This is more of a personal blog post as I reflect on last year’s developments at Aura and progress with new and existing relationships.

2016 has a ring to it. I like even numbers though!

In the last few of years, my dedication to the industry has meant I’ve committed a lot of voluntary time to the industry’s development (I don’t want to count the days/weeks!), mainly through my role as Board Director and Council member at the CIPR. After making the decision not to stand for Board for 2016, I set my sights on my ambitions for Aura and myself.

PR exists outwith Scotland

I’ve been speaking to agencies outside of Scotland, some of which I am working with directly, some via other agencies and some we are just starting to figure out how we can work together. Although I’m based in Glasgow, my knowledge, skills and experience can be applied across many sectors and clients. The beauty about being independent is being able to be more agile. In the fast-paced business environment we work in, it’s essential to adapt to changing demands.

With a wide skill set, many PR practitioners don’t yet have, I am also knowledgable about more technical elements of delivering a great PR campaign which spans multiple channels including the likes of search, social, content marketing, advertising, emailing marketing and of course traditional media. In the old days of PR this wasn’t always a bonus for my employers, as they solely focussed on outputs and media coverage, but now, it’s paying dividends!

I was really pleased to read Rob Brown’s post today about the nations and regions and last night on #PRTalk, many of us talked about life outwith London!

Kicking off 2016

I want to have fun when I’m working and there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing the work you’ve done, pay off for clients. Two big things Aura is working on right now, are the launch of Hello, My Name is Paul Smith and the launch of Miller & Carter’s first Steakhouse in Glasgow city centre.

I’m also personally working on a really exciting project I had been thinking of for some time – Scotland’s own PR festival. I launched The PRofessionals in December and the feedback so far has been really inspiring. There clearly is a need for this and the support from the Scottish PR community has already been very encouraging.

My focus will be to ensure Early Bird tickets start to sell before they end on 31 January and then to launch the full price tickets from 1 February right through until mid June. Some sponsors have already been secured, the most recent being Hiscox, so I’ll be working to secure a headline sponsor and other partners.

PR community – it’s like another family

I was involved in the second issue of #PRStack, see my post here, and this has opened up a new world of meeting new PR people. Like-minded, inspiring, entrepreneurial…it’s just nice to meet other people who are on the same page, but from a different ‘circle’. Fred from Prezly, who worked with the #PRStack community, has asked me to get involved in another small project, so that’ll be done in the next few weeks – can’t say any more than that, but in the same vein, it’ll be a helpful tool for PR practitioners across the globe.

Interesting, Stephen Waddington (@wadds) beat me to it, today, with a similar mention in his blog post about community see #16.

So, that kicks of 2016! I’m off to watch a puddle! #Drummondpuddlewatch

I’m still a member of the CIPR’s Council, so I’ll be involved in the CIPR from that point of view and will attend the meetings in London. I always try and maximise  my time in London, so let me know if you want to grab a coffee or drink next time I’m down!

Thanks for reading. If you think you’ve got another challenge for me, I’m happy to listen!