Our lovely team
Our core team is made up of lively, intelligent folk who have a point of view, a sense of adventure, determination and drive.
And to deliver a fully integrated, joined-up and multi-channel brand programme, we regularly create an extended team with some of our other award-winning strategic specialists in; research, business and communications strategy, marketing, advertising, brand mnemonics, film, graduate recruitment marketing, gaming, viral and E-marketing, social media and mobile applications, to name but a few.
Brigid McMullenAs Creative Director, Brigid leads her team with rigour. Her sharp intelligence instils The Workroom with a focus on the underlying strategic message and delivering distinctive passion with a twist.
Creative Strategy Director & Founder
She has all the experience and sense of the commercial imperative that you’d expect with a 25-year track record in the business and consumer sectors. Before co-founding The Workroom in 1990, she was a designer at Fitch & Co then The Partners before becoming Creative Director at Dewe Rogerson overseeing the creative output on major brand communications projects. These include Water & Electricity privatisations, corporate identity for Herbert Smith and shareholder communications for First Leisure, HTV and Expamet.
The Workroom is characterised by its approach: a rare fusion of science, art and business acuity. Brigid is too. It may stem from her 1st class honours degree in information design, but, coming from a family of scientists and entrepreneurs, it’s deep in the genes too.
As is Brigid’s love of landscaping. Like any expert plantsman, she knows that the strongest plants stem from seed designed to thrive in that particular soil. However dry the conditions, Brigid and her team dig deep to find the germ of the idea that will bring a brand to life and bring major rewards for her clients.
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Zoe HopperZoe is one of our main digital wizards. She’s been managing print, web and multimedia production on corporate and consumer projects for 12 years, but since 2001, she has increasingly focused on the digital side, designing, producing and building websites for Reckitt Benckiser, Balfour Beatty WorkPlace, WIG and Salon International.
And besides managing our in-house technology (and sometimes our client’s!), Zoe delivers multimedia and CMS-driven sites for clients through our digital partners and developers. She’s also our resident online client image library expert.
Zoe is known for her digital expertise, but she’s just as strong on print and is a brilliant planner and problem solver. She’s a real do-er and works systematically, with great attention to detail sorting out any issues and making sure everything is delivered on time and of course on budget, often with fast turnaround times.
Outside The Workroom, when she’s not teaching herself new technology and techniques, her lifelong love and passion is music, which started at a young age recording tracks from the radio. She even puts her music buffery to great use with clients, cleverly sourcing soundtracks for digital projects. Her current project is creating a digital and audio show for her back garden!
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Ellie CockleWhen Ellie came to us from Melbourne in 2008, Ellie brought valuable international design experience with her. Not just from her recent corporate design work with Rio Tinto and ANZ Bank, but also Victorian Government and McCain Food.
As another of our self-sufficient designer/project managers, Ellie believes that travel has honed her natural planning and teamwork skills. Positive and adaptable, she says the challenge of being on the move means she doesn’t get stressed by problems, but works calmly around them. Ellie’s brilliant with people too.
Like all of us here, Ellie believes that good design speaks to people, but that it can only do that if it’s driven by a relevant and engaging idea. Nothing illustrates that better than the vibrant and beautifully executed work that Ellie did to bring the dry world of facilities management to life for Balfour Beatty WorkPlace, helping to create a dynamic brand that stands out from its peers, (and that is now showing impressive commercial results as proof of our approach).
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Helen CooleyOver the past 5 years, Helen’s stand-out solutions for Reckitt Benckiser and Balfour Beatty have proved her a rarity. A designer who combines creativity with forensic thinking and an Indiana Jones sense of adventure.
While she thrives on adrenalin, Helen’s got the surfer’s discipline that gets the measure of a wave before going for the thrill. On projects, she wades through complexity, identifying the underlying structure. Only once she can articulate the Big Idea does she let her love of expressive, spirited design take over. And, like all our designers, she’s a brilliantly organised project manager. And like all our team, has a great way with words too.
It’s her training. With her Norwich School of Art & Design degree, and 10 years top-end design experience, including a 5-year stint at The Partners (with clients like Barclays, Boots and Jaguar), that ideas-driven approach is second-nature. Helen’s standout designs are grounded in thoroughly considered research and positioning, which makes her the perfect fit for us – and for our clients.
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Vicky AddinallSuper-organised, calm and positive, Vicky is a project manager with a strategic mind and a creative bent, who spent seven years writing, editing and web editing in a range of industries, before making the move from doing creative work to delivering it.
She is nothing if not versatile, working in the health and charity sectors, then fashion. Vicky has helped to launch websites and magazines as well as organise marketing campaigns, packaging and re-branding. As a Senior Editor at Watch-That-Label.com she managed the launch of their new, luxury e-retail fashion store, As a content author at NHS Choices, she juggled scientists’ text and egos to create material for a public information site.
We love Vicky for the warmth and direction she brings to a team, helping everyone to develop and articulate their ideas; our clients love her because she’s a level-headed planning queen who gets things done. She might spend her free time leaping and lindy hopping around the dancefloor, but in projects, Vicky is a steady, soothing influence who we can always rely on to find a way.
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Karen BarlowEvery creative business needs an experienced hand on the financial tiller; Karen has been bookkeeping in this sector for the last twenty years, honing and expanding her skills at various design, advertising and PR agencies.
Financial control is not just about ‘doing the books’. It’s key to our effective budgeting and management of every project and Karen has worked alongside programmers to develop the tool that allows our project managers to budget and forecast accurately.
Karen is not just at the helm of The Workroom’s finances. At weekends, she’s out on the river in her beloved Heron dinghy. Sailing is both a discipline and a joy. Charting a course brings out all her organised, practical, forward-thinking skills, but Karen says nothing beats the adrenalin surge when conditions change and she works with her crew-mate to take decisive action.
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Ross RamgobinRoss is our all-singing office, admin and IT star. Bright, articulate and knowledgeable, he’s another of our rarities – a techy who’s great with words – which makes him invaluable for everything from keeping all our Macs in shape to researching and editing web content.
Marketing, Technical & Project Support
Ross is a great all-rounder. After graduating in English and Drama at Brunel University, he worked as an account executive and consultant in digital recruitment, as well as proving his skills as a technical proof reader, working in several European languages – a job requiring huge concentration and attention to detail.
Before joining us, Ross’ insightful nature and great people skills took him to ECOM, a digital recruitment consultancy. Here, he developed new business and recruited across web project management and production, user experience, information architecture, business analysis and web strategy.
On top of that, he makes time for a Masters in Vocal Studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Opera stardom awaits, but until then…
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Nick RangerA seasoned strategic brand consultant, Nick has a 17 year pedigree in corporate and business branding. He’s advised household name businesses across Europe, the US and the Middle East on brand strategy and planning, consumer qualitative research, brand engagement and internal communications.
Brand Strategy Consultant
Over the past few years, Nick has defined brand positioning and strategy for Unilever, HP, Aviva, the Royal Marsden Trust, The Coca-Cola Company, Isklar and the Williams Formula 1 team. He’s done consumer research and repositioning for the Milk Development Council as well as vision/values engagement work for TUI Travel, HP and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
It’s clear that Nick brings exceptional diagnostic skills, insights and strategic creativity to The Workroom, helping us to understand and transform brands. Here or on the water, he’s a true team player too. Nick says rowing is about tactics – knowing when to apply power, when to sustain it. It needs balance and timing – and a total commitment to achieving the same goal. We say, same here.
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Marta Martins PereiraMarta has been managing corporate and consumer branding projects for over 13 years, rolling out programmes for clients across the globe, from AMEC and Zurich to John Frieda and Guinness. From research, brand creation and rebranding to brand management and training, she has delivered complex projects on time and on budget, with energy and enthusiasm.
Both a planner and do-er by nature, Marta is also adept at orchestrating people to get things done, as proved when she brought together teams from First Choice in the UK and TUI Tourism in Germany to create and communicate the new TUI Travel brand.
Getting to grips with clients’ underlying needs and motivations is key and Marta thinks that the challenge of working with her beloved dogs brings out those very skills. Positive and insightful, Marta earns their trust by understanding the world from their perspective. And they love her for it – not to mention that it gives her the perfect excuse to get hubby and son into the fresh air!
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Tracey BarrEffective strategies for business are Tracey’s area of expertise. Clients from high street banks and media companies to NHS Trusts have been working with her strategic advice and pragmatic support for 20 years.
Business Strategy Consultant
Tracey’s focus as a consultant is developing and implementing strategic business plans and communications, but she also has extensive business experience and commercial knowledge and has helped a wide range of blue-chip clients over the years to improve profit growth, innovation and customer retention.
As you might expect from the ex-Managing Director of corporate communications business Sheppard Day and Senior Manager at Andersen Business Consulting, Tracey is one of those people who does nothing by halves. With characteristic efficiency, she makes time at weekends to get out on the golf course where she shows the same perseverance and positive thinking, whether she’s on the green or in the bunker. To Tracey, golf is never a good walk spoilt; playing for herself or in a team, she relishes every game as a challenge and a chance to learn.
Stef BrownStef is a marketing and business development consultant. With 15 years experience as a marketer for premier agencies Landor Associates, Blue Marlin Brand Design and The Partners, she now runs her own consultancy company, working with clients such as Design Business Association (DBA), Conran & Partners, Landor Associates and The Workroom.
Stef has a clear sense of purpose. Her work is all about building a client’s reputation to drive business with new and existing clients. Whether she is building brand-led marketing plans or helping clients to implement them, Stef is focused on results. She writes strategies and plans for the quick wins as well as the longer term. Messaging, case studies, awards entries, event planning, press relations and media training – no job is too big or small.
Knitting is just one of her passions, but in many ways it typifies Stef and what she brings to the team. Knitting has a purpose; it is creative and it delights. It’s excellent value for money and uses her energy well, as she would never sit still otherwise! Above all, knitting gives results.
Hugh BatemanHugh is an accomplished brand strategist, with over ten years experience in strategic brand planning, design and communications. At agencies Joshua G2 and Landor, and as a consultant, he has worked with brands including Sara Lee, BAT and Grey Goose, along with Oxfam, EastMidlandsTrains and GSK.
Brand Strategy Consultant
Hugh has an agency brain. Fast and precise, he has the planner’s knack for getting straight to the nub of an idea. A master at interpreting consumer insights, he brings to life the stories behind the data and gets right under the surface of a brand to grasp its objectives and articulate them clearly. Hugh has a particular talent for unearthing the ‘special differences’ that allow us to transform people’s perceptions of a brand and to breathe life and energy into it – as we did with The Whitehall & Industry Group.
Away from work and family, Hugh is probably in the water. As a scuba diver, Hugh loves exploring the unknown; he says he is never disappointed by what lurks beneath the surface, as that is often where the true pearls lie. He says that his passion brings out skills he draws on here – a constant awareness of changing conditions, along with a readiness to adapt and move into the best position.
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Jane Castor-PerryAn experienced and versatile copywriter, Jane has over 25 years in the business, a good ten of them with The Workroom. She specialises in getting clarity out of complexity. She writes great, punchy copy, but what makes her really stand out is her ability to grasp the most intricate subjects; to scale mountains of paper to map the structure and underlying messages.
In the vanguard of the Plain English movement, Jane started in the government’s first clear communications unit before taking her analytical approach into the private sector, where BT asked her to become their Information Design Manager. Since then, as a freelancer, she has worked on marketing, brand and internal communications for Aviva, Balfour Beatty WorkPlace, Churchill, Investors in People, O2, Penna, Prudential, Reckitt Benckiser, RBI and Transport for London.
Outside work, life revolves around food. A passionate cook and eater, Jane is also interested in nutrition and loves to create food that is healthy as well as yummy. Like her writing, it’s designed to be light and digestible as well as engaging.
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Ali BucknallAli is a big brand person with a legion following in the planning world. She’s been launching, nurturing and sustaining brands such as Always, McDonalds, Fiat, Orange, Telenor, Aristoc, Sharwoods, Vax and Canon for over twenty years, both in the UK and internationally. She’s managed all aspects of brand development, but for Ali, it’s always, ultimately, about maximising communications and brand effectiveness.
Strategic Planning Consultant
Her fascination for new ideas, places and people is clear to see. Team her natural curiosity about the world and her understanding of what makes people tick with her creative empathy and you start to understand her knack for unearthing the key strategic and creative insights that help to drive successful campaigns. She cuts right through data to get straight to the point.
Ali’s been described as one of the best planners in London – and we know why. She thinks strategically, but is also a warm and genuine people person who connects with brands at a very human level. Bright, worldly and fun to work with, she shapes ideas and drives them forward with an enthusiasm and quiet authority that inspires belief in us all.
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Alec RattrayAlec likens his role as a strategy consultant to that of a scout or route-planner, helping the leadership team to find the best path to the top. With over twenty years of branding and marketing communications experience, both agency and client-side, Alex is certainly well equipped to lead clients through brand-focused business strategy.
At Research International, Conran Design Group, Saatchi & Saatchi and Landor (where he was Marketing Director and managed the Scandinavian office), Alec gained global experience in defining and delivering marketing, brand and communication strategies for clients that included The National Lottery, Linklaters and the FT. When he went client-side, as Head of Marketing Communications and ‘Brand Czar’ at Serco Group, he took Serco into the FTSE100 by harnessing the power of brand to win business and build reputation. He’s also found time to lecture on strategic creativity at LBS, CASS, Chicago Business School and CASE Europe.
As Alec puts it, just as walkers know the possible routes, good consultants know the possible answers; the clever part is working out which is the right one in particular circumstances. He certainly helps us to show clients the way.