About us

The Create 51 team are renowned specialists in strategic communications and engagement, principally in the regulated utilities sector.

We pride ourselves on breadth of expertise across corporate communications, stakeholder and reputation management, customer research and engagement, design, digital and social media. We adopt a common-sense approach to keeping our communications clear, compelling and jargon-free.

We regularly collaborate with existing in-house teams as well as an external network of specialists.

A brief history

Create 51 was originally formed in 2014 by Rebecca Burgess and Jane Gould, both strategic communication experts who had worked in news and corporate PR disciplines, and largely within the regulated water sector.

They found themselves working independently on neighbouring water companies’ business plans as part of the five-yearly price review process. Afterwards, over a post-submission drink, they agreed there must be a better way of offering their specialist services to clients – one that combined their skills and expertise and offered greater resource capacity at the same time.

Eight years (and another five-yearly price review process later!) we have expanded our team with a blend of experienced employees and tried and trusted associates. But our ethos remains as simple as it was over the drink – to deliver excellent, quality work on time, all the time.

PS: What’s in a name? The ‘51’ in Create 51 is the latitude of Sussex where we are based.

 

Rebecca Burgess

Director

Rebecca is a former regional and national journalist, who has previously worked with Sky News and the Press Association. With a passion for words, she has used her 20 years’ experience in delivering strategic communications for the water industry, local government, charities and travel industry to devise creative campaigns and engagement programmes that deliver proven results for companies and organisations.

Jane Gould

Director

Jane is a strategic communications and engagement specialist with over 30 years’ experience in media, corporate communications, stakeholder and reputation management, customer research and engagement. Operating successfully at a senior level in the regulated water sector, she has an impressive breadth of expertise and knowledge of complex business, planning and regulatory issues, and the stakeholder and customer engagement that needs to complement them – with a particular skill in translating complex issues into easily understood dialogue for a wide range of audiences.

Penny Hodge

Director

Penny has nearly 20 years’ experience in corporate communications including media relations, issues management, public consultation, public affairs and strategic stakeholder engagement. She has worked extensively in the water industry but also has experience of working in the NHS, central government and a national sports governing body. She is passionate about working with organisations to bring their business priorities to life in a way that engages and involves customers and stakeholders to build credibility and trust.

Joel Hufford

Senior Communications Consultant

Joel has worked in a variety of key communication roles across the water, energy and health sectors since 2007. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as a broadcast journalist for BBC radio and TV. This range of experience has enabled him to build up expertise in a number of areas including stakeholder engagement, public relations, media relations, internal communications and copywriting.

Charlie Palmer

Senior Communications Consultant

Charlie has worked in a wide range of political and policy roles across the water sector, most recently for the market operator for the non-household retail water market, MOSL, where he was overseeing corporate and public affairs. His experience includes writing for business plans, advising executive teams and Boards on parliamentary and stakeholder engagement, and working with senior stakeholders to develop corporate strategies.

Jo East

Customer Engagement and Insight

Jo has over 25 years’ experience in customer insight and engagement, and is equally at home with both qualitative and quantitative approaches. His expertise covers the customer experience and customer journeys, service priorities and trade-off research, communications and branding, and advertising testing and evaluation. He has worked extensively in the water industry but also has experience of working in the energy sector, financial services, construction and central government.

Katie Mehas

Content and Digital Project Manager

Katie is a strategic planner and content specialist with more than 10 years’ experience in radio, magazines and digital media. She provides copywriting, content strategy and creation, and project management services, with an eye towards optimising user experience and engagement.

Lisa Coupal

Social Media and Copywriter

Lisa has a background in illustrated non-fiction book editing and has also worked as a proofreader for a political risk consultancy. Most recently she has managed the social media, website and communications for a charity providing infrastructure support to groups working with children and young people in East Sussex.

Lisa Hallewell

Designer

Lisa is an experienced designer who works across both print and digital mediums to produce a wide range of high quality creatives. Her expertise includes developing company logos and branding, corporate brochures, exhibition and marketing material, packaging, and designing desktop and mobile websites.