Associate Director for Communications & Involvement,

Bradford District & Craven Health & Care Partnership


An award-winning communications and engagement professional with over 15 years’ experience within the NHS

Shak Rafiq is an award-winning communications and engagement professional with over 15 years’ experience within the NHS covering all elements of communications and engagement including media relations, online and social media, marketing campaigns, advertising, internal communications and patient and public engagement. An advocate for inclusion for all, he has written thought pieces on how inclusive ways of working can bring benefits for communities and the wider workforce. With experience of working at regional and national level, Shak has contributed to change programmes that impact on a wider scale. Prior to joining the NHS, he worked in the higher education and voluntary and community sector as well as in corporate account management at O2.



Why did you sign up to be a judge for The Pros Awards 2024?

Primarily because Elizabeth Bananuka is a personal inspiration and I wanted to contribute – even though it is in the smallest way – to the work she’s doing to make PR an inclusive industry for all. Being a judge will allow me to find out more about the work BME PR Pros are doing and I’d be delighted to help elevate and amplify this in any way I can.

[Ed.: The cheque is in the post, Shak. :-)]

What Insta/Twitter(X)/Tik Tok account should every comms pro follow and why?

@mrrobertmayhew on Tik Tok as he brings to life many of the inner dialogues or wider conversations we may have with peers within our industry

Ps I’d also say @bmeprpros (do I really need to say why…)

What was your favourite PR/comms story from 2023 and why?

I wanted to give a shout out to Stand Out Socks who do amazing work around inclusion for people with down syndrome. In October they launched tiger themed socks for the Leicester Tigers rugby team. This may not have been the biggest story of 2023, but it’s one that struck a chord with me and I’m a big believer in what they’re looking to achieve.

As before we’ve got a great DJ booked for The Pros Awards awards ceremony in July – what’s your dancefloor-filler request?

Moorni by Panjabi MC or Who Knows by Protoje