Taking Brand Communications from start-up to a global agency focused on African brands and businesses has been an adventure – and one of the great things about the journey I have made is the many people I have worked with along the way.
Chief amongst them is Clive Caseley, who I met when I set up an international conference promoting the use of niche media to reach people from the African diaspora living in the UK.
He asked far too many questions (or so I thought!) and kept on and on until we had a simple statement of the case we were making, which we were both able to articulate with clarity and passion. We have worked on many campaigns since then, and that same analytical thinking has always been the starting point.
Clive’s company, Verve Communications, is not a typical PR firm. For one thing, it is more interested in issues and values than products and markets.
Clive is a former in-house marketing director at mental health charity MIND, and has also been a leader of corporate communications in localgovernment and an executive director of Arts Council England. These are all causes which are about hearts and minds, and his wide variety of roles has given him experience across the whole range of professional disciplines.
As a result, Clive is one of the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, but can also think laterally. His first-rate technical know-how is combined with a natural instinct to join up PR with research, social media, marketing online and public affairs. And to find synergies and solutions which are more than the sum of their parts.
So Clive is my PR hero. Because I believe that PR should be about inspirational and positive change, that one size does not fit all – and that good communication is always a two-way process.