Collette Dunkley appointed as Liberal Democrats’ Marketing Director

Collette Dunkley is to join the Liberal Democrats next week as Director of Marketing, reporting to Chief Executive Chris Fox.

Collette, who was born in Liverpool, has led marketing and communications in global organisations including General Motors and Vodafone. She has also lectured on these subjects in various universities, advised many large organisations and is an expert and commentator on increasing engagement with women.

The new Marketing Department at Cowley St will bring together internal and external communications. These will include development of our messages and the ways we deliver them, as well as collecting vital feedback. Collette will undertake an audit and review process before developing medium term plans. She’ll also work very closely with the new central campaigns teams.

Collette’s four priorities will be to help deliver:

  • Coherent messaging that sets out a Liberal Democrat position and values pertinent to the current and future needs of the UK population
  • Leadership in developing a distinctive position for the party based on our policy objectives and on meticulous polling and research
  • Clear understanding of the party’s target supporters and which of our issues and policies motivate them the most to support us
  • A range of new and effective communications channels
  • I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Collette’s wide communications expertise in action – and a really strong platform to take the Liberal Democrats into future elections.

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This entry was posted in News and Party policy and internal matters.


  • Bill le Breton 26th May '11 - 2:04pm

    I take it this is not the Colette Dunkley who is CEO of X and Y Communications or that this is not the X and Y Communications with an on-line store which sells Chick Whispering — by Scot McKay – “Unravel the greatest mystery that confounds average men all over the world. Discover the keys to understanding women better, and enjoy greater success with them as a result. 214 pages.”
    Seriously I wish her all the best, especially with delivering ‘Clear understanding of the party’s target supporters and which of our issues and policies motivate them the most to support us’ having seriously hacked off our previous target supporters; students, tactical voters, public sector workers, urban dwellers, the elderly, the Scots …

  • “I take it this is not the Colette Dunkley who is CEO of X and Y Communications”

    Or is it the same Collette Dunkley who runs a DIY course exclusively for woman, called “Chix & Mortar,” jointly with former Big Brother winner Craig Phillips?

  • What background does she have in political/electoral campaigning? Surely one of the lessons of the Av referendum is that people with PR backgrounds but no understanding of electoral politics aren’t always best placed to give advice.

    How will this role fit alongside the new campaigns dept “silos”? One of those teams is responsible for developing messages and visualisations for ground campaigns and the party is currently recruiting the head of that time. There seems to be a massive amount of overlap with the job description above and if these functions aren’t brought under the same reporting head there is the potential for duplication and conflict.

  • Ruth Bright 26th May '11 - 6:47pm

    Good luck to her, but “gender science” marketing techniques (presumably stuff like rebranding the bird of liberty in a fetching shade of pink) are no substitute for more female candidates and more policies that will appeal to women.

  • Alan Muhammed Alan Muhammed 26th May '11 - 9:52pm

    You have to remember, if she is telling MPs what their message should be, she comes up against 57 of harshest critics in the UK, world and possibly planet, who will gladly show her where she can shove her Vodafone if they don’t think she’s right. It’s not difficult to subvert someone who has nothing to do with you and never previously existed for all the other times they were elected perfectly fine without her.

  • Tony Dawson 26th May '11 - 9:53pm

    Would it be totally inappropriate here to ask who exactly is steering this Lib Dem ship with all its staff structural and accommodation changes? Would it perhaps be someone who is privy to the top secret objective independent review of how and why the Lib Dems ‘tanked’ in the 2010 and 2011 elections?

  • Tony its about 23 years since I last read the party constitution but I suspect the answer to your question would be the Federal Executive (or rather I think it would be if you were asking who SHOULD be in charge of all of that). Whether they are incompetent, asleep on the job or steering the party to broad sunlit uplands I guess only time will tell (since no one has bothered to explain it to us).

    I wish Collette Dunkley well although her appointment really does emphasise how far behind the other two parties we are in establishing a national campaign and communication capacity.

  • Higher order skills in communication will be a great asset – but remember that these will be of no avail if we do not focus on WHAT we communicate. I am still in shock over the utterly appalling leaflets produced by the Yes2AV campaign with their insulting ‘arguments’ which convinced nobody.

  • David Evershed 27th May '11 - 11:37am

    What is needed (by all parties) is a statement in simple language of the party’s principles and how these lead to the policies.

  • Thanks for the well wishes. Just started, so feel free to call me at Cowley Street with ideas and comments.(I am the Collette Dunkley from X andY Communications, the marketing and PR agency, in the UK).

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