I’m Gary and I work in Public Relations.
In my time I’ve worked on corporate communications, crisis communications, media relations, copywriting & press releases, proofreading, reputation management, stakeholder engagement, public affairs, event management, strategic communications planning, taxonomy & metadata management, video production, brand & corporate identity management, marketing communications and internal communications.
I also know a bit about WordPress, HTML & CSS, php & MySQL, Microsoft Office and Adobe InDesign – and I was the ‘voice of Metro’, introducing our event videos (such as this one) uploaded to our YouTube channel.
Here you’ll find out some of the projects I’ve worked on, both paid-for and voluntary.
I was a Public Relations Officer at West Yorkshire Combined Authority until October 2016. Among the major projects I worked on during my final 18 months were the opening of Leeds Station Southern Entrance (pictured above), new rail stations at Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge and the announcements of the new Northern and TransPennine Express franchises.
For three years I also provided communications and public affairs support to Rail North Ltd., co-ordinating communications and acting as a contact point for all 25 partner authorities, managing their web site, briefing journalists, representing Rail North in meetings with other bodies and co-ordinating Rail North’s input into events organised at Westminster by All-Party Parliamentary Groups. This included ‘owning’ the brand, creating and editing content for presentations and helping design displays for Annual Receptions and other events, and working closely with the Department for Transport on major announcements, such as the franchise announcements in December 2015.
I’m a Fellow and Chartered PR Practitioner of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). I’ve been on the Committee of CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire since 2010, when I joined as Secretary (really – first role). I stepped up to be Deputy Chair in 2011, Chair for 2013 & 2014, back to Deputy Chair for 2015 and I’m now the Treasurer. Nationally I was on CIPR Council in 2013, 2014 and 2016 as well as a member of the Professional Development and Membership Standing Committee in 2014 and 2016. Became a Fellow in September 2015, Chartered in December 2015. I was a CIPR PRide Awards judge in 2012 & 2015, CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire PRide Young Communicator judge in 2013, 2014 & 2015 and our PRide Awards Co-ordinator for 2016.
I also stood in the elections in 2016 – you may have read about it.
I’ve put together a timeline showing my CIPR member journey.
I’m a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (Cilip) and was on the Yorkshire & Humberside Branch Committee from late 2010 until March 2014, including a spell as Treasurer during the changeover to a Cilip Member Network.
Having contributed to the Local Government Publication Scheme when I created new public transport metadata terms for Metro’s web site in 2003, I became a Chartered Member as a Route ‘B’ candidate, completing a process that began as far back as 1987 when I started working in the Library at Trinity & All Saints’ College (now Leeds Trinity University).
Thanks to knowing the Officer Commanding at the time, I joined 59 (Huddersfield) Squadron Air Training Corps (above) as a Civilian Instructor in 2002, building a web site, forums, getting lots of local news coverage. No awards, but two awards nominations, including my first-ever short-listing for a PRide Award. I initially filled the position of Adjutant – booking and sorting paperwork, making sure events and opportunities were promoted to the cadets and that forms were submitted in time – but I also taught Air Navigation, spent a week on Annual Camp at RAF Marham, volunteered to supervise at events such as the Race for Life and looped the loop somewhere over York.
I joined Leeds United / Leeds Carnegie Ladies in 2007, initially just to build their first web site but quickly got cajoled into doing other things, like writing match previews and reports, being on the mic at home games, standing in for the Secretary, co-ordinating interviews for players with local and sports media, collecting awards from the FA…
This also included supervising video production and sports journalism students from Leeds Trinity University in the six weeks leading up to our League Cup win over Everton in February 2010.
We were the first club on Twitter and Facebook, the first with live text commentary, the first with post-match video interviews and – we believe – the only women’s football club to launch it’s own Hall of Fame, not connected to a men’s club or national team.