2016 highlights – goodbye 2016, hello 2017

2016 has been another busy year and I’m grateful for all the help, support and business my clients, network and loved ones have given me. 2016 highlights to follow…

The Mews, Aura HQ, Glasgow

Working on your own can be hard. Luckily, I don’t find it that hard because I care about the work I do and I care about delivering exceptional standards. The most challenging part is probably having to do absolutely everything! Although it can be a challenge, it allows me to retain full control of the business and I suppose my own destiny! Being in control means I always deliver a consistently high standard. It means I am always on-time and within budget. One of the biggest advantages of working on your own in PR is being able to put your own skills, knowledge and experience into practice from the off. I don’t take weeks to make decisions, write reports and come up with ideas. I’m rather slick because of my own OCD of being organised!

So what have I achieved in 2016 professionally – highlights 2016:

  • Another profitable year
  • Retained existing clients and won new business
  • Retained my Chartered status as a PR practitioner
  • Came up with my own workflow for client work and new business process
  • Was re-elected for a further two years on the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) Council
  • Proposed and am leading on a major piece of work for the CIPR to understand, value and engage its 400+ volunteers
  • Was badged top 25 Female PR blogger in the UK
  • Developed and ran the UK’s first festival of public relations, #PRFest selling out both days
  • Have re-engaged with other independent practitioners, building further trust between the network and using other practitioners to support my larger-scale work
  • I completed my CPD eight months ahead of schedule!
  • I helped a close friend realise her challenge and opportunity within her role at work and as a result she had a ‘lightbulb moment’ which resulted in a major promotion
  • I’ve realised the opportunity for me to help other PR practitioners by in-house training and development
  • I was shortlisted and then a runner-up for the CIPR’s Excellence Awards, the most sought after awards in the industry (maybe another time I’ll win!)
  • I started to work with larger agencies outside Scotland, offering a white label service
  • Led on a review on behalf of the PRCA with PR practitioners across the world, of the new AMEC integrated framework for measurement and evaluation
  • Launched AuraTalk, a free e-zine for SMEs helping them to understand how they can use PR to develop their brand

#PRFest 2016 – festival of public relations

What do I want to achieve in 2017?

  • Another profitable year
  • Retain existing clients and win new business
  • Retain my Chartered status as a PR practitioner
  • Develop Aura’s own content planner
  • Continue AuraTalk, planning the year’s issues in January
  • Another sell-out #PRFest
  • Develop the #PRFest model for later in 2017 and 2018
  • Learn more about the technical side of the business, such as newsroom integration; how this works with other software, tracking, analytics and SEO
  • Develop a risk management workflow which will be integrated within all of my work, tied in with business analysis
  • Develop Aura’s own training and development programme for in-house practitioners, tied in with my own learning and professional development
  • Continue to network with other practitioners across the globe
  • Land a client in the pet business – my passion!
  • Land a client in the food business – another passion!

Writing my 2016 highlights has been a good reminder of the amount of work I have done and what I have achieved with and for my clients and in my voluntary role in the profession.

2016 highlights at Aura

January – launched Hello, My Name is Paul Smith exhibition at The Lighthouse

February -Paul Smith came back to The Lighthouse for a second event – talk and book signing

March – launched Miller & Carter in Glasgow. Also launched issue no.1 of AuraTalk

June – ran #PRFest, West End Festival and The Big Lunch

September – International Aspirin Foundation Senior Science Awards in London with the winning Boston team

October – launched Therapie Clinic in Edinburgh and Glasgow

November – launched our blogger interview series, helping brands understand how to engage bloggers

December – started work with Solo, an independent retail boutique in Glasgow and Christmas is the first project

Aura closes on 22nd December and I’ll be back in the office on 4th January. ’til then! Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.