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I grew up in Kent, educated at Maidstone Grammar School, from where I
won a scholarship to Christ’s College, Cambridge. I graduated with a first
in 1981, staying on to work on a PhD on Tennyson and 19th century lyric
poetry. Realising I didn’t really want to be an academic I blagged my way
into a job using my writing skills.
I worked in London agencies for eight years, then turned freelance in
1992. I had young children and wanted to balance my often demanding
working life with attention to those children’s needs (and I wanted to see
them growing up).
We moved from London to the south east coast in 1994. It was easy for
me to work between the coast and London (the fast rail link has radically
cut the journey time to St Pancras). The children have grown, and moved
on. I love the proximity of the sea, and enjoy being part of the vibrant East
Kent and Sussex creative communities, as a musician, and a writer.
Professionally I’ve reached a point where I’d prefer to do work that I care
about. I have to make a living , so I’m not going to be stupidly proud, but I
want to build on two particular associations.
The first is the Institute of Internal Communication, which I helped to
bring into being. My work has always required moving between internal
and external communication. They are the same in the sense that both
require thinking about the context in which your audiences will hear what
you have to say, but then the least thought about the IC context rules out
much that’s taken for granted in marketing communication.
On the other hand changing channels, and particularly the development
of social media, with associated ideas of community, mean that internal
communicators have things to teach the marketing world. What’s clear is
that we don’t have business as usual, and need critical thinking about
what does and does not work. I always felt the IoIC could and should be
playing a leading role in that thinking, and want to do things which push
forward ideas about what’s possible
I think because of my work with the IoIC I was invited to become a fellow
of the Royal Society of Arts. I want to do work which helps people, or
makes the world a better place. I’m not suggesting that everything I do
needs to meet these criteria, but I’d like to be doing more of this kind of