Judges


The awards are judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders and experts, the judging is a rigorous two-stage process including pre-scoring to determine shortlists and a judging meeting where entries are discussed and evaluated in detail to decide the winning entries.

From a transparency perspective, we may video aspects of the judging session to give entrants an insight into why a winning entry was chosen.

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Judges

Carlotta Bonafini | SEO PRODUCT OWNER | VODAFONE

Carlotta is leading the SEO team at Vodafone UK, where she is overseeing the development of their new digital strategy. She started her professional career in the marketing field working for Expedia in the search department. She directed many regional projects before moving into a global position where her initiatives created outstanding results whilst pioneering new processes. She supervised both creative campaigns and technical projects, and launched many impactful ideas. Carlotta graduated from London Metropolitan University and Milan Catholic University and has been living in London for over 9 years. Passionate about high-tech, she is working on improving her coding skills and is always eager to expand her technical knowledge

Rachael Courtney | SENIOR SOCIAL MARKETING LEAD | VIRGIN MEDIA

Rachael has worked in PR & Events for over 17 years, with 15 years running Social Media for big brands. Previous roles have included heading up social at Cineworld and Three, where she was responsible for a number of award-winning social campaigns. Rachael now leads the social strategy and team at Virgin Media

David Edmundson-Bird | Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing | Manchester Metropolitan University

David is Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he leads a team of specialist digital marketing academics and runs a number of digital communications programmes. He is co-author of 7th edition of Digital Business & E-commerce Management with Dave Chaffey and Tanya Hemphill. David is Chair of Global Judging Standards for Don’t Panic. His role is to ensure objectivity, transparency and consistency across the judging panels for all Don’t Panic assets, and to provide a quality assurance process in the judging process. He set up Manchester Met’s first part-time MSc in Digital Marketing in 2007, their first full-time MSc Digital Marketing Communications in 2016 and Manchester Met’s Global E-Learning MSc in Digital Marketing. David founded Manchester Met’s Agency Life programme in 2012 to enable students to experience live work skills in the workplace very early in their course. He has enjoyed several spells in academia as well as senior management roles in the digital sector, helped to set up Manchester’s second web design agency back in 1995, He sits on the Board FutureEverything and is a trustee of The Education Trust

Michelle Gledhill | Senior Lecturer, Programme Leader MSc Creative Advertising Strategy | Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

Dr Michelle Gledhill is a specialist in in advertising, branding and media. Her position as Programme Leader for MSc Creative Advertising Strategy at Manchester Metropolitan University combines her expertise in strategic thinking when working in consultation on live briefs with brands such as Manchester City, the Happy Linen Company and Manchester Gin, with her passion for developing and nurturing student talent in the Manchester and across the UK. Her fascination for branding led her to complete a unique doctoral thesis on how brands are processed whilst playing videogames. She is a highly experienced marketer, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), CIM Senior Examiner and HE Examiner.

Andy Green | Co-founder | AndyGreenCreativity

Andy wrote the first book on the subject of ‘Creativity in Public Relations’ and continues to be at the forefront of new thinking and doing as a founder supporter of the Dublin Conversations, co-creating bigger thinking for the future of the communications industry. Andy is a working practitioner and academic teaching innovation, communications and public relations. He has written 7 books (translated into 8 languages) on purpose, creativity, social capitals, organisational change. He is co-founder of social enterprise ‘Grow Social Capital’, founder of The Tummler School and co-founder of Unstitution. Believing we can all gain inspiration from the unlikeliest of sources, pre-Covid Andy used to deliver creativity classes on the London Tube. Born and bred in London’s East End, he lives with his Barry-born wife on Barry Island, Andy is a real-life ‘Gavin & Stacey’.

Cheryl Hill | Director of Digital Marketing | SkipTheDishes

Cheryl Hill is the Director of Digital Marketing at SkipTheDishes, Canada's leading and largest food delivery network. Cheryl leads Skip's media buying and digital strategy across Search, CRM, Paid Media, SEO, and Social Media via data-driven insights that connect with Canadians. Prior to Skip, Cheryl served at Metric Marketing as Director of Digital Marketing, where she established teams and led the creation of digital products. For more than a decade, Hill also led her own successful digital marketing consultancy and honed her trade in the UK finance industry, where she pioneered a digital marketing team within the largest mortgage, insurance, and loans brokerage in Scotland.

Neville Hobson | Social Media Strategist & Communication Adviser and Mentor

For more than 20 years, Neville has been a voice of experience and influence when it comes to speaking about digital communication and technologies, disruptive change in workplaces and marketplaces, relevant trends to pay close attention to, and what it means for organisations and individuals. Since 2000, his career has focused on working with organisations globally to help them leverage his experiences, knowledge and subject-matter expertise of social networks, social media marketing, analytics and insights reporting, and training and mentoring, to create and build foundations for authentic engagement and to expand online reach and influence. He connects this expertise with a career spanning over 10 years in traditional public relations, marketing communication, employee, compensation and benefits communication, and investor relations. He is an award-winning blogger and pioneering podcaster, co-hosting For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report with Shel Holtz since 2005, and The Small Data Forum Podcast with Sam Knowles and Thomas Stoeckle since 2016. You can find Neville on Twitter @jangles and other major social networks.

Lidia Infante | Senior SEO Strategy Lead | Rise At Seven

Lidia is the Senior SEO Strategy Lead at Rise At Seven, driving organic growth internationally for global companies. Born and raised in Barcelona, she's been helping businesses in e-commerce, media and B2B reach their audiences on search across European markets, the US and Australia

Steve Kuncewicz | Partner and Head Of Creative, Digital & Marketing | BLM LAW

Steve is a Partner and Head of Creative, Digital and Marketing at BLM Law in Manchester. He specialises in intellectual property, media social media and privacy law and is listed as a "recommended lawyer" in the Legal 500’s 2019 edition, and was a Co-founder if the Bulletproof Agency Network. He is a regular media spokesperson, and has given interviews to the local and national press through BBC Breakfast, Sky News, ITV, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC London. Steve is also the Manchester Publicity Association’s Honorary Solicitor and Co-Chair of Creative ProManchester.

Pailiina Lunde | Global Communications & PR Manager | Sandvik Group

Pauliina has 15 years of experience with Digital Marketing and Communications from three industries: IT and software, consumer products and industry (manufacturing, mining, materials). She has worked on short term sales conversion campaigns to high budget branding campaigns. She is passionate about understanding target audience behavior across different platforms and has worked on digital development for different companies with vastly different needs for sales-marketing or branding. Working with different touch points to mature the target audience, she has worked on strategies that involves Social Media, PR, SEM, programmatic, native and web. She loves to explore new channels and platform to understand a community and she also loves to support and teach different teams within an organization in digital communications and digital options. When she´s not exploring nearby destinations or traveling abroad with her family, she spends her time gardening, solving puzzles and playing computer games.

Trond Lyngbø | SENIOR SEO CONSULTANT

Trond Lyngbø is the founder of Search Planet and a senior SEO Consultant. He has over two decades of experience in SEO, e-commerce, content strategy and digital analysis. His clients include multinational Fortune 500 corporations and major Norwegian companies. Trond has helped grow businesses through more effective search marketing and SEO strategies. He is most passionate about working with e-commerce companies and web shops to develop and expand their omni-channel marketing initiatives

Louise Mcfetridge | HEAD OF CONTENT & DIGITAL PR | GREENLIGHT

Louise is Head of Content & Digital PR at Greenlight, overseeing the Content Strategy, Copy and Digital PR teams within the Content & Digital PR department. Louise has been immersed in all aspects of content since 2010, and has worked across the board devising, leading, and advising on well-targeted creative and engaging content for a multitude of verticals. Louise has led on projects for brands such as Ebay, Hiscox, The British Home Store and New Balance to name but a few. Louise has a knack for getting to the heart of what an audience wants and delivering it via creative and compelling content.

Paul Morris | Marketing Specialist

Paul has 22 years’ experience leading Marketing, Digital & Ecommerce both Agency & Brand side. Paul was previously Director of Digital/ Ecommerce at Marshalls PLC, Head of Marketing at Tesco Bank, global Digital/ Ecommerce Director at PZ Cussons (brands including St Tropez, Imperial Leather & Original Source), led Digital marketing at the Co-op Group (Food > Funeralcare) and have through the line experience of working both client and agency side with brands including Wickes, Laterooms, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Cash Generator, Stagecoach & Silverstone.

Mazen Mroue | Head of Global Digital Media and Martech | FrieslandCampina

Mazen is the head of Global Digital Media and Martech, The Netherlands/Signapore. Leading a team working on specialized nutrition products such as baby formula and his responsibilities cover media, technology, CRM, Website/SEO, Digital transformation, and innovation. Mazen oversees media pitches, digital strategies and transformation, and design of the technology ecosystem following the JBP with key suppliers such as Facebook, Google, & Tik-tok Before moving to the Netherlands, Mazen worked at the agency side for 6+ years based in Dubai, Singapore, and Beirut. His diverse portfolio covers prominent multinationals such as BlackBerry, Samsung, Emirates, Etihad airlines, and all the Richemont Luxury brands. Besides being a member of the world federation of advertisers, Core member in programmatic taskforce at Iab Nederlands, member of the programmatic committee at iab SEA+India/GCC, member of iab GCC, and holding 100+ certifications across all digital platforms and technologies, Mazen won many prestigious digital awards targeting the MENA region and is looking to score more worldwide. Mazen is a big believer in training both the body and the mind to be strong. So next to his professional achievements, he is a world marathoner and Guinness World Record holder, with more than 60 full marathons completed and many ultras.

Dudi Nakdimon | SEO CONSULTANT

Dudi Nakdimon is an SEO Consultant with 10+ years of expertise on online marketing and digital experience. In the past 6 years he was the Head of SEO at Ladbrokes Coral. As part of his job at LCG, Dudi was responsible for building an in-house team of SEO - SEO managers, content writers and technical specialists, while collaborating with SEO agencies. His experience working for a large corporation with various departments has taught Dudi that the best to achieve SEO results is by educating colleagues throughout organizations on the importance of SEO, working close mainly with Product, Dev, Creative, Legal and Compliance departments.

Plamen Popov | Head of Global SEO | Acronis Global

Plamen Popov is an experienced digital marketer & SEO Expert with history of working for internationally renowned brands. He currently is working as Senior SEO Lead in Acronis, world leader in cyber protection & data security company. Plamen joined last year from the marketing team of Management Financial Group, where he lead global marketing strategies for various fin-tech brands inside the holding. Plamen has a genuine interest in marketing and technology and that drives his experience through out consulting start up companies and leading teams in enterprise brands exploring various aspects of marketing activities including PPC, Social Media, Display, Programmatic, App Marketing and SEO. His passion for Search Marketing & SEO always drives him to learn and explore new possibilities of creating better user experiences and results

Erin Portsmouth | DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS | OLDHAM CARES

Erin is a Chartered public relations practitioner who started her career in private sector marketing and communications consultancies, but for the past eleven years has worked in the National Health Service. She is currently Director of Corporate Affairs at NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group where she oversees a portfolio including communications, engagement, public affairs, equality and diversity, organisational development and governance. She has a Masters degree in public relations, and served on the Chartered Institute of Public Relations North West Group Committee as a volunteer for ten years, also holding a three year term as Chair. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees of homelessness charity Emmaus Salford in 2017

Claire Richardson | Digital Business Development Director | McCann Connected and UM Manchester

Over the last 15 years Claire has worked in media, creative and digital in multiple capacities, from client service to new business development. Claire’s passion for the industry drives her curiosity in all areas of brand and consumer interaction, and her focus on working in close collaboration with skilled practitioners means she is able to build a story around what they do, how they do it and how this drives a transformational outcome for clients

Hannah Smith | Founder | Wonderist

Hannah Smith spent 7 years working in offline marketing (they just called it ‘marketing’ back then) until her fairy godmother told her that the internet was the future. Not one to ignore such sage advice, she made the switch to online marketing in 2007. Over a five and half year period at Distilled, she was part of the creative team which delivered over 14,000 pieces of linked coverage. Then, for close to three years, she led the creative and PR team at Verve Search. In that time she was responsible for launching more than 150 creative content pieces which generated over 8,250 pieces of linked coverage. Her work for clients has won multiple awards, and she’s spoken at numerous conferences including MozCon, SMX, SearchLove, and BrightonSEO. In 2019 she founded Worderist.com offering consultancy, coaching, training, and ongoing support to help agency-side and in-house creative teams make content which delivers results

Michelle Stinson Ross | Director of Marketing | Mindful Appy

Michelle Stinson Ross is the Director of Marketing for Mindful Appy, an Austin based, mental health app. She specializes in marketing strategy, particularly the convergence of content, search, social media, and how it all works together to impact customer engagement and emotional well-being. Michelle started working with social media in 2009 when she began working for a Key West tourism company as a content writer and community manager. Today, she is an internationally recognized speaker, trainer, and author

Purna virji | Senior Content Marketing Evangelist  | LinkedIn

Purna Virji is a globally recognized content strategist and Senior Content Solutions Consultant at LinkedIn. She has been crowned the Search Personality of the Year by the US Search Awards, was named by Adweek on their Young Influentials List, and was named by PPC Hero as the #1 Most Influential Expert in the world. She is a columnist and top-rated international keynote speaker who regularly speaks at conferences such as AdWeek, DMEXCO, The Next Web Conference and INBOUND. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Purna led global learning and thought leadership programs for Microsoft. An award-winning former journalist, Purna is an avid traveler, aspiring top chef, and amateur knitter in her spare time.

Marty Weintraub | FOUNDER, SPEAKER, AUTHOR | AIMCLEAR MARKETING AGENCY

Marty is an entrepreneur, marketer, photographer, speaker, and BWCA wilderness guide. He founded Aimclear®, a driven, integrated marketing agency dominant in customer acquisition, winner of 17 US Search Awards including 5X most recent Best Integrated Agency. Aimclear's differentiator is the balance of holistic brand-builds, PR, data, and integrated performance marketing. Credits include PayPal, Venmo, Uber, eBay, Airbnb, Dell, LinkedIn, Etsy, Gumtree, Eurail, Firestone, INC Magazine, Amazon, Famous Dave's, Martha Stewart Omni, Intel, Travelocity, Macy’s, GoDaddy, 3M, Siemens, Land's End, and many more. A fixture on the international conference circuit, Marty has appeared in front of hundreds of international search & social marketing conference audiences, from Jerusalem to Sydney

Pablo Romero Yusta | Senior Manager, PR & Brand Marketing, EMEA | HubSpot

Pablo Romero is an enthusiastic and results-driven PR and brand strategist pro with 10 years of international experience and a passion for technology. Based in Dublin, he has worked with startups, scaleups and established companies across various industries, including CRM, adtech and SaaS. As the Head of PR & Brand at HubSpot, the leading CRM platform, Pablo oversees all EMEA awareness, thought leadership, and reputation efforts. Pablo holds a Masters of International Marketing from Hult International Business School and a certificate in Corporate Communications from Harvard. An award-winning former journalist, Pablo is an insatiable traveller, tennis obsessed and aspiring top chef in his spare time.

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