Riot Communications, the award-winning PR agency specialising in arts, culture and entertainment, has announced a raft of promotions and new hires within its campaigns team a year after coming under the leadership of new MD Caitlin Allen.
This autumn, Riot welcomed three new members of staff in Sofia Saghir (Campaigns Manager), Ruby Fitzgerald (Campaigns Executive) and Jules Baretto (Intern). A former book reviewer turned culture publicist, Saghir joins Riot following roles at publishing house HarperCollins, where she looked after authors including Mark Lawrence and Sally Page, and PR agency Midas, where she worked on campaigns for the London Book Fair and Bookshop.org. Fitzgerald has moved from a communications role in the charity and education sector to work in her area of passion, arts and culture. She brings with her a strong background in social media and digital marketing alongside experience developing media campaigns around education inequality. Baretto becomes the first to take up Riot’s new six-month internship programme, after recently graduating in Film and English from the University of Southampton.
Meanwhile, two members of the existing team have had promotions. Emily Souders, who celebrated five years at Riot in August 2023, has been promoted to Campaigns Director. Souders – whose clients range from family-focused brand Moomin Characters and the Royal Institution, the independent charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science, to publisher Pan Macmillan – is known across the industry for the strength of her client relationships and creativity. Following the change of leadership at Riot, she – alongside fellow Campaigns Director James Douglas – has stepped up to take the lead on several key accounts. Niamh Houston, who joined Riot in August 2022, has been promoted to Senior Campaigns Executive. Putting her experience as a print journalist to brilliant use, she continues to find innovative ways to deliver media coverage and influencer engagement for clients including the London Review of Books and the Science Museum Group.
These promotions and new hires follow a strong year for the agency, which continues to grow its offering across the entertainment space. In addition to delivering a series of bestsellers for authors including Jeremy Deller (Art is Magic), Susie Dent (Roots of Happiness) and Ian Rankin (The Rise), 2023 saw the agency deliver a series of firsts. Highlights include: the co-founding and launching of the Nero Book Awards on behalf of Caffè Nero; the launch of the Science Museum Group’s Flying Scotsman VR experience; the launch of a collaboration between Oscar-winning animation studio Aardman and Save the Children, which raised awareness of the experience of refugee children, and publicity campaigns for a number of exciting independent films such as I am Urban starring Richard Armitage and Anna Friel and The Undertaker starring Paul McGann and Tara Fitzgerald.
Caitlin Allen, Riot MD, comments: “It is so exciting to be making these new hires and promotions one year into our journey as Riot 2.0. It’s been a huge year in terms of work, from launching the Nero Book Awards – which have been so well received by the industry and the media – to getting to collaborate with some of the most brilliant writers, artists and illustrators out there. We’re so grateful to all the clients, contacts and partners who have worked with us in the past twelve months or so, and looking forward to another big year in 2024. Watch this space!”
Image 1 (left to right) – Ruby Fitzgerald, Sofia Saghir and Jules Barretto
Image 2 (left to right) – Niamh Houston and Emily Souders