School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Professor Stephen Waddington

Visiting Professor of Practice


Stephen has earned a reputation as a public relations moderniser, thought-leader and consumer engagement advocate through senior roles during the last 20-years as a public relations consultant, author and journalist.

Stephen is Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum, responsible for driving the integration of digital and social capabilities in client engagements across the agency’s global network.

He is Visiting Professor in Practice at the University of Newcastle supporting the university and students through teaching and mentoring.

Stephen was President of the CIPR in 2014 during which time he helped return the organisation to its roots of professionalism as set out in its Royal Charter.

As Past President in 2015 he is focused on the development of a competency framework for the profession, and improving engagement between academia and practice.

Stephen understands how the media landscape works online and offline and champions best practice as a writer, conference speaker and award winning-blogger.

He is co-author of #BrandVandals (Bloomsbury, November 2013) and Brand Anarchy (Bloomsbury, February 2012); editor and contributor to Share This (Wiley, July 2012) and Share This Too (Wiley, September 2013); and editor of Chartered Public Relations: Lessons from Expert Practitioners (Kogan Page, February 2015).

Stephen originally trained as a journalist before following a career in public relations. He has co-founded and run two award-winning public relations agencies; Rainier PR in 1998, and Speed in 2009.

In 2014 Stephen was named as one of the top five most influential people working in social media in the UK by The Drum and a top 10 UK PR blogger by Cision. In 2012 he received an Outstanding Contribution to Social Media award at the UK Social Media Communication Awards.

He is a Chartered PR Practitioner, a Fellow (Hon) of the CIPR, and member of the City of London Public Relations Guild, PRCA, and PRSA.