Happy Thanksgiving – not something we celebrate in the UK, but I thought it a good time to think about thanking my “founding fathers” – those who have helped me in life professionally in my public relations career and privately.
Professionally – I thank various people I consider to be my unofficial mentors: Gethin Bradley (also my avuncular), Andy Green, Tony Spalding, Alison Theaker and Alan Powell. Other people are helpful sounding boards (or just crazy friends), such as Ruth Sparkes, Caroline Wilson, James Petre (and his team at CIPR), Shane Minnett, Paul Nieuwenhuis, John Kendall. Then there are all my friends and colleagues in the world of motoring public relations and journalism – too many to mention. Former bosses, notably the late Brian Llewelyn who gave me my first break into PR at Peugeot and the team at National Breakdown who were tough Yorkshire taskmasters. Linda Peerless – a super lady, who would have loved the opportunities of blogging and social media, if cancer hadn’t take her much too early. The much-missed Alan Rawel of CIPR was another inspiration, particularly of diplomacy and just quietly getting things done. I’ve learned a lot from anyone I’ve ever worked with (both good and bad) and also the hundreds of students of public relations who frequently offer me a new perspective for looking at the profession.
Personally – I have parents from heaven (as a friend once dubbed them) who live too far away (half way up the Pyranees) but are always with me, my nephew (who has coped with a lot in his 23 years and remains my “little boy”), my brother (who has transformed from an irritating sibling to someone I am very proud of), Andy (who brings so much to my life), and my neighbours (there when either I or my dogs and cat need a friend) – and many friends who also fit into this category but are mentioned above.
Yes, I know it is rather a poor Oscar speech, but once in a while it is nice to stop and count your blessings in life – so thanks to everyone who has ever taken the time to participate in my life and let me into theirs. Please join me in thanking your “founding fathers”.