Our story


Papillon PR is an energetic, creative and results-driven public relations agency based in beautiful South Derbyshire countryside, a stone’s throw from the cathedral city of Lichfield and just an hour from London Euston.  Founded by media professional, Katie Whirledge, Papillon PR sets itself apart by adhering to the ethos of ‘never bigger than our clients’. What matters to us here at Papillon is being able to deliver tangible results whilst demonstrating best practice. We share a genuine passion for language and story-telling and work extremely hard to enhance the reputations of our remarkable portfolio of clients.

Our talented team is made up of seasoned PR industry professionals, crisis management specialists, ex-journalists and high calibre graduates. We don’t compete against each other - yes, we’re competitive - but we combine our individual skills and expertise to create memorable and effective PR and communications campaigns. We roll up our sleeves and really get under the skin of our clients’ businesses so we understand their unique challenges and are able to deliver results that help them achieve their core business objectives.

Katie Whirledge
Katie Whirledge Founder and managing director

Katie founded Papillon PR in 2010 with a passion to provide creative, effective PR solutions for her clients. Katie’s vision for Papillon was to create a culture that offered a personal service to its clients, working alongside companies to ensure the PR strategy lends itself to the overall business objectives.  

As managing director, her unbridled energy and enthusiasm forges long-lasting relationships with clients, media and partners alike, and ensures motivation and creativity within the Papillon team is always at a high.

Katie has over 20 years of media experience having worked as a journalist, advertising executive at J Walter Thompson, copywriter and public relations consultant for a wide range of clients from various business sectors.

Katie loves being active, from climbing mountains, walking Monty the family Labrador, running half-marathons to chasing around after her three, sport-mad children. 

Sarah Murray
Sarah Murray Account director

As account director, Sarah offers consultancy on accounts across Papillon’s portfolio, manages the Papillon team and oversees new business.

After gaining her BA (hons) degree in Public Relations in 2007, Sarah went on to work in house at a national childcare provider, before freelancing for agencies working on multi national brands and independent retailers. Sarah worked on London’s 2012 East End Film festival at The Brickhouse on the famous Brick Lane.

Sarah joined Papillon in 2014, working across the leisure, hospitality and retail accounts. Sarah took on the role of Account Director in January 2016, using her organisational skills and experience of the industry to set account strategy and tactics, offer her PR consultancy services, manage client relations and support business development.

Rebecca Cousins
Rebecca Cousins Senior account manager

Rebecca handles our care, education and housing accounts and is responsible for ensuring work is delivered on time and to a high quality. She graduated from the University of Derby with a first-class degree in Broadcast Media and Media Writing, and since then has gained four years’ varied full-service agency experience.

Rebecca is passionate about public sector communications and is particularly experienced in housing, having worked with more than 20 housing associations across the UK and their developer and local authority partners. Rebecca also serves as the social media and marketing board member for the Midlands branch of the Women in Social Housing networking group.

Lauren Armour
Lauren Armour Senior account manager

Lauren joined the Papillon PR team in 2017 to oversee the travel and leisure side of the business. As senior account manager, it is Lauren’s role to ensure activity is being delivered to an outstanding level, as well as acting as a senior consultant and adviser to clients, offering expertise from brand strategy to crisis communications.

Before venturing up to the Midlands, Lauren gained over four years’ agency experience in central London, where she represented a variety of globally recognised consumer and retail brands including Travelex, GoPro, Bic, HomeAway, ASUS and VoucherCodes.  

Lauren is passionate about current affairs, travel, food, health and fitness – if she’s not scrolling through news sites and social media to find the latest breaking news story, you’ll find her eating peanut butter or spinning in the gym! 

Matthew Dunkling
Matthew Dunkling Senior account executive

Matt has been a member of our team since December 2017. He graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2013 with a BA Hons degree in Media Practices. He has a background in B2B and B2C PR working across multiple sectors and working with brands in home improvements, telecommunications, education and sport.

Matt is part of our care and education team, working to support with strategy and the delivery of exciting campaigns.

Matt is a big Derby County fan and attends matches regularly. His favourite social media platform is Instagram and he attempts to visit the gym once a month... if only to keep his membership active.

Sarah Allen
Sarah Allen Office manager

Sarah joined the team at Papillon in January 2018.  Previously, she worked as a PA and office supervisor for four years, gaining valuable administration experience. Sarah ensures that the office operations and procedures all run smoothly and maintains office standards.