Construction marketing expert awarded MBE in New Year’s Honours List

By Anita Jaynes on 3 January, 2022

Wiltshire marketing expert Denise O’Leary, founder of Purpol Marketing, has been awarded an MBE for services to the construction sector in the New Year’s Honours List.

Denise, who lives in Chippenham, had to keep tight-lipped about the award for several weeks. She said, “When the letter came through I couldn’t believe it, it didn’t seem real. I am honoured and humbled to be recognised with the award of an MBE in the 2022 New Year’s Honours list, made exceptionally special as it is the Platinum Jubilee year of Her Majesty The Queen.”

Denise received the honour for the work she has done to demystify the world of construction and marketing. It’s a sector which is heavily male-dominated and where the value of marketing is often underestimated. 

Since 2014, Denise has worked tirelessly with ambitious and forward-thinking companies to help them embrace intelligent marketing through strategic planning and consistent delivery of ethical and clear marketing messages. She has also supported many business owners and directors in the writing and successful submissions of tenders to win work through complex procurement processes. This has meant construction companies she’s supported have obtained millions of pounds of work on projects funded by central government and other large corporations.

Denise has a high profile in construction and has been a keynote speaker at the Big 5 Building and Construction Expo in Dubai several times as well as UK Construction Week. She is a respected international ‘Women in Construction’ ambassador, speaking at events on why women should consider construction as a career.

During the pandemic, Denise took the lead nationally in embracing the Kickstart programme launched by the Government, she was the first business owner in the UK to take on 50 Kickstarters at once to help young people take the first steps in their careers. To date she has supported 166 young people in this way. 

Denise has also published a best-selling book  ‘WINNER – How to win Business Awards‘ published by Panoma Press, she’s a mentor for the Government’s Help to Grow programme and is currently supporting The University of the West of England (UWE), The University of Leicester and The University of Derby with their Help to Grow programmes. 

She has multiple awards including 13 international Stevie Awards for marketing and entrepreneurship from 2021-2019, and her company was voted ‘World’s Favourite Marketing Agency’ in 2020. Last year she was also named among the Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs by F:Entrepreneur.

Denise, added, “I would like to thank all the amazing people I have worked with and my family for their incredible support. This honour is in recognition of all the people who have been part of my journey, and I am so emotional and thankful of this amazing accolade.”

Denise was born and brought up in Wiltshire, she’s a former student of Clarendon Academy in Trowbridge where she was Head Girl between 1989 and 1990. She later attended the University of the West of England in Bristol to obtain a first class honours BA in Business Administration and then her Masters degree in Marketing, all while working full time at manufacturing firm Wavin in Chippenham.