Laura honoured with Sir Stephen Tallents Medal

I was in London at the end of last week and I am honoured to have received the Sir Stephen Tallents Medal from President, Emma Leech, at the CIPR AGM.

The medal was first awarded in 1984 to Tim Traverse-Healy OBE at the discretion of the President to recognise exceptional achievement in public relations practice by a CIPR member.

This year marks 10 years of my voluntary support to the CIPR and industry through my roles on the CIPR Scotland committee and as its Chair, through my role on Council the CIPR Board and now, as Chair of the Fellows’ Forum. In addition, although PRFest is not a CIPR initiative, it is an industry recognised festival which contributes to the learning and development of industry professionals.

CIPR President, Emma Leech, said in her tweet: “When you see people with talent, grit, professionalism, creativity and an amazing focus on others, it’s important to ensure that’s recognised. That’s what CIPR did tonight.

“I’m really honoured to have been able to present Laura Sutherland with this.”

I was a bit emotional on the night, as I don’t like being in the spotlight. I did however, (when pushed to!), give a short speech on the night. I took the opportunity to thank the CIPR and all my PR pals for their encouragement and support over the years, and I underlined how it is our responsibility to take our industry forward. Practitioners need to lead by example, demonstrate best practice and ensure all our ‘PR family’ is included, from those studying public relations to those who are nearing retirement – everyone has something to give.

Celebrating in style

The following day, with a bit of a cloudy head, I had a celebratory breakfast with Fiona Hughes (@SohoPRGirl), finally getting to meet her after years of following on Twitter. Then I headed off to meet Claire Etchell (@nakedprgirl) for coffee, again, finally getting to meet with her after many Instagram chats and once even driving past her in an Uber! Then, I headed off to meet my PR pal, Eva Maclaine, for a late lunch and drinks before heading back to Glasgow.

When I am in London I try to fill my diary with useful meetings. I hadn’t realised until I met Claire, that she had taken my advice and joined the CIPR! It’s amazing the impact you can have on other people (even those you’ve never physically met!), by taking the time to chat and offer supportive advice.

Stay tuned next week, too, as I’m up for PR Consultant of the Year again at the PRCA Dare Awards! Surely my luck has already been stretched last night?! Plus, I won it last year, so maybe it’s time for someone else to win?