Warwickshire media entrepreneurs in running for national awards

TWO south Warwickshire entrepreneurs are finalists in a national awards celebrating female inspirational achievers.

Amanda Chalmers, from Warwick and Vicki Bravington, from Stratford, are among five women from across the UK competing for the crown in this year’s prestigious Woman Who Achieves Awards – Media and Marketing categories.

Amanda, who launched Chalmers News PR four years ago following a 30-year career in newspapers, is up against Kim Rowell, Executive Producer and News Editor at BBC Three and BBC News; Lisa-Marie Tonelli, Founder and fellow Director of The North East International Film Festival ; Natalie Adele Edwards, Head of Careers at Screen and Film School in Birmingham and Emma Wheeler, a professional voice over artist from Hereford.

Vicki, who runs Atherstone-on-Stour-based media planning and buying company Shakespeare Media, is named among fellow finalists: Jo Burton, of Project B Marketing, in Rugby; Louise Welsby, of Buy-From Creative Agency in Shropshire; Colette Bratton, of Small Business Equaliser, in Lichfield and Tejal Prajapati of TP Creative, in Coventry.

Amanda Chalmers, Chalmers News PR, Woman Who Award
Amanda Chalmers. Photo by David Fawbert

It marks the 7th year of The Woman Who Achieves Awards, run by Sandra Garlick MBE, recognising and celebrating the achievements of women in business.

The winners from all 12 categories will be revealed at an awards lunch at Coombe Abbey Hotel in Coventry on July 1st.

Both ladies are mums of two who spent most of their careers in local media – Amanda as a journalist and Vicki in Sales, formerly Sales Director for Quidem, which owned seven radio stations.

Amanda has worked her way up the career ladder as a journalist at newspapers in and around Warwickshire for three decades, including The Rugby Advertiser, Daventry Express and, more recently, editor of The Stratford-upon-Avon Herald.

Now, through her PR and copywriting business, she works with a busy portfolio of clients across a wide variety of sectors including hospitality, artisan food and drink brands, leisure and retail.

She said: “I have loved spending the past four years championing so many wonderful small businesses in and around Warwickshire – even supporting a few local awards campaigns with their PR – and this year the tables were turned and I was encouraged by clients to enter myself, but never imagining I’d even get this far.

“That devil on the shoulder of all entrepreneurs – imposter syndrome – does its best to hold us back, but when I look at the company I’m keeping in my category, I feel like I’m already a winner. What a wonderful whirlwind journey I’ve been on!”

Vicki Bravington, Shakespeare Media, Woman Who Awards

Vicki established media planning and independent buying agency Shakespeare Media in 2014 working with local and national brands such as the RSC, Warwickshire College Group, The Jockey Club including the Cheltenham Festival and Randox Grand National, Bell Court Shopping Centre and Michelin Star restaurants.

The success also coincides with the announcement that Chalmers News PR has become official PR partner for Shakespeare Media.

Vicki, who recently won a Ladies First Professional Development Award for Excellence In Marketing, said: “I’m delighted and proud to be yet again among such inspirational women in my category.

“It’s also fitting that Shakespeare Media should now been working with Chalmers News PR as our official new PR partner. It’s so good for us to be flying the flag for female entrepreneurs in Warwickshire.”

‘Media’ and ‘Marketing’ are two of the new categories introduced by Sandra Garlick MBE as part of her Woman Who Awards this year.

She said: “Each year more and more entrants to the Awards had a marketing and media focus, especially since the pandemic. It seemed appropriate to recognise these women in business and celebrate their achievements. I was overwhelmed with the volume and quality of entries in these fields.”

For further information about Chalmers News PR visit here

For further information about Shakespeare Media visit here

For further information about The Woman Who Academy and Awards visit here

Woman Who Awards

Woman Who Academy

Sandra Garlick is the Founder of Woman Who, a woman in business community that hosts annual awards and network events. Sandra is the author of the  series, a collection of inspirational stories from women in business role models who share their business journey to inspire others. More recently, Sandra has launched the Woman Who Achieves Academy to help women in business power up their personal brand and get visible.

Sandra was awarded her MBE for her services to women in business in the West Midlands. She regularly speaks at events and conferences and takes part in panel discussions. Sandra also hosts her own events and events for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).