The British Guild of Beer Writers has appointed a new Secretary, as it looks to raise its profile and deliver greater value for its individual and corporate members. Industry PR executive Ros Shiel takes up the new role immediately, reporting to Guild chairman Tim Hampson and the Board of Directors.
At the same time, Jacopo Mazzeo, a beer consultant, writer and accredited beer sommelier joins the Guild Board.
Shiel’s appointment is the latest in a number of initiatives introduced by the Guild following a strategic review 18 months ago. This has seen it run more expert talks and seminars for members, with sessions on topics as diverse as historical beer styles and the CMO’s new drinking guidelines delivered this year. More recently, it organised a Great British Pub Debate in Leeds, as part of its ambition to engage more with beer and pub writing communities outside London.
Hampson said, “We are delighted that someone of Ros’ ability, enthusiasm and experience has agreed to take on this important new role.
“This part-time position will be responsible for the delivery of activity that will build the reputation of the British Guild of Beer Writers and fulfil our ambition of increasing the quality and quantity of communication about beer and pubs in the media.”
As Secretary, Shiel will be responsible for delivering a programme of events and training for members, as well as building greater awareness of the Guild among commissioning editors and others across print, digital and broadcast media.
She said, “We want to get to a point where anyone who needs an article about beer or pubs written, a radio or TV programme researched, or a beer tasting tutored, will commission that work from a Guild member – and pay a rate that recognises the expertise of our members.” One of her first priorities will be to redesign the Guild’s website, to make it a better showcase for members’ work.
The Guild advertised the Secretary position and conducted a two-stage interview process with shortlisted candidates. Shiel will combine her work for the Guild with her commitments as a director of hospitality PR specialist ShielPorter Communications.