Email: hyaxley at supanet dot com
Twitter: @greenbanana – and you can find me in LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, etc
I am proud to be a hybrid academic-educator-consultant-practitioner – a 21st century portfolio worker with a range of interests and commitments across public relations and professional development.
After more than a decade at the sharp-end of PR practice in the motor industry, in 2000, I established Applause Consultancy to provide strategic consultancy and educational initiatives. My clients have included large multinationals, trade bodies, public sector organisations, PR/marketing consultancies, not-for-profits and a number of very interesting small-medium enterprises (SMEs).
I was appointed General Secretary of the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association in 2004 and have helped transform this 40-something-year old body representing communicators in the motor industry into a professional company recognised as a learned society, representing over 400 professional communicators. With an elected committee, I manage membership development, training and networking initiatives, financial matters and guiding the long-term strategic operation of the association – plus the day-to-day communications and other activities. Check out www.mipaa.com and @mipaa.
I am currently studying a PhD in career strategies in public relations under the supervision of Professor Tom Watson and Dr Anne Benmore at Bournemouth University. My aim is to provide insight into this under-researched area that combines academic understanding of career theory and real-world PR practice at one of the most dynamic times for occupational development. I have presented papers at the 2011 and 2012 International History of Public Relations conference, both of which have been published in Public Relations Review. You can read my first paper: The Origins of Careers in Public Relations in the conference proceedings via this link) and my second paper: Life on Mars – Career experiences of women in British PR in 1970s and 1980s via this link. I am presenting at the 2013 conference in partnership with Kevin Ruck on the topic: “Tracking the rise and rise of internal communication since the 1980s”.
I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and acted as the original external examiner of the CIPR Foundation Award and the first tutor for the CIPR Diploma in Bulgaria in 2007. As a part-time lecturer at Bournemouth University, I enjoy working with final year dissertation students on the BA PR degree. I never cease to be amazed at the standard of young practitioner entering this exciting world with the benefit of a specialist qualification behind them. My role also encompasses working with first year undergraduates – who are not only fascinating, open to learning, and funny, but remind me of how quickly the world changes – and how important it is to understand the other perspective. I also work with the London College of Communication looking at professionalism and future directions of PR (as well as supervising final year dissertations) with its undergraudate and masters students.
Another role in my portfolio is more than a decade’s experience delivering CIPR qualifications and developing online education resources, which have supported excellent results. I am proud to be part of the team at PR Academy as one of its experienced faculty of tutors and assessors. I have particularly enjoyed working with online students and creating learning materials for the Public Affairs Diploma course. In 2012, I created the Internal Communications Masters online course for Kent State University.
In 2006, I created a professional development initiative, Green Banana, to highlight best practice in academic and vocational understanding of public relations. In particular, this focuses on new media and social networking through my blog, www.greenbanana.wordpress.com, reflecting my educational ethos, that if you’re green, you’re growing.. I have a few other online initiatives – that I hope to give more attention to this year.
I am a published author with two chapters in the 4th edition of Alison Theaker’s Public Relations Handbook (on risk, issues and crisis management, and digital public relations); co-author of The Public Relations Strategic Toolkit (a ‘how-to’ book with brains), and chapter author of The Public Relations Perspective of Promotional Culture in Promotional Culture and Convergence, all published by Routledge.
As well as being an active participant in new media, I am a voracious reader (anything and everything) – online and printed media. I am fascinated by perspectives on thinking processes (critical, intuitive, reasoned and creative) and my hobbies include a futile attempt to practice canine psychology, hypnotically watching the sea and the social sin of enjoying driving. I have a marvellous sense of direction, oodles of common sense and a sense of humour. Whilst recognising my personal and professional impact on the planet, I am conscious of the challenge presented by encouraging others to develop their PR career in a sustainable and responsible motor industry.
With a degree in psychology, my entry into PR came through working as an industry analyst at the Motor Industry Research Unit, which was part of the University of East Anglia. On the basis of a series of publications and reports studying the global automotive industry, I was appointed as Public Relations Officer at Peugeot Motor Company Limited. My career progressed through roles at National Breakdown (now Green Flag) and Toyota GB Limited. I also worked as a Business Unit Leader at PRISM LLC (a WPP communications consultancy), notably managing the Henry Ford European Conservation Awards and Ford’s cause related marketing initiative with Breakthrough Breast Cancer in the UK. I now enjoy being my own boss taking full advantage of the global opportunities offered to entrepreneurial PR practitioners.
Professional Community Activities
I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and became an Accredited Practitioner in 2006.
Awards and qualifications
BSc Honours in Psychology, RSA Diploma in Business Administration, CAM Advanced Diploma and Higher Diploma in Public Relations (received Women in PR award, IPR award + Certificate of Merit from Worshipful Company of Marketors). PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, ABC Certificate in Information Technology: Image Production and Web Design. Hoping to submit my PhD by the end of 2015.
Why PR Conversations?
As an avid reader of this collaborative blog, I was honoured to be asked to present some UK perspectives to the global audience of conversationalists. This is an exciting time for public relations, and PR Conversations provides a great opportunity to connect with others who are keen to expand their knowledge and understanding of the profession. When the chance came to be involved in the Redux version, I was keen to be part of a new editorial team and build on the blog with fresh ideas.
I look forward to some light chit-chat as well as more formal reflection on the major challenges facing the profession of PR. Opinions expressed are entirely my own, and not reflective of any of the organisations with which I am associated.
I hope to highlight some of the people, practices and principles that make the UK a dynamic PR environment and look forward to hearing from you regarding any topic you would be interested in discussing. Let the conversation begin.