External Relations Manager, Leeds Beckett University
Length of PR career (so far): Over ten years working in PR in higher education
Biggest complaint about social media: Why does everyone think that they are an expert?! Interestingly, a recent U.S. study concluded that social norms allow those who claim expertise to adopt a more closed-minded position. I believe that in setting aside our knowledge and preconceptions we are more open to new ideas and possibilities.
Most interesting thing about your job: Working in a university environment helps to stimulate the mind as we shape communications strategies to unpack sometimes incredibly complex concepts and make them accessible to a wider audience. From gaining insights into how to best deal with the country’s obesity crisis, to tackling equality and social justice, it genuinely feels like the work we promote makes a tangible difference to society. The sheer variety of the research that is undertaken at a large university as well as the passion of the academics for their subject, means my job continues to be interesting.
Rate your math skills from 1-10: 10-8 = 2.5
Best advice to a PR student: As a former student of PR working for a University which teaches PR, this one is easy for me to answer! I always encourage students to seek out opportunities that will help them demonstrate their passion and commitment to pursuing a career in PR. Whilst I firmly believe in the value of PR education, in isolation it isn’t enough to demonstrate the skills needed to be a success in this industry.
Favorite non-work hobby: Spending time with my family in the outdoors—we love nature!
Last book you read: Still working my way through The Silk Roads—a book about world history in light of the economic and political renaissance in the re-emerging east. Has definitely reframed the way I look at the world!
Favorite movie this year: I’m not sure I’ve actually made it to the cinema this year, but watched American Sniper recently and was gripped by the storyline!
Your first “real” job: Pizza chef for a business run by a family friend.
Your ideal Saturday: Not being woken up pre 6am by the kids! Park Run followed by breakfast in Roundhay near where we live in Leeds. An afternoon of sporting success for Gloucester Rugby and Arsenal followed by heading out to one of Leeds’s many live music venues to catch a new or emerging artist.