Below are details of the current members of the Scotland Group's committee.

Executive Committee

Ruth MacLeodChair, Ruth MacLeod MCIPR

Head of Communications, Church of Scotland


Ruth is the Head of communications for the Church of Scotland. With more than 20 years’ experience working in PR, predominantly in the public sector, she brings her extensive experience of leading on complex communications issues to managing a multi-disciplinary team across traditional media, digital and publishing platforms. She has held previous roles with the police, Scottish Government and fire service. A specialist in crisis communications Ruth was responsible for delivering the communications function for the newly-formed national Scottish Fire and Rescue Service bringing together eight regional brigades in a significant public sector reform programme.

Shaun Bell MCIPRVice Chair , Shaun Bell MCIPR

Senior Account Director, Stripe Communications

Shaun joined Stripe Communications in 2011 following four years' working in arts journalism and PR. His clients include ScottishPower, A.G. Barr and the Scottish Government. He oversees account strategy and delivery as well as leading Stripe's evaluation and in-house training programmes. Shaun is a former chair of the CIPR Scotland Future Leaders Forum and previously served two years as secretary of the CIPR Scotland committee. He was awarded 'Outstanding Young Communicator' at the 2016 CIPR UK Excellence Awards and 2014 CIPR Scotland PRide Awards.

Neil Cuthbert MCIPRTreasurer, Neil Cuthbert MCIPR

Director, Public Affairs Co-operative Ltd

Neil Cuthbert has over 20 years of public policy experience working in the government, private and third sectors. After five years in the civil service, he joined the Food & Drink Federation, representing the interests of member companies to regulators in the UK and Europe. Following this, Neil moved to a policy and public affairs role representing the interests of Further Education Colleges in Scotland. In 2011, he was appointed as Associate Director with a leading independent Scottish public affairs agency, where his work focused on commercial property development, renewable energy and leisure and tourism. In 2013 Neil and fellow founding Director Ben McLeish set up Public Affairs Co-operative Ltd to focus on helping clients influence public policy and better communicate their message through the media. 

Sarah RobertsonSecretary, Sarah Robertson MCIPR

Account Manager, BIG Partnership

Sarah joined BIG Partnership in 2018 with a background in consumer and corporate PR. She is a skilled communicator, media liaison and strategic campaign planner. Her current clients include a number of well-know brands, such as Aldi Scotland and Johnstons of Elgin. Sarah is chair of the CIPR Scotland Future Leaders Forum and is a Career Ready mentor. She was named 'Outstanding Young Communicator' at the 2017 CIPR Scotland Pride Awards. 

Committee members

Ian Arnot MCIPRIan Arnot MCIPR

Head of External Communications, UK Nations, BT

Having worked as a management consultant for BT and EE both in the UK and in India, Ian joined BT’s corporate affairs team in Scotland in 2014 where he manages media relations and PR for BT Group in Scotland. Ian also chairs Scotland’s HIV and Hep. C charity Waverley Care and is co-founder and a trustee of LGBT business networking charity SWAN. A CIPR member since 2014, Ian is in the final stages of his MSc in Strategic Communications and PR at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.

Gareth BrownGareth Brown MCIPR

Originally from Northern Ireland, Gareth joined Message Matters in July 2016 from the Cabinet Office in the UK Government, where he worked in co-coordinating cross-government communications in Scotland. He works for a wide range of clients in the areas of corporate communications and political relations, and regularly contributes to Scottish national print and broadcast media as a political commentator. He was awarded Outstanding Young Communicator of the Year at the CIPR PRide Awards in 2018.

Lesley Brydon FCIPR 

Managing Director, Clark Communications


Lesley started Clark Communications in 2012 following almost 20 years in the industry.  She has worked at every level within agency, from junior account executive to MD, developing a professional focus on B2B, corporate and public sector.  As a business owner, she is passionate about training and development.  She is a Fellow of the CIPR, a CIPR Diploma graduate and an Accredited Practitioner. 

Susie CollinSusie Collin MCIPR

Account Director, Havas PR Edinburgh


Susie joined Havas PR in 2012 following five years in London working across experiential, corporate and consumer accounts. With over a decade of experience in PR and communications, Susie is an expert in project and campaign management and currently works across high profile household names such as Asda, Greggs, Mecca Bingo, DFS and Virgin. Notable strengths include campaign planning, evaluation, press office management and developing excellent media contacts.

Natalie CouparNatalie Coupar MCIPR

Communications Manager 
Oil & Gas UK

Natalie Coupar is the Communications Manager for Oil & Gas UK, the leading representative body for the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry. Former head of press for the Scottish Liberal Democrats from 2012-2015, Natalie played a key role in the party during its period in coalition government and the independence referendum campaign. With extensive expertise in campaign communications, Natalie also worked in the tech and third sectors before joining OGUK. Natalie is currently a committee member for the CIPR in Scotland and is an aspiring munro compleatist.

Rhona DebRhona Deb MCIPR

Marketing Manager - Technical Services, V.Ships


Based in Glasgow, Rhona has 14 years experience in marcomms and PR across various industries including maritime, financial services, FMCG and recruitment. She completed her CIPR Diploma in 2011 at the University of Sunderland adding to her BA (Hons) Communication gained from Edinburgh Napier University in 2004. As a trusted expert on communications to senior leaders, she specialises in strategy design, campaign planning, events and brand management. Rhona is the events lead for CIPR Scotland.

Fiona ReynerFiona Reyner MCIPR

Senior Account Executive, Muckle Media

Fiona is a Senior Account Executive at Muckle Media and joined after graduating in Business Management from Queen Margaret University. Fiona works on a wide range of clients including Gordon & MacPhail, Scottish Enterprise and The Prince’s Trust. Fiona leads on campaigns for Benromach Distillery, with a key focus on blogger engagement and press trips. She recently contributed to a luxury whisky campaign, where £1.2m of rare whisky sold out in 72 hours. Fiona has a keen interest in cooking and as a passionate coeliac, works alongside Coeliac UK to further enhance awareness of the disease.

Jenifer Stirton FCIPR Jenifer Stirton FCIPR

Director, Stockbridge

Jenifer is a Director of Stockbridge PR a strategic communications consultancy, which she set up in May 2015, offering board level advice and interim director level support. Jenifer has held a number of Director level roles in a wide range of UK public sector organisation. Jenifer has held CIPR Scotland chair before and is also a member of CIPR UK Council. Jenifer is passionate about learning and education. She is also a Fellow of the CIPR and an Accredited Practitioner.

Co-opted Members

Fraser ClarkeFraser Clarke ACIPR

Fraser joined Holyrood PR in 2017 after two years working as a journalist at a national news agency. During his time there he covered a broad range of stories for major national titles as well covering a variety of sports events at the weekends. This helped hone his communications skills before moving into public relations where he has managed a host of campaigns for clients including CALA Homes, Mackie's of Scotland and Gilson Gray.