So, I’m happy to say that I’ve been part of #FuturePRoof, a crowdsourced book and community with the bold ambition of asserting the value public relations has launched today.

With more than 30 chapters packed with practical take home advice, it should be a must-read of PR & Comms people looking for insight on the latest topics. Continue reading

Communicating change


Somebody once told me that the only people who like change are babies with dirty nappies. Over the past few years, through hard, grim experience of changing babies nappies, I’ve subsequently discovered that even then they’re often not totally cooperative.

So what hope do we have as communicators when to comes to engaging with people around difficult and often controversial change programmes?

To help answer that NHS Confederation hosted an event earlier this week bringing together some excellent speakers to look at the issue of communicating change across the health sector (you can see details here). Continue reading

25 tips from the cream of North East PR


What started out as a germ of an idea with a couple of my contacts on Twitter has grown into a broad series of posts about the North East PR and communications scene.

What came out of a few light hearted and sometimes tongue-in-cheek questions was a really positive picture of a region that’s getting its mojo back after some extremely tough years.

If you’re looking for some hints and tips from some of the best comms and PR people you’ve come to the right place.

I was also so impressed (but not surprised) at the willingness of PR professionals in these parts to share their ideas so readily so that others can learn from them. Make no mistake – I’ve learned loads from looking at these posts and would say they make some essential reading for anyone looking to break into the profession.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who contributed.

Last year a newspaper that should probably know better caused outrage with a  pretty shabbily informed article comparing the North East to the run down US city of Detroit. It implied a sense of hopelessness and self pity, well if you work in comms take a look at some of these and see if it changes your mind……

Continue reading

NE Comms conversation #22 “Honesty really is the best policy, kids”


This week digital copywriter Mark Grainger takes to the stage to have his say in the NE Comms conversation.

I don’t know Mark personally, but we’ve chatted a bit on Twitter and he always has something interesting to say.

Hopefully he brings a new and different perspective to the blog, and hey, he dismissively uses the term “social warlock” and casually references Ghostbusters so he’s okay by me. Continue reading

NE Comms conversation #19 “Don’t hate me for saying that I sleep quite well”

Sarah Hughes is the communications co-ordinator – Social and Digital at Teesside University as well as being a multiple CIPR award winner. She was kind enough to give her thoughts about PR in the North East in this guest blog.

An early adopter of a new thing
An early adopter of a new thing

What made you get into the PR/comms business?

I have always loved organising things, events, people, plans anything…..Fast forward a few years and a whistle stop tour of Leeds Met and I was in love with the City, the University, the people and importantly the course. And so it began….. My career has predominantly been in the public sector with time in the NHS, local government and recently higher education – people with a strong passion for something really intrigue me and I think it is fair to say that those working in this sector really do have passion and so helping them has led me to where I am now. Continue reading

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?  Continue reading

NE Comms conversation #16 “I’d do my own stunts”


Last year I curated a series of blogs by a bunch of talented comms people from across the North East.

The response was so positive that I’m back again with a host of blogs from some of the most talented PR people from across the region. Last year the results were funny, insightful and interesting but most of all excellent learning material for anyone working in the profession.

First out of the trap this time it’s the dangerously tall Andrew Ward laying down some knowledge – for free. So, here we go with the 2015 volume of the NE Comms conversation. Continue reading