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

Executive Committee

Chair, 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 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. 

Secretary, Sarah Robertson MCIPR

Account Manager, BIG Partnership

Sarah joined BIG Partnership early in 2018 and works across a range of key accounts, including The Scottish Government, AVA Berries, Radisson RED, and The Macallan. After graduating with an honours degree in Politics from the University of Glasgow, Sarah developed her passion for communications at Edinburgh-based PR and public affairs consultancy, Orbit, where she managed integrated campaigns for clients across the third, private, and public sectors. Sarah is Secretary of the CIPR Scotland Future Leaders Forum and was named ‘Outstanding Young Communicator’ at the 2017 CIPR Scotland Pride Awards.

Committee members

Julie Brander, MCIPR

Account Manager, Weber Shandwick

Julie joined Weber Shandwick in 2012 as a graduate from Aberdeen Business School. Her clients include NorthLink Ferries, Caledonian Sleeper, Barratt Homes, Chapelton and Inverlochy Castle Management International.

In addition to leading communications campaigns, Julie also provides influencer marketing strategies for a range of clients across multiple sectors including business to business and consumer. Her highlights include launching Andy Murray’s five star Cromlix hotel and winning Outstanding Young Communicator at the CIPR Scotland PRide Awards in 2016.

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. 

Sussane 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 Coupar MCIPR

Communications Adviser
Oil & Gas UK

Natalie Coupar is a Communications Advisor at Oil & Gas UK. Former head of press to the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Natalie led party’s strategic communications during the independence referendum and supported Liberal Democrat ministers in coalition government. She continues to work in campaign communications, developing her passion for digital as head of communications for a tech start-up before becoming communications manager for a leading sports charity in the north east. Since returning to Aberdeen she spends most of her free time in  the outdoors and provides voluntary communications support to a local mountain festival.

Jordan Ferguson MCIPRJordan Ferguson MCIPR

Account Executive, Orbit Communications

Jordan is an Account Executive at Orbit Communications. Since completing Orbit's training programme, he has assisted in the development and implementation of high profile public affairs campaigns such as the Assisted Suicide Bill Scotland, Millions for Mental Health and assisted the European Movement in Scotland's campaign to keep Scotland and the UK in the EU. Prior to joining Orbit, Jordan played a crucial role in the establishment of the children's charity Funny Lumps, developing an innovative communications strategy to reach children with additional support needs. Jordan currently works in a variety of

Sian Mackenzie MCIPR

Account Manager, Talking Canvas

Siân is a Senior Account Manager at Talking Canvas. After graduating with an honours degree in PR & Media at Queen Margaret University, Siân honed her skills in the communications team at NHS Lothian. In her current role, Siân manages PR and digital campaigns across a varied client portfolio including Border Biscuits, Bunnahabhain whisky and the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh and its Galvin restaurants.

Fiona 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.

Ellie Wagstaff MCIPREllie Wagstaff MCIPR

Senior Account Manager, Muckle Media

Ellie is a Senior Account Manager at Muckle Media, providing PR support across a variety of sectors ranging from entrepreneurship to adventure and tourism among others. She has coordinated major client portfolios, directing their PR efforts and strategies towards a specific target audience. Ellie played a leading role in the communications strategy for the 2017 Hunter Foundation dinner with President Barack Obama in Edinburgh, and led Muckle Media’s work with adventurer Mark Beaumont for his 18,000 mile circumnavigation of the globe by bike in less than 80 days.

Co-opted 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.

Rhona Deb MCIPR 

Marketing Delivery Manager, Search Consultancy


Based in Glasgow, Rhona has 13 years’ experience in marcomms and PR. 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. Strategy design, campaign planning, brand management and events are areas Rhona specialises in.