I was a Public Relations Officer at West Yorkshire Combined Authority for 15 years until October 2016. Among the major projects I worked on during my final 18 months were the stakeholder and opening event communications for Leeds Station Southern Entrance (pictured), and new rail stations at Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge.
For three years I also provided communications and public affairs support to Rail North Ltd., co-ordinating communications and acting as a contact point for all 25 partner authorities, managing their web site, briefing journalists, representing Rail North in meetings with other bodies and co-ordinating Rail North’s input into events organised at Westminster by All-Party Parliamentary Groups. This included ‘owning’ the brand, creating and editing content for presentations and helping design displays for Annual Receptions and other events, and working closely with the Department for Transport on major announcements, such as the announcements of the new Northern and TransPennine Express franchises in December 2015 and their launch in April 2016.
After that I filled in at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, mainly working around the Tram Train pilot and the Mass Transit Outline Business Case consultation, as well as general proactive and reactive press things. I also wrote FOI and stakeholder responses, attended Transport User Groups. I was the Senior Communications Officer in a team of four, with three less-experienced but highly-talented colleagues.
I haven’t only done things that involve trains and politicians though.
Between 2007 and 2012 I did some award-winning voluntary communications work with Leeds United / Leeds Carnegie Ladies FC. As well as the obvious stuff, such as building a website, writing match reports and previews and the occasional interview, I took on Twitter & Facebook duties, recorded post-match video interviews for uploading to YouTube, and started the only Women’s Premier League live text commentary service from home and away games. I also took on PA duties at home games. I also took on media and communications duties with 59 (Huddersfield) Squadron Air Cadets, again in a voluntary role.