My year as a PR intern

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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

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Snow blower

Hadrians wall snow

So, you’ve had some snow recently? There’s been so much written about it in the last week that the only remaining headline is a reference to robot-based 1980’s comedy movie Short Circuit.

But while you were kicking through a light dusting of white powder, I hope you spared a thought for us in the most Northern English County. Redesdale in Northumberland was the snowiest place in England with 33cm in a single day. On top of that we had 12 foot snow drifts and a 3,500 mile road network to worry about. Continue reading

A town trail, a history lesson & some cheesecake

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A guest post this week from Rachel Williamson who works in our Morpeth Tourist Informaton Centre (TIC). Rachel is one of our most enthusiastic employees, she’s passionate about Northumberand, is only 21 (just) and loves cheesecake. You’ve seen her in a previous post on the front of our magazine. She tweets here: @r3w

Northumberland is a County filled with sensational scenery, captivating castles and beautiful beaches, all of which us residents occasionally forget about or even take for granted. Aside from the obvious big attractions we have so many hidden gems, so many towns and villages that are steeped with history just waiting to be uncovered.

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Social speed now a vital public sector tool

One thing that has surprised me about social media is the sheer speed that it has been adopted by consumers and taken off as a vital corporate tool.

Although I’ve used it for a good few years professionally I was pretty sceptical about how much value it would add for local councils communicating directly with residents.

Thankfully I was interested enough in it as an experiment (for the wrong reasons as it turned out) to push hard for the council to use and invest in social media over a number of years. Continue reading

Tourism gets social

A guest post this week from @angela_tait, who works in our tourist information centres, but has really embraced social media to help promote what’s on offer. She writes:

Joining the County Councils Tourism Team back in October 2011 I was charged with managing the Tourist Information Centres and developing visitor information.

Immediately I was impressed by the staff I was going to manage, their immense knowledge of the county and their passion for attracting new faces to Northumberland. It’s not just about providing visitor information though, we also support more than 250 local producers, showcasing the finest locally made products from art, photography, jewellery, food, crafts and much more which made me question from day one – how do we tell people about this?

Continue reading