NE comms conversation #10 “Shy bairns get nowt”

Next up it’s the lovely Sharon McKee.

She’s worked in many of the top comms roles across the North East and now runs her own consultancy SEM Communications
(www.semcommunications.co.uk)

You know the format by now…..

How have things changed in the last 5 years?
Digital’s impact has changed so much, not least the power and presence of more traditional media like local newspapers.

What made you get into the PR/comms business?
I liked writing and was very nebby so started out as a journalist – then came over to the dark side, a popular route into PR in the olden days.

Are you optimistic about the future?
Businesses and organisations will always need to communicate – so there will always be a need for good communicators.

What single bit of advice would you give graduates just entering the business?
Shy bairns get nowt.

Are disciplines like PR, marketing and advertising becoming the same thing?
I’ve always thought of them as individual gadgets in the tool box of ‘Communications’

What are the key traits people in PR need to succeed?
It’s all about relationships – making and managing them. Curiosity is key. Good writing (and spelling) will always be essential even in a digital world.

For you, what’s the real benefit of good PR/comms?
You get known for all the right reasons.

What advice would you give the younger you?
Your gut instinct is always right.

What worries you about the industry?
Social media ‘gurus’ who have no experience or background in PR or comms but sell themselves as experts because they can set up a Twitter account.

What ‘s the best thing about living/working in the North East?
Apart from the whole quality of life, fabulous culture, beautiful coast and countryside thing – it’s the people.

What do you see as the next big thing?
If I tell you I’ll have to kill you.

Who will play you when they get round to making the biopic of your life?
Julie Walters

What’s your favourite film?
Dead Poets Society

What keeps you up at night?
Netflix

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