Anne-Marie has shown great courage and entrepreneurship in founding her own company, where she has demonstrated strong achievements in her client work. She generously gives her own time to contribute to her local CIPR regional group, mentoring students and reverse mentoring more mature practitioners, alongside lecturing at the University of Sunderland on social media practice. While her career journey hasn’t always been a smooth path, she has shown maturity in dealing with adversity. Her commitment to gender equality in the PR profession reflects her passion for fairness and ethical practice. She is the epitome of an all-rounder and shows great promise as a future leader.

Finalists:

  • Alasdair Reynolds MCIPR
    Recruitment & Employment Confederation
  • Amy Grinstead MCIPR
    Carswell Gould
  • Bryony Chinnery MCIPR
    AprilSix Proof
  • Laura Crimmons MCIPR
    Branded3
  • Niall Caldwell Chart.PR, MCIPR
    Ulster Bank

Entry:

Demonstrate your commitment to professional development and your career growth:

My commitment to CPD has played a significant role in my career growth, progressing through agencies from PR manager, to heading up a team, and now I’ve co-founded an agency. I logged my first CPD cycle in 2012, and have completed appraisals each year.  I became an Accredited Practitioner in 2014 at the age of 27. With each completed cycle, my skill set increased, as well as my level of responsibility, seniority, and the respect I’ve gained from clients and colleagues alike.

I have always sought out mentors to ensure my development is on track and my decisions are challenged.  My CPD plan is thorough and wide ranging and the next step for me is to #GetChartered in 2017.

I’m an advocate of CPD and now mentor others too.  As Secretary of the CIPR NE Committee, I work with the group to deliver events that are beneficial to members and the wider PR community, securing speakers from across the UK to share best practice with PR professionals from our region.

 

Outline your work-related achievements over the last two years and how they contribute to the wider industry:

In 2015 I approached the CIPR President to set up the CIPR’s Young Communicators’ Forum, and I continue to co-chair the group.  It is exclusive to past winners of the award and the group has contributed to CIPR outputs, such as the ethics decision tree launched in 2016.

I am also an Academic Tutor; designing and delivering the social media module to post-grad students studying for a degree in PR at the University of Sunderland.  I am passionate about the next generation, triumphing diversity and offering support, all of which I believe will contribute to the wider industry.

My biggest achievement to date came in October 2016, when I co-founded my own PR agency, Filament PR.

My business partner, Jason Knights, owns another very successful company, working with big entertainment brands.  Jason was a client of mine at my previous employer. Despite having previous negative experiences with PR people, he briefed me in on a job and was surprised when I told him I wasn’t prepared to do what he was asking for.  After interrogating his objectives, I suggested an alternative course of action, and reluctantly he agreed.  We gained excellent results.

During 2015 his clients began asking who he was using for his business’ PR, and if he could recommend anyone.  Our plans for Filament PR were born. Jason offered a 50/50 partnership, and we are now enjoying a full new business pipeline.

The vision and values of Filament PR are built on my professional principles: to be a leading light and shining example of best practice.  I call out bad practice by showing my clients there’s a better way, I challenge their briefs and help them to demand more from the PR people they work with.  I work hard to demonstrate my worth, by using data to enlighten strategies that are aligned to business objectives, while demonstrating ROI. I’m setting an example, that driven by client demand, I hope others will follow, in turn contributing to the wider industry.

 

Outline the biggest work-related challenge you have faced in the past two years, including details of what happened, how you overcame it and what you learnt from it:

During my time of working in PR at a senior level, I’ve learned the value of good working relationships with clients, colleagues and the CIPR. Time-served has solidified my understanding of the Code, giving me first-hand experience of professionalism in practice during challenging times.  It has also improved my personal resilience.

 

A summary of a campaign you are particularly proud of, including details of the brief, objectives, strategy, tactics, outputs, outcomes and budget:

Brief:

Raise awareness of the launch of a membership organisation’s national awards scheme.

Objectives:

  • Achieve at least 30 entries across nine categories with a minimum of one entry per category
  • Sell 150 tickets to awards ceremony
  • Support internal team to secure at least three sponsors.

Strategy and tactics:

Integrated online-first strategy to drive traffic to client’s website whereby people download entry form and purchase tickets to awards ceremony.

Outputs:

  • MPUs on targeted websites and LinkedIn ads
  • Releases to targeted online (and print) media announcing key mile stones in awards
  • Secured guest blog posts for client’s spokespeople on industry influencers’ websites
  • Advised on social media strategy and provided in-house training
  • Drafted SEO-optimised web copy and blogs with content seeded across social media
  • Created awards-specific emailers to targeted datasets.

Outcomes:

  • Over 20 pieces of online coverage secured in target media and six guest blog posts delivered
  • 15% of web traffic driven by referral, email and social during campaign
  • Organic search number one driver of traffic to website during campaign
  • 441 views of specific entry download webpage with 66 downloads completed
  • 34 award entries achieved with at least one entry in each category
  • 180 tickets sold to the awards ceremony
  • Four awards sponsors including one headline sponsor secured.