Created by Heather Yaxley PhD

Thanks for stopping by.  About me… I am passionate about public relations and professional career development.

Following 10+ years in motor industry PR (in-house and consultancy roles), I became a self-employed hybrid practitioner-academic-educator-consultant in 2000.

An experienced and qualified trainer, I teach the 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.

mipaa-logoI 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.

My consultancy work includes helping Lions Clubs International Great Britain and Ireland develop communications, PR and marketing activities, including website and social media presence.

The concept of Green Banana is a meme for kaizen, or continous improvement – derived from the saying: “If you’re green, you’re growing”.

prconversationsI blog here – and at PR Conversations (Top Inkybee PR blog for relevance – this blog also ranked highly). My key topics are public relations, educational issues, PR history and career development.  I’m passionate about connections, career agency and taking a pro-active approach to accelerated, active & sustainable learning.

A few of the concepts that I’m interested in exploring are ‘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.

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), hypnotically watching the sea and the social sin of enjoying driving.  I also collect historical and contemporary books about public relations.

I have a BSc degree in Psychology and was awarded a PhD in 2017 by Bournemouth University on Career Strategies in Public Relations.  My supervisors were Professor Tom Watson and Professor Candida Yates.

I have presented papers at the International History of PR Conference (IHPRC), and had journal articles published in Public Relations Review:

My 2016 IHPRC, presentation was called: Conducting historical interviews in a transparent age: issues and implications of a visible insider.

In 2017, my presentation was called: Opening the box- A ‘pastpresents_ exploration of the archival fonds of a singular PR practitioner.

My academic profile can be viewed at: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heather_Yaxley

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. 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 the 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.

At the end of  2016, I was asked to contribute a chapter to the #FuturePRoof book – which 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.

You can follow me on Twitter @greenbanana – or connect via LinkedIn.  To get in touch, leave a comment here or contact me via email (hmlyaxley at gmail dot com).

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.


30 thoughts on “About”

  1. Really glad to have found this blog – Sally Whittle on the journobiz forum happened to mention it so I tracked it down.

    I’m a journalist and author (The Girls’ Guide to Losing Your L Plates – how to pass your driving test and The Girls’ Car Handbook – both published by Simon and Schuster). Years ago I also worked in PR (for charites) and it would be good to get back into doing a bit of it in the motoring sector if possible.

    Plan to bookmark your blog!

    Best wishes


  2. Hi Heather, great stuff… and seeing that we’re ‘bumping into each other’ here and there in the virtual pr party I thought I’d give you an official ‘hi there, great blog, great insight’!

    Oh, and if it’s bizarre and wonderful trivia that you’re looking for… I’m loaded! When you do a BSc in Zoology and an MSc in Animal Behaviour, you accumulate some odd facts… like how the black widow does NOT eat her mate, or how the mythological ‘Griffin’ can be traced to dinosaur fossils and little lizards in Mongolia, etc. etc.


  3. Hi Heather,

    just wanted to say hi and congratulate you on very inspirational comments and thank you for helping get more deeply involved in PR theory…

    Aleksandra, Bosnia (one of your former CIPR AC students)

  4. Yes, doing great. I am actually a second year student of undergraduate PR university study opened just last year in my home town. Very interesting and confusing to go through some stuff that seems to be “past experience” for you in UK. but have to go through that to gain this so much needed credibility. However, the stuff I learned through CIPR course enabled me to go through these first two years with no effort at all.. That is why I felt obliged to thank you. Very interesting to be able to see difference between countries in which PR has had a history and those (like mine) where PR is just being “born”. Anyway.. I just wanted to keep track of what is happening in “developed” PR world.

    best regards and keep up good work

  5. Hi Heather,

    I hope you don’t mind, we really liked your posting on the Fat Duck and have put a link through to it on our website.

    I look forward to reading more, keep up the good work!


  6. Hi

    I’m a recent History graduate and have decided to take a year out to properly explore the career opportunities available to me (a decision well suited to the current economic climate!). I’ve found the world of PR to be a rather attractive choice for some time now but my lack of knowledge about it has left me feeling a bit out of my depth!

    I really enjoyed reading this blog, and it’s already been immensely helpful. I’ve used your suggestion of applying for unpaid work experience by calling up the Leukaemia Research Press Office (eek!) as I’m all too aware that my lack of experience in this field will work against me when it comes to applying for actual jobs. However, I was hoping that you might be able to recommend a few books for someone from a non PR background like myself which will help me to get my head around the “what”, “why” and “how” of the industry.

    Look forward to hearing from you, and thank you again for an informative and entertaining read!


  7. All these people here should thank me, I suggested Heather to have an About and a Contact page on this page. Lol anyways, I found this blog by searching for ‘Mongrel’ in google image search and I might have not visited this blog again if Heather didn’t have a link to her twitter page. I’ll take a look around. The name “greenbanana” caught my attention and also liked, “if you’re green, you’re growing”. And of course, Heather is so nice!

    I’m Sanya, 19, animal & nature lover.
    (@jimmymycrushie on twitter)
    England Cricket Blog – http://www.jimmymycrushie.me
    jimmymycrushie – http://jimmymycrushieinfo.blogspot.com

  8. Sanya – thanks for the reminder about this page. As you’ll see, most of the above comments date back sometime, because there was such a page here until I recently changed the design. So very useful to add it back and once again, thanks for noticing it was missing.

  9. Hi Heather,

    Great blog, really insightful!

    I was wondering if you would consider letting me conrribute to your blog by writing an article on PR graduates and the current PR and marketing job market? I work with PRMoment and feel that I could give a good insight into what its like to apply for a job in PR when you have just graduated. I have recently gone through the process myself and have some great tips and advice which your readers may benefit from!

    I look forward to hearing from you, please feel free to contact me either by email or telephone on 01962 888 116.

    Many thanks in advance!


  10. Hi Heather,

    I really nenjoyed your website and really appreciated your views. I am a student at Sunderland University and for an essay im writing i need a PR practioners view on churnalism. I understand that you have commented throughout your website on the aspect of it however my essay requires me to personally ask you the question and have an answer i can report on, i was wondering if you would be able to give a response to this: According to Nick Davies in ‘Flat Earth News’ (Vintage 2009) journalists have become “passive processors of of whatever material comes their way, churning out stories whether real event or PR artifice, important or trivial, true or false.”
    Is this an accurate portrayal of the relationship between the journalist and the PR, or has the process of producing news evolved into a dialogue between the two professions? – anything you can say on churnalism will be fantastic and hopefully enable me to reach my degree! even if it is something you have wrote before anything will be great.

    Thank you

    Mellissa Moody

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