Benlowndes

a perspective on PR in social housing and regeneration

Tag Archives: IPB Communications

New venture off to a positive start

It was interesting, and not at all surprising, to see a new venture started by my former colleague John Quinton-Barber win headlines.

John QB has co-founded a new company, Social PR, and already looks to have a great team on board who are well-known in the North West. The new website looks impressive and the offer well polished.

I’m sure it won’t be difficult to follow their progress. I will do so with interest and wish them the best of luck.

Well earned gongs for North West’s best

I was entertained by former colleague John Quinton-Barber’s tweets from the CIPR’s North West PRide awards last night, with IPB looking like they were having another good night.

http://twitter.com/#!/johnqbarber/status/139462919288139776

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Former colleagues win recognition for crisis work

Damaged homes in Irlam, Salford

My former colleagues at IPB Communications have built a reputation over the last 10 years for being the people you would want in your team when the going gets tough. So I was delighted, but not surprised, to learn from their newsletter which landed in my email box today that they have been shortlisted for another award for their stirling crisis management work with City West Housing Trust.

They were on hand after tenants’ homes were hit by a gas explosion in Salford, which saw more than 200 houses evacuated last year. The team manned the press office and worked around the clock for the best part of a week to deal with journalists’ queries, prepare breifings and ‘lines to take’ and be a friendly, unwavering voice of reason as the nation’s media turned its attention on the trust. It seems like they handled it in the typical ‘whatever it takes’ way that makes them so well respected within the sector – and, rightly, by their peers too.

Members of the IPB team recently travelled to London to meet the CIPR and discuss their work as part of their entry for the Excellence Awards. Hats off to them, and best of luck for the awards next month – I’ll be thinking of them on the night.

Twelve months that have passed like a train

In what has been a varied and challenging week at work, I’d forgotten until today that it has been a year since I left my old job at IPB Communications.

Maybe it’s a measure of what has happened in that time (the hectic end to the last financial year, followed by an election, new Government and now moves to create a new agency), but it has barely felt like six weeks since I moved on. I don’t know whether that’s a good or a bad thing. But I remain certain that moving from Manchester to work in Bristol was the right decision.

That’s not to say I don’t miss an agency environment and friends and former colleagues. Having good PR professionals around every day who can look over your shoulder before you send that email informing the recipient of something they are not going to want to read was invaluable, and something I don’t have in the same way now.

I still keep in touch with some of the IPB crew, and it’s good to see them being shortlisted for awards.  Their crisis management work for City West Housing Trust following the recent explosion which wrecked tenants’ homes in Salford was typical of the way they get to grips with tough issues and stick with them until they are dealt with.

I’m looking forward to catching up with them when we visit Manchester in April.

Links I like 11.01.11

‘Social enterprise has found a new home in housing’ – Guardian Professional
The Guardian’s Social Enterprise Network 
ran a piece yesterday about how social landlords are finding different ways to deliver better homes and stronger communities. My HCA colleague and director Colin Molton is quoted, alongside a number of organisations who have at one time been clients of my former employers IPB Communications.

IPB appoints new director
Speaking of IPB, it would be rude of me not to mention their news, and a huge day for my former colleague John Quinton-Barber. The company has just announced that John (who was senior consultant for three years) has been promoted to the board. I see from his Facebook entries the announcement was made on the same day as his youngest daughter’s first birthday. He has never done things by halves. Congratulations and good luck, JQB!

Another year survived: five reasons to remember 2010

By any measure, 2010 has been a hell of year. On a personal level, it saw me relocate, switch jobs and get to know a new part of the country. For the sectors in which I work and the country at large, it was a year that saw a shift towards a new ‘reality’, sometimes at a bewildering pace.

For me, it can be summed up as a tough but rewarding 12 months. I’ve met some interesting people (a few of whom are detailed below) and worked on plenty of great projects along the way.

Below, in no particular order, are the five things I will remember most about 2010 (from a professional perspective). There are others I would perhaps rather forget, but I dare not blog about them (that’s PR for you).

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