My year as a PR intern


This week I’ve turned the blog over to Hanif Laylabi (@hanifleylabi) our comms intern who leaves us at the end of the month. A year ago – inspired by the new CIPR intern guidelines – I decided to take the plunge and hire a university graduate for the first time.

I wrote about the start of the scheme here and everyone on it has been brilliant. The standard of graduates in the marcomms space in the North East is truly first class. Over to you Hanif.

Back in spring 2012, I was completing the taught part of my MA in Public Relations at the University of Sunderland and was looking forward to a long summer of dissertation writing.

One of my tutors had begun to email the class job and work experience opportunities, but I was set on finishing my dissertation first before I took on the job of finding work. Continue reading

Six ‘award winning’ tips

There’s a great awards acceptance speech by comedian Jerry Seinfeld where he ruthlessly berates the whole idea of awards ceremonies, before ending by saying how proud he is to have won and can they do it all again next year.

You can see it here.

The comedy aside it strikes a note with people because we’re all nervous about putting our own work out there so publically.

With the awards season now in full swing just what is it that makes so many organisations put themselves in the spotlight and what exactly makes the winning ones so successful? And, more importantly why bother? Continue reading

The thick of it – 10 tips for engaging with Parliament


As a local government communicator I often have to spend quite a bit of time convincing friends that my job is nothing like that of Malcolm Tucker, the fictional anti-hero of the BBC comedy series, despite a similar job title and natural swearing pattern.

So it was fairly amusing to find myself hosting a CIPR North East event called: The thick of It – a practical introduction to Parliament. Continue reading

Power to the people


‘People power’ is probably an overused phrase but in this increasingly crowd sourced, community-led, two way street online world it’s one that’s at the very top of the PR agenda.

There’s seemingly a new example every month and this week it was the turn of 17-year-old Paris Brown to act as a case study on the shifting sands of modern news, PR and social media.

So now would seem as good a time as any to help push an excellent event taking place for communications professionals that will look to try and make sense of this rapidly changing environment. Continue reading

Change. Adapt. Evolve.

Darwin - they quoted me wrong

“As man advances in civilization, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all the members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him,” Charles Darwin 1871.

Change. Adapt. Evolve. That’s been the mantra for the past few years – certainly since the financial markets shook everything in 2008 – and that was the key message I took from the CIPR’s state of the profession survey. Continue reading

CIPR Northern conference

Thanks to everyone who came to see me speaking on the social media panel at the Northern conference in Leeds last week.

It was a larger audience than I’m used to but it seemed to go OK and people had lots of comments and questions.

Thanks also to the other speakers Jo Newbould from Asda and Alex Abbotts at Bromford who I really enjoyed listening to, as well as the excellent Helen Standing who chaired. Continue reading