19 years in PR

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It is around now, early June that I started my career in PR in 1999. I know I am lucky because I found a career and a profession that I love. It gets me out of bed with a smile on my face ready to take on the challenges it brings (most days!).

Here are a few things I’m proud of, a few things I’ve learned and a couple I’d tell my younger self.

Proud moments 

  1.  Winning the CIPR Young Communicator Award for the region in 2004/5
  2. Working with Sheffield Children’s NHS Trust for 15 years sharing some amazing stories of wonderful staff, families and patients
  3. Getting my name in the paper, it’s not often that a PR professional is given the honour of their name next to a story, but one particular piece that I did interviewing a man and wife about the man’s Alzheimer’s really touched my heart and that of the journalist I sent it to and they, very kindly put my name under it (thank goodness as my grandpa clearly thought I was delusional when I used to show him stories that I’d written and they had other people’s by-lines on them)
  4. Having the courage in my convictions and starting Sidekick PR with two business partners two years ago. An agency that we believe in and that we run with ethics, strategy and fun at the heart of everything we do
  5. Getting CIPR Chartered status two years ago (something all PR professionals should strive to achieve – in my humble opinion)

A few things I’ve learned!

  1. Pick up the phone, nine out of ten issues can be solved by talking to people, emails can be misread and misinterpreted!
  2. Don’t be afraid to say no, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it (my gut instinct has served me well)
  3. Relationships matter – they are worth working at and the time you need to invest in them pays back ten fold
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help (no one knows how to do everything!)
  5. Honesty and integrity are a huge deal, if someone threatens to damage yours walk away from them

A few things I’d tell my younger self

  1. Don’t let the odd client hold your hand in the PR meeting, it is not ok, tell them to stop it!
  2. You can do this, you are good enough
  3. Don’t fall for the old carrot on a stick, if someone values you they will show you and not keep you hanging on with promises that never materialise
  4. Be stronger when you see others being treated unfairly – you can and should do something about it
  5. You are right to want to learn, keep at it

What next?

  1. Graduate next month from my MA Strategic Communication
  2. Further develop my skills in a PR Specialist area
  3. Encourage others to #GetChartered
  4. Dedicate time to helping the literary charity I’m a trustee of, Grimm and Co, there mission is to change lives one story at a time, something I’ve been working at for the past 19 years!

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