Justin Shaw ExpertFile

Justin Shaw

Chief Higher Education Consultant (Communications Management) and UK Development Director

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Specialist in higher education, communications, reputation and marketing of academic experts

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Approximately 23% of academics have been interviewed by a journalist and 18% have been interviewed on the radio. This equates to about 49,000 out of 220,000 UK academics having some form of media interview opportunities. This is based on analysis from the Welcome Trust.

See: https://wonkhe.com/blogs/why-arent-there-more-academic-experts-in-the-media/

Social media, public lectures, writing public articles, talking to policy-makers and working with schools are the most common ways in which academics connect with public audiences.

The UK has several organisations helping universities and academic to connect with external users

of their expertise. These include: National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement; National Centre for Universities and Business; Institute of Student Employers; Open Innovation Unit of the Cabinet Office; CASE Europe; the Science Media Centre; the Education Media Centre.

See: https://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/

See: https://www.ncub.co.uk/

See: https://ise.org.uk/

See: https://openinnovation.blog.gov.uk/

See: https://www.case.org/regions/europe

See: https://www.sciencemediacentre.org/

See: https://educationmediacentre.org/

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Justin Shaw is a former journalist and head of public relations working mainly in the education sector. After graduating from the University of Leeds with a degree in Public Media and English, he worked for several UK newspapers as a crime reporter, chief news correspondent and news editor. He joined the University of Hertfordshire to head up their news and media operation and subsequently launched a public relations practice specialising in education. He is an authority on universities and how they promote themselves and on how universities communicate internally and externally. He runs his own global consultancy for higher education (Communications Management) as well as leading ExpertFile's UK and Ireland business development operation. He regularly speaks at conferences on issues of reputation, marketing and branding - including three sessions at the CASE Europe Conference 2019. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (awarded in 2012 for services to the education sector) and won the UK Reporter of the Year Award for new journalists in 1988.


Chartered Institute of Public Relations - Fellowship

Justin is one of only 300 Fellows of the CIPR, the UK industry body for public relations. He was awarded the Fellowship in 2012 for services to the education sector (having worked with 300+ global education clients) and for establishing an annual Education Journalist Awards.

EMAP Reporter of the Year

Justin was awarded the Reporter of the Year Award in 1988 as a trainee reporter in the Hertfordshire Gazette and Express group of newspaper. His investigative features covered a wide range of issues related to national trends affecting the local community. This award was presented by the EMAP Group (one of the largest media owners in the UK).


University of Leeds


Public Media and English

Justi studied journalism as a main part of his degree and won the John Newsome Prize for studies in media in 1987.


University strategies, how are they created?

University Business

Justin shaw


Sitting at my desk just now, I’ve just been ‘googling’ what comes up when you search for “universities” and “strategies” ... and I was amazed to see just how many of our universities are launching new long-term strategies this year. In such a time of turbulence and structural change (post-Brexit impacts, HE Bill with TEF, demographic changes affecting undergraduate applications, demands for school involvement and delivering apprenticeships) it certainly is a period for deep reflection, analysis and for reviewing and refining trajectories.

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What MPs think about universities


Justin Shaw


It’s now just a few weeks to go until the General Election – and with this in mind I set out (with the help of Ipsos MORI) to find out just what our current MPs think about the state of our education system and the big policy issues relevant to universities.

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Investing in HE marketing

University Business

Justin Shaw


Big changes are afoot in UK universities. A growing student population with modern day expectations (not least because they are paying heavily for the experience), a dramatic rise in the number of institutions, and strong demand for a range of university ‘services’ all mean a shift in culture. Universities UK this month reported a 24% increase in output from our universities (now amounting to £73bn a year).

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University recruitment: one fifth of students say social media doesn't work

The Guardian

Justin Shaw


The view of university social media as untrustworthy or irrelevant means students don't look for information there, says Justin Shaw, but used better, these channels could count

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Specialist Essays Justin Shaw Communications Management---education-everyone

PR Week

Justin Shaw


When it comes to 'air time', education never gets the attention or recognition that it deserves. It comes under the spotlight only during the annual cycle of exam results, changes to government policy and episodes of 'crisis'. BBC news coverage, for example, has devoted far more time to sport and the arts over the past 12 months - and yet education affects everyone. It is vital to economic growth and social equality.

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PR Interview with Justin Shaw, managing director, Communications Management

Response Source



What industry sectors does Communications Management specialise in? Communications Management is "all about education". Our company works with a variety of clients who have education at their heart – the educators (nurseries, schools, colleges, universities, business schools, training companies, education technology and online services, work-based learning providers), the support teams (charities and commercial partners), the regulators (Government and agencies) and the sponsors (education divisions of corporates and cultural organisations). We also deliver broader public education campaigns (e.g. for the NHS).

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What is the best way to communicate mergers and change in HE?

The Guardian

Justin Shaw


Social media has enabled more people to have a say – and that personal engagement is crucial when communicating large-scale projects, says Justin Shaw

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Distinct Higher Education

Communications directors: How to influence discussions on distinctiveness


A solid evidence-base is key. Perceptions research with 360 degree constituencies, that both identifies the current state of play and tests out potential positioning, is the first step.

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Event Appearances

Expertise Marketing - How Academics Become Experts

CASE Europe Conference 2019  Birmingham, UK


Global Practice in Student Communications

CASE Europe Conference 2019  Birmingham, UK


Coping in Crisis - Crisis Communications Workshop

CASE Europe Conference 2019  Birmingham, UK


How Can Universities Improve Student Engagement?

CASE Student Communications Conference 2019  London, UK


Crisis in universities - incident management workshop

CASE Europe 2018  Edinburgh, UK


How global media cover universities as a subject

BUILA 2018  Manchester, UK



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