CIPR visits friends in the north

“How do you prepare for the unexpected and are you really ready if the very worst happens?”

England had just gone out of the World Cup, the Prime Minister was under extreme pressure, two leading cabinet ministers had just resigned, Donald Trump was visiting the UK and it was Friday the 13th. The perfect day for the CIPR Northern Conference which started with a striking question posed by Laurie Bell, who has been working at the heart of the Salisbury poisoning incident. Continue reading

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Devolution, taxis and brown ale

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It’s the same the world over. If you want to understand the mood of a city just ask a taxi driver.

Well, the organisers of our devolution update did just that and found their Newcastle cabbie knew all about it, but he sagely warned that “in ten years time it will all go back round again and powers will re-centralised”.

The idea of a cosmic wheel that just keeps spinning round certainly isn’t the communications challenge I was expecting but actually it does have some basis in reality. Continue reading

Not dead, just different: Big media in a social media world.

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In a week when Newcastle Brown Ale admitted it was changing the recipe to please some Americans who don’t like the colour, it seems fitting that I was at the site where there famous ‘dog’ was once brewed.

The brewery has now been bulldozed after the familiar corporate merger/ acquisition/ sale process that seems to do for everything these days and a new science city building called ‘the core’ stands on the spot where millions of bottles of booze once rolled off the production line. Continue reading

PR: The student perspective

A few weeks ago I was asked to talk to some current PR students at Sunderland University, as part of an event set up by the CIPR North East.

It was a really interesting day where the students got to quiz some local employers and we got the chance to speak to potential future recruits.

There were some useful exchanges and one of the students Jess Ramsey agreed to write a blog about her thoughts on the PR industry. Continue reading