Birmingham PR agency, EAST VILLAGE., has unveiled its new-look Senior Leadership Team following the appointment of Susie Burns as Commercial Director, alongside the promotion of Hattie D’Souza, who takes the helm as the agency’s Director of People and Strategy.

The award-winning PR agency has revealed its all-female top team, as well as new positioning that establishes it as the go-to choice for brands that want to make people feel good. At a time when positive headlines are needed most, EAST VILLAGE. is on a mission to put purpose and impact at the heart of communications strategies, promoting the importance of strong values from the inside out.

Having worked alongside brands including Bepanthen, Canisten, Cancer Research UK, Diet Coke, Dulux, Estee Lauder, John Lewis, Mars, TUI, and Waitrose, to name a few, Susie Burns brings over 16 years’ experience to the agency. In her previous event and partnership marketing roles, working for agency groups WPP and Omnicom, she was responsible for growing teams, increasing revenue, and creating impactful collaborations and activations for clients.

At EAST VILLAGE., Susie will drive forward new services and build on the agency’s existing experience across health and wellness; food, drink, and hospitality; tech and innovation; and charity and community projects. She comments:

“It’s a really exciting time to be joining EAST VILLAGE. and I can’t wait to get stuck in helping to grow this already incredible agency. I’ll be supporting Hattie as she strengthens our day-to-day delivery for clients, as well as tapping into our leadership expertise to create and deliver strategic support to organisations who want to build their reputations around having strong values. It’s not enough for PR to make brands look good, we have the job of ensuring that customers feel good about who they’re buying from too.”

Susie Burns joins EAST VILLAGE. having started a career consultancy company and podcast, The Career Couch, whilst on maternity leave during Covid. She’s passionate about helping to identify and encourage pathways into better employment for people returning to the workplace after having children. 

“It wasn’t just EAST VILLAGE.’s ambitions that hooked me in, but that it’s an agency leading by example. As a mum returning to the scary world of work after having two children, I needed to find the ‘perfect fit’ role that allowed me to have flexibility across my week, whilst also still feeling like I was adding true value to the bottom line. Tara is a real champion for creating an agency for a modern workforce and I hope we provide the footprint for more agencies – and businesses in general – to create and build flexibility into every level, especially their leadership teams,” she concludes.   

EAST VILLAGE.’s Founder and Managing Director, Tara Attfield-Tomes, adds:    

“As soon as I met Susie, I knew that she was the perfect fit for TeamEV. Her experience, teamed with an energy and enthusiasm that not only gets the job done but brings people along the journey, is exactly what we need at this exciting time of growth. She’s worked with incredible brands in big agencies, and truly understands the importance of putting people first and growing businesses from the inside out! Our leadership team is one driven by emotion, real empathy, and a laser focus on its people.”

Susie’s appointment follows another new face at the agency; Matilda Gillings, who joins from Worcester-based agency, Conteur. With experience in the health and travel sectors, Matilda boosts the agency’s consumer comms credentials, working across accounts including BLVD Hotel in Blackpool; the UK’s leading art retailer, Castle Fine Art; landmark office space, JQ Modern; and NoLo drinks brand, ZAG Drinks.

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