Jade has demonstrated why she is an outstanding young communicator by managing more corporate crises in the past two years than most PR professionals deal with in their career. Working in a challenging sector, from a profits warning to a 70% drop in share price, a CEO resignation and the untimely death of the company chair, Jade has demonstrated maturity beyond her years. She also exemplifies a commitment to CPD, having already achieved Chartered Practitioner Status, and demonstrated a strong approach to professional ethics while dealing with an emotive corporate issue. Having already made a valuable contribution to her organisation, Jade is a one to watch for the future.

Mark of Excellence:

  • Melisaan Agar-Hutton MCIPR
    smith+henderson

Finalists:

  • Christopher Bone MCIPR
    Hay Festival
  • Kelly Baker
    FleishmanHillard Fishburn
  • Lizzie Earl
    Munch
  • Martyna Stepien MCIPR
    Zurich Insurance

Winner entry:

Demonstrate your commitment to professional development and your career growth:

Having started my career on the editor’s side of the press desk, learning from CPD has been crucial in transferring my skills successfully into a PR role. After completing the CIPR Crisis Communications Diploma in 2015, I focused on broadening my PR skills through CPD and utilising my CIPR membership, attending the National Conferences, networking with fellow members, learning from their best practice, and applying the code to the challenges I faced as PR manager.

In 2017, age 27 and with just six years’ experience in media/PR under my belt, I felt the range of responsibilities I had undertaken gave me the skills needed to achieve Chartered Status. With encouragement from other Chart.PR’s, who alleviated my concerns that age or time in industry would be a disadvantage, I took the assessment day. The assessors were convinced I had the right experience, knowledge and moral instinct to achieve Chartered Practitioner status-a badge I now wear with pride! I’ve since been promoted to Corporate Communications Manager.

I now also mentor others in my team helping them to achieve their goals and encourage them to be confident in their own ability.

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

In October 2016, after working for the company for two years, I began setting up a Women’s Network steering committee made up of middle-management to senior level female employees. Women from across the business were for the first time able to sit together, share their experiences and discuss how the company could improve the working environment for women and tackle the issues preventing them from progressing their careers.

I managed to secure support from the CEO who supported a business-wide survey of our female employees (with a cross sample of men) to ask them about their experiences and challenges they face progressing in the company, and the improvements they would like to see.

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:

In the last six months of 2017, after only three years’ experience in an in-house PR role, I was challenged with guiding the company through two profit warnings, the resignation of the CEO and the sudden tragic death of our well-respected executive chair.

The company was thrust into the limelight for the wrong reasons and I was tasked with maintaining strong communication links both internally and externally, focusing on damage limitation, maintaining relationships and communication with staff, customers and the media, and work with journalists to gain fair and factual coverage in the business columns.

It was imperative my communications reflected the code, ensuring they were honest and transparent about what went wrong and how the company intended to fix it, whilst also maintaining trust with our key stakeholders and compliance with our legal and regulatory obligations.

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

In 2017, the company embarked on its biggest news campaign in its 140 year history. Coverage of the company increased 1,400% compared with the same period the previous year.

During this time I maintained open communication channels with both internal and external audiences, ensuring we were the source of information, minimising speculation and reinforcing the company as a reliable source.

By continuing to engage with journalists, we are continuing to receive fair and factual coverage.

I am particularly proud that I have helped to guide the company through the toughest year in its history and we are now coming out the other side. By sticking to the code and maintaining strong communication links with our stakeholders, we are starting to improve the business’ culture, which is reflected in the coverage we are receiving from journalists we interact with, who can see positive changes are being made.