About Us

Prolific North is an independently-owned publishing and events company based in Manchester.

Launched in January 2013, it is now established as the leading news, jobs and events hub for the media, marketing and creative sectors in the North.

With around 130,000 unique visitors a month, our website is the go-to place for breaking news and features on the fast-growing creative industries of Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle and the whole of the North.

Alongside Don't Panic Projects, we recently introduced Digital City Festival, five days of events bringing together the region's digital community in March 2020. The festival featured Digital City Expo, bringing together our hugely successful industry expos - Marketing Show North, eCommerce Show North, and Tech Show North, plus a dedicated Media Zone.

We also host the annual Northern Marketing Awards, Northern Digital Awards and Northern eCommerce Awards, as well as our own Prolific North Awards, which consistently attracts over 800 people, and is the most popular media, marketing and creative sector industry awards night outside of London.

The Team

Nick Jaspan | Publisher

Nick’s experience spans a number of high profile publishing ventures: from launching Insider (Newsco) to financial transactions data companies - Corpfin, Zephyr and j4b - to the media web site How-Do.

Contact: nick@prolificnorth.co.uk | 07788 417660

Mark Dickinson | Chairman

Mark was at the forefront of Trinity Mirror’s multi-platform strategy. He edited the award-winning Journal in Newcastle then the Liverpool Echo, subsequently becoming editor-in-chief of TM's titles in the North West and North Wales. He became Editorial Director for the Midlands and then Business Development Director for the group. He launched the Sport Media publishing unit and led the acquisition of digital agency Rippleffect. Mark is a director and governor of a special needs school on the Wirral.

Alexandra Balazs | Head of Operations

Alexandra coordinates all aspects of the business to ensure Prolific runs as efficiently as possible for customers, partners and readers alike. A huge believer in the importance of investing in employee development, she aims to build a sustainable, quality training portfolio to further solidify Prolific as a supporter of the creative industries. In her spare time, Alexandra loves to travel, read, eat beautiful food and practice the seven languages she can just about speak. She is also obsessed with amazing stationery.

Contact: alexandra@prolificnorth.co.uk

Editorial team

David Prior | Editor

David has 18 years’ experience in media and marketing, as a journalist with the likes of the Press Association and Liverpool Daily Post and in agency-side digital marketing and PR roles with Golley Slater and Delineo. He has an MBA from Manchester Met Business School and is also the founder of hyperlocal news website and magazine Altrincham Today.

Contact: david@prolificnorth.co.uk

Stephen Chapman | Reporter

Stephen began his career at Granada Reports, before moving into the independent sector as a producer, receiving critical acclaim for a reinvention of The Tube for Channel 4’s short-lived radio venture. In 2008 he established his own content production company, which works with major brands and influencers around the world. He continues to produce television programmes, including Hacienda Classical for Channel 4 and Sony Music.

Contact: stephen@prolificnorth.co.uk

Simon Austin | Reporter

Having begun his career in the local press, Simon worked for BBC Sport for 13 years, in TV, radio and online. He was one of the first to relocate from London to Manchester as part of the BBC’s move North. After working latterly as features editor for the BBC Sport website, he left to become a freelancer for national newspapers and runs his own football performance website.

Contact: news@prolificnorth.co.uk 

Charlie Spargo | Journalist

Charlie is a graduate of the University of Manchester, with experience in various media and marketing roles. Having spent one year at the head of the university's large and diverse student media group, he went on to local audio branding agency PHMG. At the same time, he has also worked for a few years providing content on a freelance basis for specialist local blogs and platforms, as well as a selection of national titles.

Contact: news@prolificnorth.co.uk  

Commercial team

Martyn Collins | Digital City Festival Director

Martyn is the Festival Director for Manchester's Digital City Festival - a week-long showcase of everything the Digital sector has to offer ambitious and high-growth businesses.

A successful businessman with Board level experience alongside and within international companies both in the UK and abroad. Martyn has held senior commercial and business development roles in tech startups, fast-growth web development agencies, and global IT firms.

As Exhibition Director of eCommerce Show North, he was responsible for the biggest-ever gathering of eCommerce companies, vendors and suppliers held outside London. His ambition for Digital City Festival was to shine a global spotlight on Manchester as one of Europe’s largest creative, digital and technology clusters. 

Contact: martyn@prolificnorth.co.uk | 07764 406873

Jill Taylor | Event Director, Marketing Show North

Jill’s sales and marketing career started in regional newspapers and includes six years as Sales Director for Newsco Insider. Jill has been involved with Prolific North since 2013 and is Event Director for Marketing Show North - the biggest marketing expo outside London. Jill has recruited, trained and managed sales teams, as well as run successful marketing campaigns for national brands.

Contact: jill@prolificnorth.co.uk | 07879 471636

Carol White | Business Development Manager

Carol is a digital marketing specialist who has over 20 years’ experience in publishing; first working at the Stockport Express then going on to work at Imprint publishing and Insider Media in both production and sales roles. Having over nine years’ experience in digital marketing, Carol works closely with companies to help them promote their brands online and build digital marketing campaigns across all touchpoints.

Contact: carol@prolificnorth.co.uk | 07864 867676

Rebecca Waterhouse | Commercial Manager

Rebecca has worked in the publishing sector for nearly 20 years and has been part of the huge transition towards digital media. She started her career at Future Publishing, working with a number of key clients in the music industry before moving to Origin Publishing, where she spent five years managing the sales team on the women's interest titles. This was followed by 11 years at Insider Media managing the national sales team and working with a number of B2B clients across the UK offering a range of sales solutions including print, digital and event sponsorships. 

Contact: rebecca@prolificnorth.co.uk | 07747 604039

Charlie Benson | Commercial Marketing Manager

Charlie discovered her love for content creation when she joined the editorial team of one of the University of York's student newspapers. After rising quickly to be elected editor-in-chief of the paper, she began her journey into marketing. With several years' experience across B2C and B2B marketing and communications, Charlie joined Prolific North in April 2019 as Commercial Marketing Manager. 

Contact: charlieb@prolificnorth.co.uk