Created by Heather Yaxley PhD
Thanks for stopping by. About me… I am passionate about reflective practice, sustainable learning and professional career development.
In case you’re wondering, the concept of Green Banana is a meme for kaizen, or continous improvement – derived from the saying: “If you’re green, you’re growing”.
Personally I’m a dog woman sharing my home with a beautiful, wilful and adorable Rhodesian Ridgeback and a gobby Jackahuahua who is very funny and definitely a morning boy. Both have found their forever home thanks to the wonderful people at Pound Puppy Animal Rescue in Poole. My other hobbies are reading (everything and anything), and hypnotically watching the sea. I also collect historical and contemporary books about public relations.
If you could take a few minutes to review this blog, you’ll note that I don’t feature guest posts or publish content marketing – so please don’t email me suggesting such features. Also, I object to having my posts republished without permission but really love comments and other engagement.
Crafting my career
Following 10+ years in motor industry public relations/communications roles (in-house and consultancy), I established Applause Consultancy as an independent consultant in 2000.
An experienced and qualified educator, I am a course leader and tutor for Chartered Institute for Public Relations qualfications with PR Academy (I’m a CIPR Accredited Practitioner and CIPR Fellow). I have also loved working as a part-time lecturer in public relations at Bournemouth University and London College of Communications.
I am qualified in psychology (BSc Hons degree), public relations (CAM Advanced & Higher Diploma), business communications (RSA Diploma), teaching (PG Cert Learning & Teaching in Higher Education) and have a PhD in Career Strategies. My supervisors were Professor Tom Watson and Professor Candida Yates.
My consultancy work includes helping Lions Clubs International British Isles plan and implement communications, PR and marketing activities, including website and social media presence. In addition, I am a director and the general secretary of the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) Limited, which comprises 400+ professional communicators in this dynamic sector.
I am a published author (see my bibliography below) and run successful workshops, as well as offering one-to-one coaching and training. My approach is to connect with ways of beginning, becoming, being and belonging. I use creative, intuitive, imaginative, reflective and critical techniques to affect thinking, feelings and behaviours.
My key topics are public relations, educational issues, PR history and career development. I am interested in the importance of career encounters, reflective practice and taking a pro-active approach to accelerated, active & sustainable learning.
Other concepts that I explore include: ‘rhizomatic middleness’ and ‘crafting career tapestries’. My thinking is organic and based on how we all add new knowledge and experience to our existing self, so are always in the middle and have the potential to go in different directions. A new initiative I am developing will offer a practical structure to support sustainable professional development.
Note: My academic profile can be viewed at: Google scholar: Dr Heather Yaxley
My PhD doctoral thesis: Yaxley, H., 2017. Career strategies in public relations: constructing an original tapestry paradigm. Doctorate Thesis (Doctorate) awarded by Bournemouth University is available online. See: http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29913/
Book / chapters
You’ll find two chapters written by me in the 4th edition of the Public Relations Handbook, updated for the 5th edition; published Spring 2016 – and in the 6th edition to be published early in 2020. This book is edited by Alison Theaker who is my co-author for The Public Relations Strategic Toolkit published by Routledge in 2012 and in 2nd edition in 2017.
I authored a chapter providing a PR perspective in Promotional Culture and Convergence: Markets, Methods, Media edited by Helen Powell, and co-authored a chapter on the history of Internal Communications with Kevin Ruck (which has been revised for the next edition to be published in 2019).
My chapter in the #FuturePRoof book offers practical ideas and tools to create a learning culture, develop a learning and development strategy and demonstrate sustainable return on investment. Titled: Investing in sustainable professional development, you can read it in the ebook available as a pdf download, here.
The CIPR book, Platinum, published in 2018 to celebrate its 70th anniversary features my chapter: Professional qualifications: Past, present and future
Research / papers
I have presented papers at the International History of PR Conference (IHPRC), and had journal articles published in Public Relations Review:
- Yaxley, H.M.L. (2012). Exploring the origins of careers in public relations, Public Relations Review, Volume 38, Issue 3, September 2012, Pages 399-407
- Yaxley, H.M.L. (2013). Career experiences of women in British public relations (1970–1989), Public Relations Review, Volume 39, Issue 2, June 2013, Pages 156-165
- Yaxley, H.M.L. (2016). Conducting historical interviews in a transparent age: issues and implications of a visible insider (presented at IHPRC)
- Yaxley, H.M.L. (2017). Opening the box- A ‘pastpresents_ exploration of the archival fonds of a singular PR practitioner(presented at IHPRC)
- Yaxley, H.M.L. (2018). CIPR Diploma 1998-2017: Evaluating the study of a professional qualification as a career development strategy (presented at IHPRC)
I also contributed a discussion paper in the Dissent and Public Relations seminar series (October-December 2012), titled: Dissent PR – the women’s perspective: From Suffragettes to Slutwalks’