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The working life of a PR manager

11 May 2018

ellenor is the only charity in Kent that provides care and support to people of all ages from newborns to children, adults and the elderly in their place of choice. Basia Wilson is ellenor’s PR manager - here she tells ehospice what her role involves and what communicators she finds inspiring.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience working in communications.

I am a Public Relations (PR) professional with extensive experience in the arts; I have worked for a diverse range of organisations across public and private sectors and have extensive experience of corporate and commercial promotion and advertising. I love theatre and art and am at my happiest when watching a play, seeing an exhibition or being with friends and family.

I had heard wonderful stories about ellenor but knew very little about hospice care.  At this stage in my life, I felt that I wanted to move into the charity sector – I am a people person at heart and wanted to apply my knowledge and skills, to both help increase awareness and generate funds to support the hospice in the future. When I went for the interview, I found it to be a happy and positive place with dedicated and committed individuals providing the best possible care. The charity is held in deep affection by thousands of people.

What are the main activities you are currently working to promote?

I have been working as part of the ellenor team on ‘The Hospice,’ a new TV documentary series.  The series gives viewers the opportunity to witness the incredibly therapeutic palliative care provided to all ages, from the very young to the very old, by the amazing staff and volunteers at ellenor. 

A member of our staff, Sue Marshall, is one of the 1,200 members of the public invited to the Royal Wedding and one of the 200 individuals from charities recognised for their personal input in making a difference to their local communities.  I have been working to promote Sue’s invitation to the wedding by securing TV, radio and print coverage on a local and national level. We are very proud of the amazing work that we do and it is great to be able to share these stories with a wider audience. 

Who or what inspires you in your communications work?

My children do great things and inspire me every day. My daughter is a final year Paramedic student at University of East Anglia and my son Henry is the CEO and founder of Perfect Daily Grind.   In only three years Sophia has been trained as a world class health professional, qualified to administer lifesaving medical care in the face of any emergency.  As well as being taught to calmly deal with life-threatening situations, paramedics must have the skills to listen and communicate with patients – she has taught me the power of empathy - a vital life skill that makes a real difference when I talk to patients and their families, particularly those who are having to deal with a difficult, life changing issue.

Henry launched Perfect Daily Grind in 2015. With 5 million annual page views, a daily social media reach of 2,000,000, and a newsletter every week of the year in English and Spanish, PDG communicates with the farmer, the coffee exporter, the toaster and the Barista, who collaborate to deliver your daily cup of joy. As an online publication he has shown me what a vital ingredient social media is in today’s communication environment. 

What is your biggest achievement to date?

I believe I have had a number of successes to date and it is difficult to say which I think has been my greatest achievement as they were all important, but working on The Hospice gives me the opportunity to promote the invaluable work that local hospices provide on a daily basis throughout the country - stories that are heart-warming, moving and inspirational, and we are very grateful to everyone, far and wide, who let us share some of their stories. I feel lucky to be a part of it.

I also particularly enjoyed working for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council overseeing PR campaigns for the festive Tunbridge Wells ice rink.  The campaigns saw a significant growth in footfall over a five year period in the number of visitors and the rink was compared alongside Canary Wharf and Hyde Park.

What is the best example of good communications you have seen recently, and why?

The film ‘Darkest Hour’ showing how Sir Winston Churchill rallied the nation against the threat of an imminent Nazi invasion, and in so doing, changed the course of world history. Tears streaming down my cheeks, the film totally absorbed me as it communicated how one man’s determination and defiance won over a nation – inspiring, a brilliant piece of communication.

Which leading communicator do you admire?

Michelle Obama – she has the gift of empathy and is able to sincerely communicate with whoever she meets.  She has inspired many women including myself to be passionate and do what they want, in particular her one line "there is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”

For more information visit ellenor  

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