Former CEO, UK & EMEA Weber Shandwick
Colin Byrne is one of the UK’s leading PR and public affairs practitioners with over thirty years’ experience spanning domestic and international public relations programmes, communications and campaign strategy, politics and public affairs, CSR and issues management.
He joined Weber Shandwick in 1995, moving onto lead the public affairs practice in London in 1997 rising to CEO of the firm’s UK & EMEA network and a senior member of the global management team. Colin left Weber Shandwick late 2017.
After several years in private and not-for-profit sector PR, Colin joined the British Labour Party’s communications team in 1987 and was quickly promoted to Head of Press & Broadcasting. He served as deputy to, then Labour Party Communications Director, Lord Mandelson (Tony Blair’s lead strategist) and press aide to Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Jack Straw.
In 1992 he became the first Communications Director of The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum, the international NGO founded by HRH The Prince of Wales. He managed corporate communications for the Forum globally and worked with leading international firms on the communication of their own CSR activities.
In May 2015, Colin was honoured with an Individual Achievement Award at the EMEA SABRE awards for his service and dedication to the industry over the last 30 years. For eight years in a row he appeared in GQ’s annual “100 Most Influential Men in Britain” ranking. He has appeared on BBC TV’s ‘Question Time’ and is a regular commentator and speaker on communications issues. Colin has been a judge for many of the key industry award programmes including Cannes Lions and in 2013 he was Chair of the PR jury at Eurobest. He is a Visiting Fellow at The Reuters School of Journalism at Oxford University and a Trustee of ActionAid UK and The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.