Executive Board

GWPR was founded by Sue Hardwick and Angela Oakes, former Presidents of WiPR UK (Women in PR) – a powerful UK networking association founded in 1962.

Sue Hardwick

Founder and President

Sue was a board director at Affinity (part of Porter Novelli Countrywide) and Media Square. She has run her own independent PR business specialising in,sport sponsorship, luxury goods, education and telecommunications.

Sue has strong organisational and creative abilities, is a good communicator and excellent strategic thinker. An experienced advisor on communications issues, Sue has handled a wide portfolio of UK and international clients in the drinks industry, the sport and leisure sector, education and telecommunications.

Angela Oakes

Co-Founder GWPR

It is with great sadness that we have to report that Angela Oakes passed away suddenly on 28 March 2023 – please see our tribute to Angela here.

Angela was a PR professional with an impressive track record as a senior-level consultant. Her experience included working with global multinationals on strategic brand development, corporate communications and integrated campaigns.

Angela founded and successfully ran boutique London-based PR agency Treehouse PR; developing and managing the business for 25 years. The agency implemented innovative global campaigns for major international brands, with impressive results, particularly in the drinks and creative industry sectors.

Before launching her own agency business Angela worked at global PR agencies – Hill & Knowlton and The Grayling Company.

Cornelia Kunze

Corenelia Kunze

Chair of the GWPR International Board and responsible for New Group Development

Founder and Chief Advisor of I -sekai, Cornelia is an independent communications advisor to international businesses, acting as sparring partner, challenger and external project leader in the field of strategic communications, brand building and sustainability. She supports and enables in-house teams, whilst helping to develop vision, purpose and a ‘course map’ for global brands and reputation in a fluid environment.

Prior to setting up her own business Cornelia held several senior roles at Edelman including Vice Chair of Global Client Management.

Claire Foster

Claire Foster

Communications & Directory Development for GWPR

Claire has spent the last 20 years working in both consumer and corporate communications for a number of personal finance and motoring brands. Claire has won PRCA City and Financial Professional of the year, PRCA In-House Professional of the year and Headline Money’s PR Professional of the Year.

Claire previously sat on the Women in PR UK committee, serving as vice president before going on maternity leave. Claire is a member of the Battersea (dog’s home) Corporate Engagement and Board and provides PR and campaign support to the 30% Club. Claire was featured as a global role model for women in business on the HERoes Women Role Model list.

Melissa Arulappan

Melissa Arulappan

GWPR Annual Index lead

Melissa is Director of Communications for Target in India. In career spanning over three decades, Melissa has had challenging and exciting roles in both the corporate and consultancy sector, She has worked on entry strategies for large multinational organisations, helped launch Indian and multinational brands and worked with organisations through complex and challenging crisis communication assignments.

Melissa is passionate about nurturing and developing communications talent and is actively involved in PR academia and knowledge sharing platforms. She also writes a fascinating travel blog.

Samantha Grocutt

Social Media Strategist

Owner of London based boutique hair, beauty and lifestyle agency Essence PR, Samantha has over 20 years’ experience in the world of PR. Alongside her hands-on approach to running a successful agency, Samantha is very active within the industry and is a former President of The Hairdressers’ Charity alongside other voluntary positions within the Prince’s Trust, Women in PR, the Fragrance Foundation, and the Hair & BarberCouncil Think Tank.