Senior PR people : share your platform and make a difference

I am meant to be revising for the last exam for my masters (it’s accountancy, ugh), and so of course got sucked into YouTube where I found this video of Pink watching other people play covers of her songs. It’s fabulous to watch. Her genuinely astonished reactions (and then the reactions of the people watching her, watching them) are really delightful.

The thrill of having someone they admire comment on what they’d done is visible, and heartwarming.

It reminded me of the CIPR Awards dinner recently where current President, Sarah Hall, took a selfie with a young PR practitioner, Olivia Shalofsky (currently an up and coming PR intern at Direct Line).

I saw Olivia’s follow up reaction to that tweet. She was absolutely thrilled to have been noticed by Sarah and included in that picture.

I also spotted this mention of Ketchum CEO, Jo-ann Robertson, from Taylor Bennett Foundation alumni Yarohey Sekha. Yarohey is currently one of the mentees on the BME PR Pros scheme and in her profile piece on their website said how influenced she’d been by meeting Jo-ann on a visit to Ketchum as part of the Foundation’s programme.

For Sarah and Jo-ann these were instances where they were automatically kind and generous, but probably didn’t think much about it after the event. Yet to Olivia and Yarohey these were incredibly important events which had lasting effects.

We shouldn’t under estimate the influence senior practitioners have over those people who are new to the industry. So if you have the opportunity to be kind, generous, and share a platform then do – you could make a world of difference.

 

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Opening the door can have a huge impact

My dad died two years ago at the age of 65. He could be a difficult man and I often see some of his not so pleasant traits in me – pig headedness, competitiveness, and a need to be in control. But he could also be kind, generous, and mischievous.

He was wired that way for good reason. As a toddler he had polio (anti-vaxxers, stay away because I will not entertain your rubbish – a vaccine would have improved his life – and lengthened it – immeasurably). As a result, his right leg didn’t work, he wore a calliper and in the final years of his life was confined to a wheelchair permanently. He knew that the odds were stacked against him and when that happens being pig headed is an asset.

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6 ways to work with the Taylor Bennett Foundation

If you’re an employer in comms and PR, either agency side or in-house, it’s likely that diversity is up there on your corporate agenda.

I’ve written before on different initiatives which can help you tackle diversity issues in your organisation and thought now might be a good time to highlight all the ways you could get involved specifically with the Taylor Bennett Foundation.

The Taylor Bennett Foundation was established in 2007 to improve access to the PR industry for young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME). We do this through an award-winning ten week traineeship programme, mentoring, and summer internship placements. Over 150 PR employers support these programmes by donating, hosting visits, offering mentors, and offering work placements.

Sponsoring a programme
Each year we run a number of 10 week PR traineeship programmes for BAME graduates. 97% of our alumni are employed and over 60% work in communications. These programmes are a large commitment for the sponsors which previously include Brunswick, Finsbury, FTI Consulting, Talk PR, Edelman, MHP, The Red Consultancy, Charlotte Street Partners, and Standard Life Aberdeen.
If you would like to discuss sponsoring one of these programmes email sarah@taylorbennettfoundation.org

There are also a number of other ways to get involved:

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Women’s Suffrage and the movement’s influence on government policy

It’s the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave women over the age of 30, with certain property qualifications, the right to vote in national elections in the UK for the first time (UK Parliament, 2016). How much of that law was influenced by the Women’s Suffrage Movement is hotly debated among academics and historians.

The term ‘women’s suffrage’ is often incorrectly used to mean ‘Suffragette’ but in fact Suffragettes were the more militant wing of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) lead by Emmeline Pankhurst. Suffragists using more law-abiding methods under the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), led by Millicent Garrett Fawcett, did not describe themselves as Suffragettes and there is a question over whether the more famous, militant actions were as effective as the quieter lobbying by the NUWSS (Purvis, 2013).
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PR Interns Should Make Tea

tea cupOver the past couple of months I’ve been pulling together my annual ‘150 PR internships and graduate schemes‘ list.

Something was different this year. Several of the agencies specifically said about their internships that interns would not be expected to make tea, and one said interns aren’t sent to do the coffee run.

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Cry Me A River: What nearly drowning at a PR party has taught me

At the weekend I fell in the Thames. It wasn’t planned, and for the record, I was sober – I was on my way to a party, prosecco and flowers in hand.

I was incredibly lucky that I had four very strong men to fish me out of the incredibly cold water. Had I been alone, I could very easily have died. On average, one body a week is retrieved from the Thames. Continue reading

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10 Gifts for PR Practitioners

Black Friday is almost here so it must be Christmas shopping season. With impending festive shin-digs on the horizon, here’s my guide to ten gifts for the PR practitioner in your life. Secret Santa, we’ve got you covered.

1 ) Best. PR Intern. Ever. T-Shirt, £12.49 – £14.99
For the shining star in your comms team, this t-shirt comes in men’s, women’s and kid’s sizes and a choice of black, blue or red.

 

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