement. Based in the Midlands, Stuart has delivered strategies and campaigns from Think! to Change4Life and Apprenticeships nationally, and run national and international media events for the Royal Family and government ministers, including the Prime Minister. He has also worked within the NHS as Head of Communications, Marketing and Engagement, delivering internal, external, digital, fundraising and stakeholder strategies.

In his current capacity he has worked with a range of clients from UK Trade & Investment, working with businesses to promote export, to the Home Office, partnering with local government and the police on community safety, to the Department of Communities and Local Government, focussing on development and house building.

He was named Independent Practitioner of the Year 2016 for the Midlands by the CIPR and won a Gold CIPR Pride Awards public engagement and youth engagement campaign, as well as being highly commended by PR Week for crisis management.

Helen Desmond

Helen Desmond

Director of Client Services

Helen is a senior communicator, who delivers strategy development and stakeholder engagement, including media relations, campaign direction and content. Clients can also benefit from Helen’s experience of change management and capability building within central and local government, as well as the private sector.

Helen’s work with the Open Data Institute (and more widely, the ‘open data’ agenda) and The Open University while at Allegory has built on an earlier part of her career in technology PR. Her specialist areas include strategic counsel, hyper-local media, partner relations and capability building.

Emma Thwaites

Emma Thwaites

Founder and Executive Chair

Emma is Allegory’s Founder and Executive Chair.

She is a strategic communications practitioner with more than 25 years’ experience and has worked at the highest level of government and corporate organisations. She is a hands-on agency leader who recently led the delivery of projects for high-profile organisations including the Open Data Institute, The Open University, and the Web Foundation.

Emma spent ten years at the heart of UK Government where she headed up the Cabinet Office’s strategic communications team.

Emma’s approach is characterised by intellectual rigour and exceptional standards of quality and value that she demands equally of her team. Her networks include industry innovators, media, and policy makers.