For this piece, I was asked to consider a PR issue that is inspiring or infuriating right now. Despite being the end of January, my new-year positivity remains at an all-time high, (new year, new job, new me and all that) so for me, it has to be from the inspiring camp! I’m a firm believer in the “there are no problems, only solutions” trope attributed to many brilliant people, including John Lennon himself.
And from one brilliant man, to some inspirational women that are leading our industry and providing fantastic role models to us all in PR (gender irrelevant). To name a few: Mandy Sharp, who has taken her start up Tin Man from a one-man band to a world-class creative shop in under five years. Nik Govier, who leapt from her comfort zone of the multi-award-winning Unity (which she started in her late 20s with business partner Gerry Hopkinson) into the unknown to start afresh, solo. Being brave, believing in herself and creating a path for us all to keep changing up and challenging ourselves. And Rachel-nicest-woman-in-PR-Friend, getting the UK CEO role at the international goliath, Weber.
Just three of countless great women. But therein lies the issue. Keeping women like these, in the industry. The drain of talent – of experienced and truly gifted women – due to established, inflexible and outdated working cultures, borders on criminal.
Which is why I am applauding (and promoting!) what Amanda Fone from F1 and Liz Nottingham from K/GA are doing (in partnership with Bibi and Jane at Golin). They are committed to getting more talent back into PR and marketing, with their Returnships Programme and delivering impressive results for the individuals and the businesses the returnees reignite their careers at.
We can talk about this stuff. Or we can make a difference ourselves. Ask your company what they can do to contribute. I will be doing the same!
Article written by Davnet Doran, UK managing director of agency M&C Saatchi PR
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