Meet the Polpeo Team

Polpeo was co-founded by Tamara Littleton, CEO (also CEO of parent company, The Social Element); and Kate Hartley.

Our team of role-players are from The Social Element. They manage the social media presences of some of the biggest brands and agencies in the world, and so have a real understanding of how people behave with brands on social media.

Tamara Littleton


Tamara Littleton co-founded Polpeo with Kate Hartley in 2013, in order to help brands navigate the pitfalls of social media successfully, and safeguard their reputations online. She is the founder and CEO of social media management company, The Social Element, which she started in 2002 to share her passion for making the internet a safer place. From the early days of online forum moderation to the explosion of Facebook and Twitter, Tamara has used her experience and expertise to help develop best practice standards for digital media on branded online channels.

With a background in content management, publishing, consultancy and operations for the pioneering BBC online communities team and Liberty Media (Chello Broadband), she has extensive experience in community management, child safety, and social media consultancy and crisis management. She is a member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), advising the British Government on the moderation of communities. Tamara regularly blogs for The Huffington Post and Econsultancy.

Kate Hartley


Kate Hartley co-founded Polpeo with Tamara in 2013. She is the author of ‘Communicate in a Crisis’ (Kogan Page, 2019), a book that explores the changing way people behave in crisis situations, and how organisations respond.

Kate has 25 years’ agency-side experience in crisis and reputation management and corporate PR, and is a trainer in crisis communications for the PRCA, the UK’s PR industry association. She has spoken at and run workshops on the impact of social media on crisis management at international events including SXSW, The Global PR Summit, PR Week’s Crisis Comms, and Social Media Today’s Social Shake Up.

She is a member of the CIPR and the PRCA, and sits on the PRCA’s digital steering committee which is designed to shape digital best practice in the PR industry.

Gemma Storey

Gemma Storey

Content Specialist

Gemma has worked in the public relations and crisis management industries for more than seven years.

An experienced copywriter, Gemma creates scenarios, storylines, characters and social content for our simulations; and is one of our community management team. She’s also Polpeo’s own social media manager. Gemma’s style is rather exacting, as many simulation participants can verify.

Catherine Williams

Catherine Williams

Business Analysis Director

Catherine has spent more than 14 years managing the delivery of web and enterprise business analysis and consultancy for companies in the retail, travel and leisure sector.

At Polpeo she is responsible for the management and development of the user interface. She also oversees the implementation of our reporting systems.

Lisa Barnett

Lisa Barnett

Innovation and Content Director

An online community and social media veteran, Lisa has over 10 years’ experience in managing B2B and B2C communities at both a strategic and operational level. At The Social Element, Lisa advises businesses on how to use social media to gain maximum brand exposure.

With a previous background in IT journalism, Lisa is able to role-play journalist responses, and treats simulation participants firmly, but fairly.

Rehearse your social media response