Name: Jonquil Simons
- Senior Partner, The Simons Partnership
- Associate Director, PIELLE Consulting.
How did I get started in Public Relations?
A family background (my father was a journalist and then became a public relations practitioner) gave me my initial interest, but my first two jobs were in the publicity departments of book publishers. I moved into public relations when I joined the PR department of Sussex Police – excellent training for dealing with a sometimes hostile media and for crisis management. After three years there, I moved into consultancy work where I have operated ever since.
What do I do?
My role is as much (if not more) about advising clients on their communication strategy than actually executing the work. Sometimes, this may even be advice to "do nothing". Having said that, I develop strategies to meet clients' communication objectives and provide communication programmes to achieve those objectives.
What motivates me about this job?
Being able to use my experience and professionalism to provide clients good advice and effective outcomes.
What skills do I need to do my job?
Good verbal and written communication skills are an obvious requirement. However, in being a consultant, I need to be able to stand back and see the "wood from the trees" on occasions, think strategically because clients themselves are often too close to the situation to see the real issues.
Why did I choose to enrol in CPD?
I chose to enrol in CPD to keep myself up-to-date with the latest developments in public relations practice. Now, being a CIPR Accredited Practitioner provides clients with further confidence in my abilities.
What do I want to do next?
I want to continue to hone my skills and work with clients to provide them with the best possible service, advice and outcomes.
What advice do I have for someone starting out in Public Relations?
Think outside the box. Learn from your senior colleagues. If you have an academic qualification in public relations, remember that the real world is very different from the lecture theatre. And don't be afraid of mistakes – if you refer upwards early, that is the way you will learn.