About the group

We support our members in the region and promote the value of professional PR to organisations and businesses in the North East. We’re committed to delivering opportunities so our members can earn at least 30 CPD points each year through attendance at our events.

We run a varied programme to help members develop through their career journey. From students to senior practitioners, freelancers and independents, to agency-side or in-house, our events are designed to develop our professional skills, stay up-to-date with major issues in the region and wider profession, as well as providing opportunities to network and have fun.

About the Community

Our Committee


Anne-Marie Lacey Chart.PR, FCIPR


Anne-Marie is Chair of CIPR North East, having first joined the Committee as a co-opted member in 2014. She is also Co-Chair of the newly formed Influencer Marketing Panel.

As well as being Managing Director of Filament PR, Anne-Marie is an Academic Tutor and PR Lecturer at local universities and training centres across the region.


A multi award-winner, she is the proud recipient of the title of ‘Outstanding Young Communicator’ the Excellence Awards in 2017.

Mobile: 07786 560 204


Deb Sharratt, Chart.PR, FCIPR

Vice Chairperson

As well as being Vice Chair, Deb is an elected member of CIPR Council, CIPR Professional Practice Committee and is Co-Chair of the CIPR Influencer Marketing Panel.

Two times winner of the Independent Practitioner of the Year Award (North East 2012, 2018) and a national finalist in the CIPR Excellence Awards 2019, Deb is an independent practitioner, PR associate and also a PR lecturer for nesma, Sunderland University and Newcastle University, and a blogger too with her own family food and travel blog. 

Tel: 0121 726 8400


Matt Watson, MCIPR, Dip CIPR


Lauren Archer, MCIPR


Lauren is Secretary of the CIPR North East Committee and a freelance Brand Marketing & PR Consultant, with a decade of communications experience gained predominantly in the digital and technology sectors. She now works with agencies, tech start-ups/scale-ups and software businesses to deliver creative, strategic communications.

Lauren is also part of the NECC Women's Advisory Board, runs an award-winning North East food blog and is a finalist in the 2019 Women in Marketing awards & Northern Power Women awards.

Email: hello@laurenearcher.com
Twitter: @miss_archer


Becky Beaumont, MCIPR

Currently account director at W North, Becky has worked across B2C and B2B communications for regional, national and global brands. She joined the Northern arm of W Communications at launch in April 2017 and has been instrumental in shaping its successful growth, including becoming the CIPR North East agency of the year for 2018/19.

She’s overseen UK-wide campaigns for the likes of McGuigan Wines, innocent drinks and Wiggle. Regionally she’s managed launches for the likes of Banyan in Newcastle and the inaugural Cycle Expo Yorkshire in Harrogate. Prior to W North Becky worked as a member of the PR team at NewcastleGateshead Initiative and in the global PR team for Sage Group.

Email: becky.beaumont@wcommunications.co.uk


Huw Lewis, Chart.PR

Huw is a Chartered PR Practitioner and Customer Services Director at Nexus, the public transport agency for North East England and owner of the Tyne and Wear Metro. His career has been spent in corporate communications and before that journalism in the UK and internationally. He convenes the Strategic Communications Forum for the North East on behalf of CIPR, a networking and professional development group for industry leaders in the region.



Laurel Hetherington, FCIPR, FCAM

Laurel is a teacher and trainer from Foundation level through Undergraduate/Certificate to Postgraduate/Diploma level, covering all areas of PR. She teaches at Newcastle University, and runs workshops for CIPR nationally, as well as delivering its accredited qualifications locally for nesma.

Laurel is really passionate about PR education and training, ensuring students leave with practical tips and advice, action plans and details on ‘how to…’, and, perhaps most importantly, confidence in their own abilities to succeed.

Mobile: 07825 216 116


Laura Richards, MCIPR

Laura is an experienced PR practitioner specialising in technology communications and third sector PR. Having held a variety of roles both in the UK and overseas, she is now Head of Communications at Sunderland Software City. Laura also sits on the ‘AI in PR’ panel, alongside past-President, Stephen Waddington.

A former Outstanding Young Communicator of the Year (PRide North East, 2016), Laura is also an Associate Lecturer at Newcastle University.

Mobile: 07825 216 116
Twitter: @Iam_LauraD


Hannah Cheetham, MCIPR

Hannah joined the Committee in early 2019 after winning Outstanding Young Communicator of the Year at the 2018 North East PRide Awards. She’s a member of the team at specialist public sector agency DTW working on high profile, award winning national campaigns as a Strategist in campaigns and digital engagement. As a Teesside University Masters graduate, she regularly engages with the University and new entrants into the PR industry.

Mobile: 07825 216 116
Twitter: @HannahLouise468


Kayleigh Keys, MCIPR

Kayleigh joined the Committee by invitation after winning Outstanding Young Communicator at the 2017 North East PRide Awards. She is a Senior Account Manager at O Communications in Newcastle, working with the agency’s property, travel, hospitality and leisure clients in the North East and across the UK. She engages with the region’s universities and coordinates work experience opportunities for students, and is passionate about health and wellbeing in the workplace, leading a programme of initiatives.

Mobile: 07825 216 116
Twitter: @kayleskeys


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Our events programme

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