Riot Communications grows team with two new senior appointments, boosting its credentials across publishing, museums and heritage, theatre and film

26 Mar 2024 -

Riot Communications, the leading arts, culture and entertainment PR agency, has made two new key hires in the form of Orla Houston-Jibo and Julia Hallawell, who have both joined the business as Associate Directors.

The new hires will support the growth of the company following a series of new client wins which include the Science Museum Group and Octopus Publishing, on whose behalf Riot is handling publicity for James Middleton’s upcoming book.

Orla Houston-Jibo joins the agency after two years as a communications, marketing and cultural programming consultant for clients in the arts, hospitality, lifestyle and heritage sectors, including Bloomsbury Publishing, Chiswick House & Gardens, and Lore Group (One Hundred Shoreditch and Sea Containers hotels). Prior to that, she was Associate Director and Head of Lifestyle Division at Scott & Co where her clients included SKETCH London, Sir Hotels and Petworth Places. Houston-Jibo also brings with her in-house publishing experience, having worked as PR Director at Phaidon and Head of Publicity & Partnerships at Thames & Hudson, and bolsters Riot’s museums and heritage expertise thanks to her time at the Victoria & Albert Museum as a Project Manager and Assistant Curator in the Contemporary Programmes department.

Julia Hallawell brings to Riot over 25 years of experience across film, theatre and arts publicity. She joins from Kate Morley PR where she devised and delivered campaigns for West End productions including To Kill A Mockingbird starring Matthew Modine and Dr Semmelweis with Mark Rylance, plus retained clients including Kiln Theatre. Prior to that she created and led a new Influencer Engagement offering for Jersey Road PR. Earlier in her career, Hallawell worked at Shakespeare’s Globe where she led the theatre’s PR campaigns including for the opening of the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Her experience in film includes distribution publicity for the UK releases of American Beauty, Shakespeare in Love and East is East and representing international titles at the Cannes and Berlin film festivals.

In addition to these two new hires, Jules Baretto, who started as an intern at Riot in September 2023, has been offered a permanent role at the agency as an Account Executive. To date, he has worked across a wide range of accounts from Aardman to the Nero Book Awards.

Caitlin Allen, MD at Riot Communications, said: “We are so excited to welcome these two brilliant talents to Riot. Our foundations are in books and our ambition will always be to work with the best of the best in that space, an ambition which will be supported by Orla’s experience on both sides of the in-house/agency relationship within the publishing industry. Meanwhile our client list across TV, film, theatre and heritage continues to grow – and I’m delighted to have Julia and Orla joining as we expand our work further across the arts and entertainment world. In Jules we found the most passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated intern, so are very pleased that he has accepted a permanent position too.”


Picture: Orla Houston-Jibo and Julia Hallawell © Marc Sethi