Vuelio is pleased to introduce the four distinguished media, PR and communications experts who will head the judging panel for the inaugural Vuelio Blog Awards!
Says Charlie O’Rourke, managing director, Vuelio: ‘We are honoured to bring together a talented group of professionals at the top of their game, whose expertise, insight and all-round fine taste make them the perfect judges of what represents the very best in UK blogging.’
Panel of Judges:
Siobhan Freegard OBE, founder of Netmums, the country’s largest parenting website.
Ben Smith, founder of PRmoment, leading PR and communications publication
Neil Stinchcombe, director of Eskenzi PR
Julie Hermans, media researcher at Vuelio
The panel will be chaired by Paul Miller, head of digital strategy at Vuelio.
Meet the Judges:
Siobhan Freegard is the founder of Netmums, the country’s largest parenting website with a unique network of 151 local websites and 300 national groups for mums to meet offline, alongside 2,300 parent bloggers and over 8 million unique users each month.
Siobhan is the author of the book How to be a Happy Mum, published by Headline. Headline published six other Netmums parenting books under Siobhan’s guidance.
In 2011 Siobhan and her co-founders sold Netmums to Axel Springer-owned French women’s publisher Aufeminin but she remained as managing director until September 2014 when she stepped down from her position to start a YouTube community for mums, called Channel Mum.
Siobhan was awarded an OBE in the 2013 New Years Honours List for services to families, which was presented to her in March 2014 at Buckingham Palace by Prince William
Siobhan is a regular commentator on parenting issues in the media, with her comments appearing regularly in The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Times and on daytime television shows including Loose Women, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, Lorraine, ITV Daybreak, ITV News and This Morning.
Ben Smith is the founder of the PR and communications title, PRmoment. Ben started the PR Moment in June 2009, bringing together his experience of the PR industry and his passion for publishing what people really want to read about. Ben has a deep knowledge of the PR market – having worked previously at PRWeek and on the consultancy side. He understands PR both from writing about it and actually doing it.
Ben is a passionate supporter of the sector. He believes that the importance of public relations to the world’s organisations has never been so great, and that this importance will only increase. We are living in a golden age of PR: publishers have an almost insatiable appetite for content, PR people can help brands tell their stories and organisations have never been so concerned about trust.
Prior to becoming a director with Eskenzi PR, Neil Stinchcombe was the European Financial Director and MD of the French subsidiary of software development company Datawatch. As a result, he brings a unique first-hand view of working in the IT market. He has also worked on corporate strategy, reporting directly to board level at NASDAQ (Datawatch) and London Stock Exchange quoted companies (Tate & Lyle plc and WPP plc). Whilst at Eskenzi PR, Neil has worked with clients in the following sectors: Information Security, Broadcast, Telecoms, e-business, wireless, mobile data, electronics and billing systems. Neil is also on the UK Advisory Board for ISSA, as well as a member of ISACA and ISSA.
In the PR Week Most Rated Agencies by the journalists Neil was described as ‘Always fast off the mark and helpful’, ‘A man with a real drive for excellence in PR’, “No shrinking violet and his determination in ensuring his clients are at the top of the agenda is excellent.”
When Neil isn’t working overtime for his clients, checking the books and overseeing the computer systems he is striving to become an advanced practitioner in NLP and learning to cope with an entirely female household and office!
Julie Hermans is Vuelio’s resident blog expert and is responsible for the UK’s market-leading blogger database. She has a degree in English and Film and moved from working an events background to join the company in 2012. She manages the #vuelio10, a weekly ranking of the top ten blogs in various industries, ranging from Fashion to Gadgets, and also interviews key bloggers for the company blog.