Presidential visit

Thursday night saw the comms version of Airforce one roll into town (via a five hour train journey) as the new CIPR President Sarah Pinch visited Newcastle to explain her vision for the next 12 months.

Sarah has a really impressive and interesting back story so it was great to see her make such a long journey and take the time to meet the North East group. Continue reading

The NE comms conversation: 15 reasons to work in communications


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.

Austerity and downturn has hit us harder than most other places, but these blogs speak to me about an area full of confidence, humour, defiance, innovation, hard graft, excitement and crucially a desire to roll up sleeves get things done.

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.

One of my least favourite newspapers caused controversy earlier this year 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……

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NE Comms conversation #13 “That’s probably why I went grey at about 30”


I really hope you’ve enjoyed all the blogs so far and I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has contributed to a great conversation about our industry in the North East.

Because I would never ask people to do anything I wouldn’t do myself, I’ve had a go at answering some of the questions that I’ve been pestering everyone else with.

I’ve strapped myself down, adopted an aggressive tone, turned on the interrogation lamp (normal weekend stuff really) and tried to add my ten pence worth to the debate.

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NE comms conversation #12 “creating a meaningful dialogue”

Rachel McBryde is the Business Development Director at Gardiner Richardson.

It’s great to get the views of someone so senior at one of the region’s top PR agencies and add more to this conversation about communications in the North East. There are some fantastic tips here for people looking to break into the industry as well as some great commentary on how PR is changing.

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NE Comms conversation #8 “Last had a night’s sleep in 2005”

Stuart Mackintosh spent nine years in journalism, including a spell as Chief Reporter at The Northern Echo, before moving into communications in 2006.

He has had two spells in North-East local government comms – either side of two years as a consultant – and is a former winner of the CIPR North-East Outstanding Young Communicator award.

Stuart is currently Communications Manager at pensions administrator RPMI, in Darlington

I’ve admired his work (and excellent blogging) for a long time and now he has his say on the North East comms scene….

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NE Comms conversation #5 “We worry we’ll get it right because we care”


Some say PR and media stalwart, others say Mr Northumberland.

Either way when Gordon Arnott talks, people listen.

A former journalist and senior communicator at One North East Gordon is also a multiple CIPR North East Pride award winner. He’s taken some time out to offer some words of wisdom on the state of the sector in the North East and it makes some fascinating reading…

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