Talking Point

On the Tenth Day of Christmas: Camaraderie

Today’s blog on the tenth day is from Sinead Doyle, someone I have been delighted to get to know over the last five years or so; I have had the privilege of trips to Northern Ireland (my husband studied for his apprenticeship in the City) and it is always a pleasure to visit the Public Relations community and committee in the city.

Sinead is the Head of Consumer PR at MCE Public Relations, Belfast and I remember after I met her the first time, writing to Paul McErlean, the MD of the agency to say how impressed I was with Sinead and her commitment to excellence in the profession.  It’s a pleasure to welcome her to the blog today.


What does Camaraderie mean to you?

To me, camaraderie applies most to my work life and specifically to the relationships I have developed with industry peers. No one can better understand the wonders, pressure and challenges of the Public Relations (PR) industry than those that work within it. Over the last seven years, I’ve been lucky to forge strong friendships and a true sense of camaraderie with many excellent practitioners here in Northern Ireland and across the UK with whom I share similar experiences and professional ambitions, as well as a common goal to see PR prosper.

What importance has it been to you in 2017?

Camaraderie was hugely important to me in 2017, not least because I took on the reigns as chair of Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Northern Ireland. One of my motivations for getting involved with CIPR was to try to encourage peers to see me – and others – as just that; peers, rather than simply ‘the competition.’ This mind set can be particularly prevalent in the agency sphere within which I work and I wanted to try and break down the barrier of mistrust, encouraging a spirit of collaboration. Working with my wonderful colleagues on the CIPR NI committee, we achieved a lot in 2017, including a great programme of CPD events and I like to think of this as camaraderie in action – a group of peers working together with a common goal of supporting and providing opportunities to others within their industry.

Epiphany is all about looking forward, what are your hopes for 2018?

I’m handing over the reigns of CIPR Northern Ireland chair later this month. While I will remain on the committee for another year, I am looking forward to refocusing my mind on our business strategy and to developing a growing team of talented young consultants, alongside our business. I hope to achieve a little more work/life balance in 2018 and am starting as I mean to go on by undertaking a mindfulness course, which begins in the next few weeks. I’d like to travel but saving for a mortgage may put paid to that pipe dream. Most of all, I hope it will be a healthy and happy year for me, my family, friends (and comrades).

Who are your three wise men or women?

I’ll have to start with Sarah Pinch, who kindly asked me to pen this blog. We met through CIPR around three or four years ago and she has been a true inspiration and support in many ways since then – a comrade indeed. My right hand woman at work, Alana is another wise woman.  She finished up for her maternity leave before Christmas; she and her husband are patiently awaiting the arrival of their first bundle in January. I’ll miss her a lot this year but it’s a hugely exciting time and I’m delighted for them. Finally, whilst it’s a bit cheesy, I’ll have to mention my husband, Dom (who probably qualifies more as a Wise Alec), who is a constant source of support, despite us being ships that pass in the night a lot of the time.

What or whom is your guiding star?

It’s probably totally clichéd but I have to say my mother. She instilled a work ethic, along with a steely sense of grit and determination into both my brother and I. From a young age we’ve both had an ‘all or nothing’ approach when it comes to work and it’s paid off. I think the only thing I would change about this inherited character trait is to learn how/when to switch off. But hey, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for, right? Hopefully by this time next year, I will have made some progress on this.

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