Hi. I created this blog so I could write about, and comment on, the latest innovations in marketing and communications. I’ve been working in the field of communications for more years than I care to admit to (at least 30) and things have changed beyond recognition in that time. I used to get a thrill from seeing the presses roll through the glass walls of the national newspaper offices in Fleet Street (yes, they still were on Fleet Street then) and loved to pick up the early editions of the papers before catching the last train home from London.

Throughout my career I’ve striven to learn about, understand and (I hope) master new things. I started off studying Physics at university but developed an interest in politics while there. This led to me working for a year after graduation as assistant to the leader of the, then, largest political party in Northern Ireland. This time taught me how to negotiate, how to influence people and brought me into close contact with the media.

As a result of my Physics background, I got a job editing technical publications for the Institution of Electrical Engineers. While there, I trained in newspaper and magazine design, along with sub-editing skills at the London College of Printing. Later I moved to the Atomic Energy Authority – the UK research organisation – to work on employee communications. This was an exciting time and I branched out into other areas, including hosting a group of national science reporters on a trip to mark the anniversary of the fire at Windscale nuclear reactor.

I then moved to British Gas to write, edit and design an employee newspaper. ‘Subbing on the stone’ at the printers was always exciting and I loved seeing the project through from an initial idea, through writing, commissioning photographs and design right through to seeing the presses roll. Shortly later I was promoted, ending up as the company’s youngest-ever regional PR chief. Reorganisation of the company led me to take national responsibilities for PR, employee comms and media relations at various stages throughout my time there.

In 2004, with yet another company restructuring I decided it was time to stop working for someone else 24 hours a day (did I mention I was on call for media enquiries at any time?). So I set up my own business, Lattice PR, which has been offering communications support to businesses  in the UK, the US and Europe ever since.

I’ve continued to develop my skills in other areas, however, and it’s amazing how technology allows us to do things that we could once only dream of. Throughout I’ve looked for ways in which I could learn about techniques and services which would benefit small businesses and individuals keen to be successful.

For example, I became frustrated over how long it would take for changes to be made to my website, so I learned WordPress and built my own. I’ve since built websites for other companies and organisations (including my daughters’ school!) and offer WordPress design and maintenance services through my Jeeves4WordPress brand.

I was also surprised by how much people were still paying for their website hosting – even if they got a cheap deal from one of the big players in the market, these deals often quietly disappeared after a year and reverted to higher costs. So I launched my own web hosting company – Jeeves4Hosting.

Throughout all this, I’ve been able to spend much more time bringing up my daughters than I could ever have done working full time for someone else. I get to take them both to school and to collect them, attend all their school events and join them at their after-school clubs. They’re still little so they haven’t told me to go away and stop bothering them yet!

 

 

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