I have a wide variety of experience in PR and journalism.
My eclectic career path actually began in Paris where I worked as special adviser for former President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, at his Paris-based think-tank, Notre Europe, after graduating from the prestigious College of Europe.
I returned to work for the Liberal Democrats becoming Senior Press & Broadcasting Officer with responsiblity for coordinating broadcast coverage during the 2001 General Election. It struck me that it was a lot easier asking the questions than being in the firing line!
Thanks to some talented producers and editors taking a leap of faith by giving me work experience (everything from answering the phones on the then Jimmy Young programme on Radio 2 to a documentary on drugs for Radio 1) I was lucky enough to land my dream job working as Senior Producer for BBC Radio 4’s flagship live news programmes – The World At One, PM, The World This Weekend and Broadcasting House – where I stayed for 5 exciting years covering the Iraq war, Hutton Enquiry and 7/7 bombings.
In 2009 my adventure sports writer husband Nik Cook and I left the big city for the good life moving back to my home county of Derbyshire, settling in the beautiful Peak District.
I worked on documentaries for the pioneering independent production company All Out Productions (Somethin’ Else) in Manchester where I produced the investigative 5 live Report as well as documentaries for The World Service and Radio 1.
After more than a decade of adrenaline-fuelled, news-driven deadlines, I took a career break and had one of those light-bulb cliche moments. Sitting in the park with my god-daughter Tilly I realised there was a gap in the market for good quality, handmade childrenswear. (In case you’re wondering, it’s not quite such a left-field career change as my mother was a couture dressmaker in the 60s whose designs were featured in Vogue and my grandmother was a milliner, so I grew up sewing).
Peak Princess proved such a success and gained such widespread media coverage in (like Sunday Times Style, Country Living, Guardian Life & Style, Cosmo Brides and BBC Breakfast TV) that other small businesses started asking me for PR advice.
Heason Events asked me to help promote the 2011 Sheffield Adventure Film Festival – ticket sales increased by 77% and grew by a further 50% in 2012. I also work on the annual Cliffhanger Outdoors Festival and the new Buxton Adventure Festival. On the back of ShAFF’s success, the Community Sports Trust asked me to help to raise the profile of their grassroots sports project ‘Derbyshire Village Games’ in the run-up to the Olympics. I also work as a freelance consultant for able communications PR & Marketing.
No PR challenge is too big. My only criteria is that I like you and believe in your product enough to want to work with you. I conquered my lifetime vertigo by doing an ‘Overcoming Fear of Heights’ course to promote the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, learning to rock climb for a series of magazine and newspaper articles as well as an abseil broadcast on local radio.