Talking Point

Ten: What ‘keeping going’ really means and the importance of asking for help

Tune in to the second episode of our podcast series, ‘Ten’. Ten minutes of conversation about interesting and topical issues. In this episode, Sarah Pinch, managing director of Pinch Point Communications, is joined by former journalist and communications director Paul Mylrea. They talk about his experience working at TFL during the times of the London bombings, and reflect on the importance of asking for help.

Where to start?

Or as Paul Mylrea will explore in this podcast, when to stop?

I first met Paul at a Chartered Institute of Public Relations event about 15 years ago. He was and always has been a massive influence on my professional practise and my career. His generosity has at times been the thing that has kept me going.

In this podcast we explore what ‘keeping going’ really means – if it’s possible, if it actually is desirable and ultimately when we can’t, what does that mean for us?

He and I have both had some enormous jobs. Directors of communications are often the most senior person in their organisation, charged with telling the truth or, as we often say, speaking truth to power. We often know as much, or sometimes a little bit more, than the chief executive because our job is to horizon scan, to listen, to understand, to take in what our stakeholders are saying when an organisation is going through a great period of change.

In this podcast Paul says that he wasn’t sure whether every organisation he joined was already going through a challenging period or whether he bought it on himself. I know that feeling, I’ve been in that place.

Whilst I hope you can find 10 minutes over the Christmas period to listen and watch this podcast, I also hope you can find 10 minutes to take some action about the thing that Paul and I both reflect on is the single most important thing we have learnt; that is taking the opportunity to ask for help, to just stop and to value those who love us.

I have never had a job that slowed down for Christmas. And I’ve been in situations where there’s a constant need to be on call and to be available.

My wish is that this Christmas anyone reading this takes the opportunity to take a break, to take some time and to find that place physically or mentally that makes you feel happy.

For me that will always be water – ideally the sea – but I live in Bristol and so for Christmas Day this year I’m off to Portishead to swim in the Lido. Back in my happy place.

It is always important to take a moment.

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