NE Comms conversation #17 “No we don’t repair telephones”


This week it’s the MD of DTW, former chair of the CIPRNE and all round good egg Chris Taylor. Chris is always a first call for anything happening across the region. Here’s his take on what’s happening in our region.

How have things changed in the last 5 years?

FAST. The choices, channels and options we have today are incredible and growing exponentially and the skills we need reflect that. One thing stays the same though – the need to be outcome focused in all we do and always ask WHY? 

What single bit of advice would you give graduates just entering the business?

Talk to people, meet people, stand out from the crowd – don’t hide behind email and social media.

What made you get into the PR/comms business?

I’d done a politics and communications degree and wanted to be a writer and tell stories and was interested in news and current affairs, and looking at post-grad NCTJ options, then discovered how much trainee journalists got paid and thought again. Best move ever.

Are disciplines like PR, marketing and advertising becoming the same thing?

Many of the channels are the same but professionals coming from different backgrounds tend to approach them in different ways. As communications professionals (but no we don’t repair telephones) we have much more in common than there is to divide us

What are the key traits people in PR need to succeed?

Persistence, a nose for what makes news (good or bad) and what engages people, patience and the ability to listen, ability to think strategically and to be able to ‘get’ evaluation

For you, what’s the real benefit of good PR/comms?

Behavior change for the good of society – comms saves lives, creates jobs, attracts tourism and investment and helps companies behave as good corporate citizens

What worries you about the industry?

Our consistent inability to define and promote ourselves as a coherent profession

What ‘s the best thing about living/working in the North East?

The quality of our football teams, erm, no, sorry Lets give One North East some credit – passionate people, passionate places. Bang on

What are the key issues facing the North East right now?

Creating more high quality private sector jobs that will attract and retain the best and brightest young people. Need more entrepreneurs and businesses based here in the context of (whether we like it or not) a public sector that has been changed forever by the coalition government and may shrink even further after 8 May.

What’s your favourite film?

Too hard to say but I am very excited by the new Star Wars trailer – Chewie!

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

It would have to be Charlie Sheen – he already played Chris Taylor once in Platoon, so he might as well have another go

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