Skip to main content
Elliot Pill  BA, MBA (Wales), NCJ, MCIPR

Mr Elliot Pill



School of Journalism, Media and Culture

+44 29208 70138
Two Central Square, Room 1.33, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Media commentator


Dr. Pill is a Reader and current Director of International Development within the School of Journalism, Media and Culture.

He joined the School in 2001 to establish an MA in International Public Relations (now MA International Public Relations and Global Communications Management) following highly successful careers in journalism and marketing communications.

Dr. Pill was a Senior Journalist at the South Wales Argus newspaper before moving into marketing communications. He was a Board Director at Hill & Knowlton, part of the WPP Group, one of the largest marketing communications consultancy groups in the world.

During his time in consultancy, Dr. Pill developed and delivered communications campaigns for brands such as, adidas, Reebok, Coca-cola, Motorola, Pioneer, Billabong Europe and Wembley Stadium.

He has also worked in publicity teams to promote David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Zinedine Zidane and Jurgen Klinsmann. Dr. Pill has also advised Lonely Planet, the Welsh Rugby Union, the Welsh Language Board, Budweiser and Microsoft, (among many other global organisations), on communications strategies related to brand building and reputation and crisis management.

He holds an MBA from Cardiff Business School and a PhD also from Cardiff University. Dr. Pill is also a member of School Board.

Dr. Pill is the co-author of Key Concepts in Public Relations. Sage, 2009 and author of Public Relations and Celebrity Culture in three editions of Tench, R. and Yeomans, L. (2006, 2009, 2014) Exploring Public Relations, Pearson.







My research interests span three significant cultural fields: promotional culture, physical culture and celebrity culture.

As a former journalist, publicist and public relations consultant, I am motivated to help audiences understand the ways in which celebrities, brands and organisations manage their reputations in the digital age across these three cultural fields. I mainly use ethnographic research methods, embedding myself in the cultural field of investigation. I analyse these fields using a range of critical theories.

My current research is titled: Waves of Power. This is a critical analysis of the spectacularisation of professional surfing. The work investigates the reification of surfing as a brand with the invention of the World Surf League (WSL). I use Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle to frame the research. This work has been presented at the 2019 Liminal Spaces and Cultural History of Surfing conference at San Diego State University, Southern California.

My on-going research also unpacks the cultural production of 'celebrities', as related to promotional culture and the attention economy, and I have taught, written, presented and published internationally on the subject area. I link this research to a novel Celebrity Culture module I lead for undergraduate students, mixing theory with practice to bring this influential and important academic subject to life. My latest work in this area was opening and giving the Keynote address at the 2018 International conference for the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies in Lisbon. My keynote explored the questionable ethics used by celebrities in promoting both themselves and brands they represent.

2019: Waves of Power: The spectacularisation of professional surfing. A paper accepted and presented at the Liminal Spaces and Cultural History of Surfing conference at San Diego State University, San Diego, Southern California.

2018: Keynote address: Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies' International conference, Lisbon. Title: Model Behaviour: Celebrities and the methods of attention seeking  

2017: International lecture tour in India and Sri Lanka (Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Colombo): Title: The Fame Game: Celebrity Culture and Management

2016: International Lecture Tour in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong): Ttitle: Journalism, Public Relations and Commuications Management Tomorrow

2015: Conference paper: Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies' international conferences, Manhattan, New York City: Title: No Access: The flip side of 'managed' celebrity space

2015: Conference paper: The Centre for Surf Reearch, San Diego State University: Title: Packaging Professional Surfing: You Can Script This

2012: Innaugural Celebrity Studies conference, Deaking University, Melbourne, Australia: Panel Moderator (celebrity production)

2007: Visiting Professor and lecturer, Communications University of China, Beijing, PRC

2006: Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) Keynote speaker, annual conference, Nairobi, Kenya: Title: International Public Relations Futures 

Books and Chapters (2006-2014)

2009: Co-author of Key Concepts in Public Relations. Sage.

2006, 2008, 2014: Author of Public Relations and Celebrity Culture in three editions of Tench, R. and Yeomans, L. (2006, 2009, 2014) in Exploring Public Relations, Pearson.


Nandy, S., Obbard, K., Bojko, N. (2020) Ethical Glamour and Fashion: Styling Persona Brands, WaterHill, New York.  


Following my professional careers in journalism and marketing communications, I established an MA in International Public Relations and Global Communications Management in 2001. The course was created as a response to the increasingly global nature of marketing commuications practice at a time when most academic and practice-based reference points eminated from America.

Organisation were seeking more diversity in thinking, ethnicity, gender, class and language and this course was seminal in creating a space where students from all over the world could study public relations practice at a Post Graduate level to understand the changing nature of this powerful, influential and controversial global industry.

I took the course through professional accrediation in 2004 with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the course is also a partner programme to the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) in the United Kingdom. It is the largest PG PR-related programme in the UK. On average, students from more than 25 countires join us each year, and we have hosted a number of Chevening Scholars.

After 17 years of course leadership,  I stepped aside two years ago to mentor the course directors of the future and lead the International Development of the School of Journalism, Media and Culture (JOMEC). This is a significant leadership role within the School and the University with JOMEC being both the highest ranked School within the University in the global QS rankings and it also having one of the most diverse student cohorts.

My current teaching comprises:

Global Communications Management (A core, 20 credit, module for MA PGT students) 

Global Commuications Management 2 (A 10 credit module to MBA students)

Celebrity Culture (An elective, 20 credit module to undergraduate, 2nd year students)

I will be looking to innovate and develop modules in promotional culture and physical culture as time allows.


Selected Biography:

Currently: Reader and Director of International Development, School of Journalism, Media and Culture

2001-2017: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Course Director, MA International Public Relations and Global Commuications Management

1998-2001: Associate Director and then main Board Director (Youth and Consumer Division), Hill & Knowlton Strategies, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London.

1996-1998: Master in Business Adminstration (MBA), Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University

1996-1998: Marketing and Business Development Director, JBP Associates, Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol.

1994-1996: Account Director, Cohn & Wolfe Public Relations, Clerkenwell Green, Islington, London.

1994: Account Manager, Countrywide Communications, Knightsbrisdge, London.

1989-1994: Graduate trainee and then Senior Reporter, South Wales Argus, Newport, South Wales.

1986-1989: BA (hons) Sports Marketing and Management, University of Northumbria, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Honours and awards

School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Scholarship Research Leave Award, 2021.

Winner, Cardiff University's Employability Award at the Enriching Student Life Awards, 2013.



I have supervised to completion more than 350 research dissertations at Post Graduate level in the field of international public relations, celebrity culture, sports marketing and branding. These dissertations range between 15,000 to 20,000 words and follow either a classic academic structure or a practice-based path.


As former Course Director for the MA in International Public Relations and Global Communications Management, I was responsible for taking the course through two professional accreditations. One with the Chartered Institute for Public Relations and the second with the Public Relations and Communications Association. Both are the directing professional bodies representing the public relations industry in the UK. The process involved extensive engagement with external professional bodies and engagement with the UK and international public relations industry. My former professional experience and contacts allowed me to connect the School to leading practitioners in the field of public relations.

Now, as Director for International Development, I travel to many international countries giving guest lectures at leading Universities to ensure future international students are aware of what we do at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture and highlight the range of PG course we offer. This is a senior ambassadorial role of strategic importance to the school. In 2018 I hosted three alumni events in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to present our new School at 2, Central Square, Cardiff.

In addition to this role, I have developed a global placement programme for students with international public relations agencies in order to offer the opportunities of work experience when students travel home for recess. This allows them to develop professional networks while in Cardiff and significantly increases their employability chances when the complete their course.

Further, I have developed a School MOU partnership with the Communications University of China's School of Journalism and Communication in Beijing and developed a range of partnership opportunities with leading Universities in Asia, Sri Lanka, India, New York and Europe.