Meet the team

We're a team of specialists

We build client teams based on the expertise needed for each account or project.

All are educated to degree level, and everyone is encouraged to cultivate skills and knowledge in areas of particular interest to them.

David Griffen Photography

Jim Michell

Managing Director

An experienced PR practitioner with a background in journalism, Jim set up Barefoot Media in 2002.

After graduating from the University of Edinburgh with an MA in English Literature, Jim moved to Cornwall to complete a NCTJ post-graduate diploma in Newspaper Journalism at Cornwall College.

His career began in journalism with stints on local newspapers before landing his dream job at Wavelength, the UK’s longest-running surfing magazine – first as a staff writer and then as deputy editor.

Barefoot was born in 2002, combining freelance journalism and photography with PR, initially specialising in events.

Jim specialises in strategy, content and PR.


MA (Hons) English Literature, University of Edinburgh

NCTJ Certificate in Newspaper Journalism

Member & Accredited Practitioner, Chartered Institute of Public Relations

WSET Level 2 in Wines

WSET Level 1 in Spirits


Email Jim Michell
Phone: 01208 895089

Ellie Michell Barefoot director

Ellie Michell


With an MA in Mathematics from Downing College, Cambridge under her belt, Ellie went on to University College London to study for an MSc in Land Surveying, working for several years as a surveyor.

She joined the business in 2004 as a company director, taking responsibility for the finances. She channels her passion for growing, cooking and eating food into our blog, Barefoot Cornwall, which she writes and edits.

She is a member of the Cornwall Community Foundation events committee, where she organises fundraising events for the charity.


MA Mathematics, Downing College

MSc Land Surveying, University College London


Email Ellie Michell
Phone: 01208 895089

James Ram/Chetwode Ram Associates LTD 2015

Chris Penfold

Senior Account Director | MCIPR, Dip CIPR

Our longest-serving team member, Chris specialises in PR, content strategy, and the measurement and evaluation of marketing campaigns.

His first experience of the PR world came in 2008, when he worked as an intern for a music PR agency while studying at university. The agency operated in a basement below Vice Magazine’s London office.

Since then Chris has built a career in PR extending across a number of agencies and industries including music, entertainment, the arts, technology, leisure and B2B. Chris relocated to Cornwall from Henley in 2016 to join us, where he leads on client accounts in the travel, tourism and drinks sectors.


BA (Hons) Music Industry Management, Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College

CIPR Diploma in Public Relations

Member & Accredited Practitioner, CIPR


Email Chris Penfold
Phone: 01208 229077

Tom Meldrum

Junior Account Manager

Since joining Barefoot in 2019 as PR and marketing assistant, Tom has worked his way up the ranks to Junior Account Manager.

A keen photographer with an eye for landscapes and portraiture, Tom leads on several client accounts. He is also a talented copywriter, taking a considered approach to research and understand each client’s strategic objectives.

At university he gained a first class honours degree in business, and then picked up sales and marketing experience organising B2B trade exhibitions for a leading Cornish events organiser. He has also worked in various hospitality roles. He’s also pretty handy on a skateboard.


BA International Business Management, University of Gloucestershire

WSET Level 1 in Spirits


Email Tom Meldrum
Phone: 01208 229073

Laura Sherlock

Junior Account Manager

Specialising in PR and written content, Laura rejoined Barefoot in late 2021 after initially interning for us back in 2016. Having since spent time working in other Cornish marketing roles, travelling the world, and working for a leading global sportswear brand, she now works for us remotely from her home in London.

As a Junior Account Manager, Laura is leading on several of our PR accounts, keeping clients in and out of the news where necessary, and is well-equipped to share their stories with an English degree from Falmouth University.


BA (Hons) English, Falmouth University


Email Laura Sherlock
Phone: 01208 229075

Natalie Lake

Account Executive

Our newest team member, Natalie’s role as Account Executive sees her work across our whole portfolio of clients. After graduating in 2021 with a degree in Marketing from the University of Plymouth, she brings a wealth of knowledge to the role, combining three years of studying the industry with previous experience working for Cornish hospitality businesses and public sector organisations.


BSc (Hons) Marketing, University of Plymouth

IDM Digital Marketing Certificate

MRS Market Research Certificate


Email Natalie Lake
Phone: 01208 229076

Ryan Mcfarlane

Design Associate

Ryan brings over 15 years design experience to our team. He is a rare talent in design: able to blend visual creativity with strategic thinking and a deep understanding of digital applications.

Having previously worked for several creative agencies, he went on to found his own, Liminal Design. Our working relationship goes back over a decade, in which time we collaborated on numerous design projects and over 30 standalone websites. He joined us full time in spring 2019.

Ryan’s skills and experience run the full design spectrum, including branding and design for print and digital applications. He owns way too many guitars.


BA (Hons) Graphic Design, University of Falmouth

Member of the International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD)


Email Ryan Mcfarlane
Phone: 07969 547 876

James Ram/Chetwode Ram Associates LTD 2015

Sarah Medway

Graphic Design

Sarah has a keen interest in all aspects of product-led marketing including packaging design and branding. She grew up in Cornwall and graduated from Falmouth University in 2008 with a degree in Graphic Design. She loves living by the coast and finding Cornwall’s hidden gems.


BA (Hons) Graphic Design, University College Falmouth


Email Sarah Medway
Phone: 01208 895089

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