We work alongside visionary corporate affairs leaders and their teams, providing them with the advice, tools, and support to create change through media relations, public affairs, digital media, internal communication, and stakeholder engagement.

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How we work

Great communications create change when they inspire people to think, feel, or do something differently; the best communications can change the way we think about the world.

Marketers and politicians have understood this for decades. But corporate communication has lagged behind, often focusing on data at the expense of emotion, and short- term tactics at the expense of longer–term outcomes.

With an understanding of strategy built in management consultancy, FTSE 100 businesses, government, agency, and political campaigns, Blakeney’s approach brings structure, insight, and emotional intelligence to organisations and individuals that want to create change.

We support some of the world’s biggest organisations, challenger brands, start – ups, and public figures with communication strategy, public affairs, reputation management, digital engagement, and developing the right level of communication capability in their teams.

"Great communications create change when they inspire people to think, feel, or do something differently."

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Meet our team

We only hire people with in-house experience, because we believe that the best advice and support comes from people who have done your job and understand the unique pressures and demands you face.

Gabe Winn

Gabe Winn

Chief Executive

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Gabe Winn

Chief Executive

Gabe founded Blakeney to bring a management consultancy mindset to strategic communications, supporting clients on some of their most fundamental business challenges.

Gabe began his career as a strategy consultant at Accenture, before finding his calling in communications with senior roles at Barclays, Prudential, British Gas, and Centrica, where he was Corporate Affairs Director for the company’s international business.

Gabe left Centrica to lead external relations for Britain Stronger in Europe, the ‘Remain’ campaign for the UK’s EU Referendum in 2016, directing a team that built and mobilised the largest ever network of endorsers in a British political campaign.

He has trained as a game ranger in Zimbabwe, and as a spy for a major BBC television series.

Jonathan Lomax

Jonathan Lomax

Managing Director

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Jonathan Lomax

Managing Director

Jonathan is a senior corporate affairs adviser, having advised some of the country’s largest businesses on political, regulatory and media issues for more than 15 years.

He began his career as a local journalist then, following a stint working in politics, he moved into communications as Head of Public Affairs at The Salvation Army.

He initially worked in consultancy at AS Biss, becoming a member of the senior management team when it merged to form Mandate. He was part of the small team that led the merger of Mandate, Hogarth and Penrose to form MHP Communications, and later became Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of MHP’s Corporate Affairs division.

Jonathan left MHP in 2017 to join MSL as Managing Director, Corporate Reputation. He was listed in PRWeek’s 2019 Power Book, and is a 2019 PRWeek Awards judge.

Neale Coleman CBE

Neale Coleman CBE

Senior Adviser

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Neale Coleman CBE

Senior Adviser

Neale is one of the UK’s most experienced political and policy experts, having advised three London Mayors, and the leader of the Labour Party.

Neale led housing and regeneration for former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and is credited by him for being “the mastermind behind the Olympics”. Neale was one of the few members of Livingstone’s team to be retained by Boris Johnson, and was appointed deputy Chair and then Chair of the London Legacy Development Corporation by Johnson following the Games. He was also on the Board of the Olympic Delivery Authority throughout its existence.

He has also worked for current London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

Neale advises Blakeney’s clients on policy and political strategy at a local and national level, with a particular focus on infrastructure, housing, development and regeneration.

Claire Cuff

Claire Cuff

Director

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Claire Cuff

Director

Claire is a political expert, and has worked in the UK parliament, some of the world’s best-known agencies, international corporations, trade bodies, and challenger brands such as Ovo Energy and Opower. Claire’s specialisms include public policy, political advocacy, and campaign strategy, with a particular focus on the energy sector.

She spent several years as a parliamentary adviser on environment and energy policy and has a detailed knowledge of UK legislative process. Claire also held senior in-house communications roles in the utilities and manufacturing sectors prior to joining Blakeney.

Claire is a keen equestrian, and regularly competes in Eventing.

Mark Detre

Mark Detre

Director

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Mark Detre

Director

Mark has over ten years' international communications experience across corporate communications and public affairs, running campaigns, managing major announcements and handling crises in some of the world’s best-known companies.

His career began at Google, where he worked in the communications team as it launched products in Europe such as YouTube and Google Maps across the continent. From there he moved to a global communications role at Vodafone.

These roles were good preparation for a move into agency, where he worked in public affairs on healthcare, energy and technology.

Before joining Blakeney, he spent four years in senior agency communications roles in Australia, directing campaigns for BAE Systems, ANZ Bank and Australia Post.

He has a Master’s degree in European Literature from Oxford University, and a BA in French and German from University College London.

Lisa Ahmad

Lisa Ahmad

Associate Director

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Lisa Ahmad

Associate Director

Lisa has worked on numerous high-profile issues as part of in-house teams in government and at EDF Energy.

Her time in government spanned Labour, Coalition and Conservative administrations, working with Secretaries of State, Ministers, and senior Civil Servants in policy, the press office, and then leading Ministerial visits.

At EDF Energy, Lisa led external engagement for the CEO, and a newly appointed Chairman, during some of the company’s most challenging years - including during the negotiation of a commercial deal with the British government for a new nuclear power station, Hinkley Point C, and through a change of CEO.

She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from the University of Nottingham and a Bachelor’s degree in French and Geography from the University of Birmingham.

James Hawkins

James Hawkins

Associate Director

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James Hawkins

Associate Director

James began his career in private banking at Investec before following his passion for politics, taking a job with the Conservative Research Department and then with a shadow energy minister.

Subsequent roles in communications agencies saw him working alongside the US military task force in Baghdad, running a campaign to improve the town of Luton’s image, and leading public health, food and nutrition policy for Subway.

James’ in-house experience includes with Philip Morris International and the Regional Development Agency, and works across a number of sectors in his role at Blakeney.

James coaches novice oarsmen and women at a rowing club in London.

Douglas Trainer

Douglas Trainer

Consultant

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Douglas Trainer

Consultant

Douglas’ political career began at University, where he was elected President of the National Union of Students during one of the most difficult times for UK student politics – the debate around tuition fees.

He was a Labour party special adviser in the first Scottish Government following devolution, and was most recently a senior aide to Labour Mayor Sir Robin Wales at Newham Council.

Douglas gained a wealth of consultancy experience as a partner at Luther Pendragon, and then moved in-house as communications director in the government business arm of outsourcer Serco.

He specialises in advising clients on public services and local and national government.

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards

Consultant

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Jonathan Edwards

Consultant

Jonathan has spent his career with leading communications consultancies in the UK and US, following degrees from Oxford and Harvard universities, and has worked in-house at the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and on an internship for Diageo in Lebanon.

At Washington DC-based advisory firm the Cohen Group he worked on projects in the Middle East and Asia, researching regulatory and geopolitical issues to inform sophisticated strategies.

Following a return to the UK, Jonathan was an integral member of the stakeholder relations team for Britain Stronger in Europe – the ‘Remain’ campaign during the EU Referendum.

Jonathan is an avid observer of UK and global politics, and a keen linguist who has studied Arabic, French, Spanish, Urdu/Hindi and Italian, as well as Latin and Ancient Greek.

Rory Grenham

Rory Grenham

Executive

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Rory Grenham

Executive

Rory graduated with a first-class Modern History with Economics degree from The University of Manchester, where he also received the Thomas Brown Prize for achieving the highest mark on his course.

At university, his studies focused on British history in the 1980s, and the 2007-8 Global Financial Crisis.

Rory is fascinated by the communications issues facing the live entertainment, music, and sports industries.

In the past he's gained experience working with former Labour MP and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, in-house with William Hill's Public Affairs Team, and at communications firm Portland.