Talking Point

On the Fourth Day of Christmas: Choice

Julie Jupe and I met through the South West regional committee of the Chartered Institute of PUblic Relations.  We meet for dinner (not nearly often enough) with two other committee members and have formed firm friendships.  She’s an inspiring woman, having worked in some very challenging areas, including the police.  She now leads the communications team for the University of Bristol.

Here she reflects on choice and shares with us some of her wise men and women.

What does choice mean to you?

Choice, is for me, is all about wellbeing and balance.  I’m not talking about the big life decisions that we make around work, money and relationships, but the small choices we make every day, sometimes without even realising it.  In an uncertain world, where our daily lives are filled with social media, gadgets pinging reminders of meetings and emails, and doom and gloom in the news – it is easy to forget that there are choices. You can choose how you respond.  Choose what you will pay attention to, and what you will ignore. Choose to be annoyed. Choose to see the positive.  Notice the fact that you could spend all day reacting to others – but whether you do or not is your choice.  By noticing choice, you take back control – it is immensely liberating.

What importance has it been to you in 2017?

At work, I’ve been expanding my team and recruiting into new roles.  There are lots of talented communications people around which made the recruitment process tough.  I’ve led many interview panels this year, filled with fantastic candidates, but with only one job on offer we had tough decisions to make.  We have a great team in place now, but speaking to unsuccessful applicants have been some of the hardest conversations I’ve had to have this year. Epiphany is all about looking forward what are your hopes for 2018? I think that technology will continue to drive and disrupt the way we live and work.  Artificial intelligence will bring in new experiences and gadgets and transform the way we live. I think this will open up some wonderfully creative opportunities and platforms for communicators, but I do hope that we don’t forget the human and ethical implications of the technology.   I also hope that 2018 will see the comeback for nuanced sensible debate about important issues facing society and how we should tackle them – particularly around social care.  And finally, I really hope we get a lovely summer.  I love sailing in Cornwall and want to get the boat out as much as possible in 2018.

Who are your three wise men or women?

1. The Obamas – their approach to fostering citizenship is exactly the right response in my view to all the political madness

2. Jo Cox – never has it been so important to remember that there is more that unites us than divides us.

3. Tracey Ullman – for all the laughs and some of the best satire that brightened up 2017.

What or whom is your guiding star?After a difficult period in my life I took the decision to consciously look for the positives in every situation and focus on what I could do rather than what I couldn’t.  Life opened up from that point onwards and has been my mantra ever since.

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