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Guild Member Profile

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Simon Russell

Communications/PR (Agency)
  • writer
  • comms-pr-exec-agency
  • event-spking
  • beer-judge
  • Cider judge and writer
  • South West
  • Cider and Perry Academy Diploma
  • Chartered Institute of Public Relations
  • Food matching
  • Politics
  • Current affairs
  • Wine
  • Cider
  • Spirits
  • On-trade
  • Off-trade
  • Social media
  • Drink tourism

What is the one thing you'd like to tell visitors to the Guild's website?

For those that want to understand the industry and more especially to know how communication can positively influence the achievement of their objectives, then I can help.

Whether that means writing copy, developing and hosting events, managing media relations, creating social media content, managing public affairs, or some mix of all of these, then I/we have won awards for all of these activities.

What you can offer as a writer/beer lover?

I’ve been involved in the drinks industry for about 30 years.

Having worked in bars in London, I moved to Bristol aged 20 to manage a pub – at that time the only pub in the centre of Bristol in the Good Beer Guide. That was great fun.

Most of the time since then I have worked in communication, covering media relations, public affairs, internal communication, events and social media. For 16 years I ran the press office for the National Association of Cider Makers.

I founded Inside Media in 2006. It is an agency with a track record of supporting drinks brands and businesses – from establishing the profile of Sharp’s, then Bath Ales, to projects for Molson Coors (Carling), Fuller’s, and Budweiser Budvar. We work with Moor Beer and support Tiny Rebel from time to time. We also work with brands and businesses in other drinks categories.

I enjoy the (drinks) industry. I understand how it works and I love the challenge of using effective and creative communication to help people achieve worthwhile objectives.

What do you like most about being a Guild of Beer Writers member?

Good beer is one of life’s pleasure. Celebrating that and helping people discover that is rewarding.

Also, beer and all alcohol also has some dedicated and highly organised opponents. I do not doubt they are sincere in their wish to reduce harm, however some intentionally use ‘dodgy data’ to create alarmist and misleading stories that the mainstream media (often) fail to verify and challenge.

Hence the public debate on alcohol is skewed and poor policy and practice follows. Not only are responsible consumers, retailers and producers adversely affected, but it means resources are wasted that could be better directed to support those that misuse a range of substances. I want to redress the imbalance in the public debate on alcohol and membership of the Guild can help in this.