The Team

Rowena Holland

Managing Director
Rowena (Row) Holland has more than 35 years experience of publishing and public relations. As a journalist she worked on a broad range of publications in the agricultural, catering, food, inflight and travel retail sectors including International Tax Free Trader and DFNI. From 1988 to 1996 she acted as a consultant within UK PR company, The PM Partnership, specialising in food and catering accounts.In 1996 Rowena saw a niche for an agency that would specialise in duty free/travel retail and Essential Communications was born. 

Alison Farrington

Account Manager

Alison brings to Essential Communications 25years of experience as a B2B retail industry journalist and PR specialist. During her career she has travelled the globe reporting from fashion’s frontline while being a retail analyst for trend forecasting services WGSN andThe Future Laboratory. She has written for titles including Viewpoint, Drapers and Retail Week.

More recently, her focus has been on GlobalTravel Retail with positions as Associate Editor at DFNI and Frontier, Intelligence Editor at Global Blue and PR & Marketing Consultant at specialist digital marketing agency Echolution. Here, she focused on travel retail market insights and traveller demographics to help travel retail brands market to traveller groups. She continues to write about phygital retail and omnichannel trends for freelance clients.

Chris Madden

Account Manager

Chris has more than a decade's experience as a journalist across news, business, brands and leisure. He spent three years writing about duty free and travel retail with Frontier and DFNI as Business Editor, Brands Editor and Tobacco Editor, he also helped organise and presented the annual Frontier Awards in Cannes. Prior to that he worked for six years on newspapers with Trinity Mirror and Northcliffe as a reporter, editor and Leisure Editor.​

Ben Holland

Media Coordinator & Social Media Manager
Ben joined Essential Communications in 2010 after taking both PR and social media marketing courses in London. Ben’s role is wide-ranging and includes monitoring press coverage, writing and issuing releases, managing our social media presence, and providing general assistance to clients and the media.

Jayne Cooper

Events Manager
Jayne has some 20 years experience of the travel retail industry having first joined Tax Free World Association (TFWA) as PA to Sarah Branquinho, then Commercial Director, in 1995. Since then, she has served in various roles for TFWA, including the assistance and management of conferences and the organisation of TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes and TFWA Asia Pacific in Singapore.  Jayne also has experience working as a freelance events organiser and venue finder for various companies including London-based agency, Financial Marketing. Jayne continues to provide editorial texts for TFWA.

Rebecca Mann

Account Manager

Rebecca has over 25 years’ experience in travel retail, including roles as Executive Director – Editorial at The Moodie Davitt Report and Managing Editor at DFNI. Additionally, she has extensive experience as a copywriter, content creator and account manager at travel retail and domestic PR agencies, supporting leading global brands.She is a versatile writer and communicator with extensive experience within multimedia B2B and B2C publishing. Competencies include media releases, social media content, web and print copy, blogs, email campaigns, brochures, advertisements, direct mail, awards submissions and newsletters.

“Feedback on LinkedIn has been good, if I recall well I had up to 7,000 – 8,000 views for some of the editorial articles (about Ricola) I shared. On top of that, overall response from retailers has also been very positive, not that I can put down my finger how much the journalist visit and subsequent articles had to do with it but I felt some good vibes in the second half. I guess it’s a reflection of the good PR work we’ve done with EC over the last two years on many fronts.”
Andreas Reckart, Vice President Sales Middle East & Travel Retail, Ricola (post a TR journalist visit to herb farm and factory)