Colin Byrne

Chief Executive Officer, UK & EMEA

Colin Byrne is one of the UK’s leading PR practitioners with 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, rising to lead the public affairs practice in London in 1997. He is now CEO of the firm’s UK & EMEA network and a senior member of the global management team.

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 (Peter) 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.

For eight years in a row, Colin 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 the Cannes Lions. In December 2013 he was chair of the PR jury at Eurobest.