Craig always harboured an ambition to be a journalist, chalking up work experience at the Tameside Advertiser and BBC Radio Manchester and studying journalism at the University of Central Lancashire. But after qualifying, with two jobs on the table, he turned down a reporting role on a trade magazine and instead took up the more lucrative offer of a press officer role at Tesco. It’s proven to be a good decision.
His reputation was firmly established at Manchester Airports Group, where he was head of external comms for almost a decade. His unflappability in a crisis was particularly useful during the ash cloud crisis of 2010, when an erupting Icelandic volcano caused a virtual shutdown of airspace across Europe. At one point Craig spent 33 hours in the office without sleep.
His return to the world of supermarket PR came in 2013, when Asda took him across the Pennines to lead its comms. He now leads a 15-strong team across Asda and George, based both in Leeds and in Lutterworth in Leicestershire. “More than any other company I’ve worked for the communications department is at the centre of everything the business does,” says Craig.