Public Relations standing in the midst during Black History Month

by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

The Heritage Fund has seen, in 2020, an increased focus and discussion on issues that particularly affect black people and communities across the UK. From the emotive and significant Black Lives Matter movement, to the disproportionately adverse effects of coronavirus (COVID-19). Corporate Management are discussing these issues and are trying to find solutions or seek advice, because the impact on the mental health and well-being of black leaders and their colleagues can sometimes be overlooked.

My story: During Covid-19 day I work for a backroom NHS organisation who commission services for NHS staff and patients in England. I work from home on an administrative/front-of house basis (through-out the day I receive most the of calls, give out information, log the calls on a spreadsheet for analysing purposes).

It was in 2014 when I obtained a BA Hons degree studying various leadership and management styles within not-for-profit organisations. During that time I started badgering the communications “comms” team about opportunities to “move up” from my current position. I did not want to pay for another degree i.e. Masters degree, so I approached the communications manager again and it was then she introduced me to the Chartered Institute for Public Relations (CIPR) in order for me to gain professional recognition as well hear from professionals whose specialism is within all aspects of society. However, it was a Financial Director at work who realised I was a disgruntled BAME employee and advised me to further my online platform called Healing Relations PR and consider becoming its “Director”; allowing me to move away from a ministry to a business.

Some of the projects and campaigns I have worked alongside are:
*S.A.Y. (serious about youth) the Conference – (campaigning for longer jail term sentences for groomers and for those who fatally wound a young person).

*The NHS England Stop Smoking Awareness campaign.

*Issues in sport including racism and bullying (working alongside Sports Chaplaincy UK)

*Supporting my neighbourhood against anti-social behaviour