Managing Director
Metia

Stephen Waddington is the UK managing director at Metia Group, a marketing agency with offices in London, Seattle, Austin, and Singapore. It creates high performance campaigns for international b2b and technology companies and ambitious startups using the best mix of content, social and digital channels.

He was previously Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum, an Omnicom-owned agency, responsible for driving the integration of digital and social capabilities in client engagements across the agency’s international network.

Stephen is Visiting Professor in Practice at the Newcastle University supporting the university and students through teaching and mentoring. He is co-author of #BrandVandals (Bloomsbury, November 2013) and Brand Anarchy (Bloomsbury, February 2012), plus editor and contributor to Share This (Wiley, July 2012) and Share This Too (Wiley, September 2013); in addition to editor of Chartered Public Relations: Lessons from Expert Practitioners (Kogan Page, February 2015).

Stephen wrote the foreword for the first two editions of #FuturePRoof, a community aimed at reasserting the value of public relations. It followed the crowdsourced model that he established through #PRstack.

He was President of the CIPR in 2014, during which time he helped return the organisation to its roots of professionalism as set out in its Royal Charter. He is the chairman of the its’ Artificial Intelligence panel which is characterising the impact of machines on marketing and PR practice, the media, and conversation in the public sphere.

Stephen originally trained as a journalist before following a career in public relations. He co-founded, managed and sold two award-winning public relations agencies, Rainier PR in 1998, and Speed in 2009.

In 2017 Stephen received the PRCA’s outstanding contribution to digital public relations and has been named a top 10 UK public relations blogger by Vuelio for the last three years.

Judging panel

Lani Lavin

Head of Sustainable Business & Communications
Unilever

Dr Colin D'Silva

Head, Asia Pacific, Communications and Government Affairs
GSK

Michelle Lavipour

Global Corporate PR Manager
Diageo

Rema Gouyez-Benalla

Head of Digital Content and Engagement
L'Oreal UK

Karen Yew

Head, Corporate Marketing and Communications
Mediacorp

Paul Fabretti

Director of Communications
Microsoft

Victoria Needs

Director of International Marketing
Sony Music Entertainment

Ken Hein

Chief Communications Officer US
Dentsu Aegis Network

Grant Mitchell

Corporate Communications Manager
Verizon

Paul Mallon

Head of Major Brand Activations
Paddy Power

Andy West

Chief Development Officer
Hotwire

Shakira Payne

Communications & Sustainability Manager
Sonos

Ruth Warder

General Manager
Edelman

Suzanne Blackburn

Global Communications & Public Affairs
Google

Anna Dalziel

Marketing Director
Momentum Worldwide

Phil Wade

Chief Marketing Officer
Jetstar Airways

Ellie Graham

Senior Publicity Director
Think Jam

Susie Penner

Senior Director of Corporate Communications
Go Daddy

Rory Mackin

Senior Manager | Public Relations
Deloitte’s Green Dot Agency

Laura Sutherland

Founder and Director
Aura PR

Stephen Waddington

Managing Director
Metia

Jenny Chan

Vice President, Head of Public Affairs, Asia 
WeWork

James Herring

MD
Taylor Herring Ltd

Su Min Sng

Head of Communications
Grab

Ross Matthews

Chief Marketing Officer
Ice Lolly

Arline Adeva

Assistant Vice President for Brand Communications, PR and Digital Marketing
Jollibee

Nicky Wang

Managing Director and Head of Strategy
WE Red Bridge

Nancy Maffucci

Senior Communications Planner
Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Karen Tan

Senior Director
Ministry of Communications and Information

Charmaine Huet

Marketing & Communications, Director, Southeast Asia
Discovery Networks Asia Pacific

Eric Pooley

Senior Vice President
Environmental Defense Fund

Luisa Fernandez

Marketing Director
YO! Sushi

Gemma Cracknell

Marketing Director
Merlin Entertainments