An independent-thinking strategy and communications consultancy.


Larchmaker is my trading name. I’m Rachel Lankester, a highly experienced strategy and communications consultant who thrives on bringing a fresh perspective.  I look at the big picture and come up with ideas to help businesses flourish.

I analyse where under-exploited potential may lie and craft stories that get to an organisation’s heart and enable real connection with relevant audiences. I work for big international companies, small entrepreneurial businesses and non-profit organisations.

Sustainability is a passion of mine, in all its forms and I help organisations align their financial performance with broader corporate responsibility and sustainable business commitments, developing a more integrated approach to value creation.



I’ve worked at Director/SVP level in large multi-national communications agencies in the UK and US, and have managed corporate and financial communications projects all over the world. I’ve worked for Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Capital MS&L, Weber Shandwick, Headland, Conran Design Group, Radley Yeldar and Gather.


I was Group Communications Manager for FTSE 100 Smiths Group plc before setting up my freelance communications business in 2007. So I’ve been both sides of the wall when it comes to corporate and financial communications – which adds a certain perspective and insight!

Varied skill-set

As well as all my comms experience, I have an MBA and speak fluent Chinese and Spanish, as well as reasonable French. I’m a director of video games company OMUK, founder of the Mutton Club, and a novice web designer. I’m also a judge for the annual HSBC/British Council Mandarin Speakers Competition.







Would your business benefit from an independent strategy review? Hire me for a full or half day core team workshop to sense-check your plans and related communications, ensure everything’s on track, and involve and incentivise your people in the process.


Websites, annual and sustainability reports, speeches, presentations, articles, blog and social media posts, you name it, I can write it. Let me take on the chore and add creative flair to your written materials.

Corporate reporting

Corporate reporting doesn’t have to be dull. Let me bring your business story to life, breathing energy through your annual or sustainability report, at the same time making sure you tick all the regulatory and best practice boxes.


Unsure whether your CR or sustainability activity is fit for business? I can evaluate your existing efforts against standard industry criteria and/or set up a programme from scratch. Work with me to put in place on-going initiatives that match your corporate strategy to your core values.

Social media

Is your company strategy missing a social media one? I can develop your social media presence and run your day to day activity, increasing traffic to your website, building engagement with your brand online, and establishing you as the authority in your field.

Business development

Need a polished, consistent and effective business development and marketing strategy but too busy doing the day job? Let me help bring greater visibility to your future revenue streams.



“Working with Rachel was a joy and a breeze.  She quickly established good working relationships with the team and clients.  Her wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise across a broad range of PR disciplines are deployed wtih collaborative grace.  And she can do all that in Mandarin too!”

Chris Salt, Co-Founder, Headland

Ashtead top-logo

“Rachel has done a great job as writer of our last nine annual reports and has made an often tedious process much less painful. She is able to cut through the corporate verbiage and articulate our story and strategy in a clear and compelling way, as well as finding the right stories to bring it to life”

Geoff Drabble, CEO, Ashtead Group


“Rachel’s organisation of the media at our Security and Resilience Forum helped make the event an enormous success. She effortlessly coordinated the national media including nine TV crews and helped secure excellent coverage for Smiths. Her professionalism and media relations skills under pressure proved invaluable.”

Stephen Phipson, CEO, Smiths Detection

close the door logo

“Rachel’s handling of the PR for the Close the Door campaign has been nothing short of brilliant. She worked with the national media to give us excellent coverage, set up our social media campaign and organised an opportunity to speak in front of the Environment Committee of the London Assembly. She has wrought magic”

Jeannie Dawkins, Director, Close the Door


“Rachel is always full of energy and ideas and is great fun to work with.  She is a good listener who also speaks her mind.  She gets us to think laterally with an instinct for what will work and what won’t, and she is particularly good at making our legalistic prose more readable. We value Rachel’s advice and involve her in all our major marketing and strategic planning projects.”

Hugh Elder, Partner, Gordon Dadds

Think I could help?


For more information on my services, to discuss a potential interim contract or just to have a chat, please get in touch.

Get in touch