Empica announces new MD: Natalie Birrell

Empica, one of the South West’s longest established PR agencies, has appointed Natalie Birrell as Managing Director.

Natalie has been working with Empica since 2019 as Client Services Director and brings more than 25 years’ experience in PR and marketing communications to her new role.

She takes over from the agency’s founder, Martin Powell, who has been at the helm for 35 years and now moves to the newly-created role of Executive Chairman.

Commenting on her appointment, Natalie said: “I feel very fortunate to be working with such an experienced team of former journalists, PR specialists and content creators on Empica’s next phase of growth.

“There are not many major developments, community projects and businesses in Bristol and the South West that Empica hasn’t been involved in over the last 35 years. My task is to build on this rich heritage and continue to develop Empica’s PR, communications and content creation services in a way that best supports our clients’ evolving aims and ambitions.

“Martin has built a business to be proud of with long-standing clients and a close-knit, loyal team. This is an exciting time for all of us and I am looking forward to getting stuck in and expanding my role.”

Martin Powell and Natalie Birrell


Natalie began her working life as a journalist before making the transition to PR and marketing communications, working for agencies as well as in-house for a major law firm, running a successful agency and later developing a freelance career. She has worked with Martin Powell and other members of the Empica team in various ways for more than 20 years.

Martin said: “Empica has roots dating back 35 years and some of our clients have been with us for decades. Natalie has great energy and enthusiasm to take Empica forward to an exciting future and bring our services to even more businesses across the region.”

Martin will continue to head Empica’s work with Louise Brown, the world’s first IVF baby who has been in the media spotlight since birth and lead the agency’s media training and crisis management offerings.

Established in Bristol in 1989, Empica provides PR, communications and content creation services to a wide range of clients locally and across the South West as well as nationally and internationally. With an in-house videographer and PR manager based in London, the 10-strong team supports businesses and not-for-profit organisations in all sectors, but with a particularly notable track record in real estate and property development; professional services; tourism and hospitality; health and social care; education; charities; IVF and fertility; and end-of-life.

empica.com