Good news all round today as the communications executive I mentor, Sarah Hodges, has won an award of excellence in the Communicators in Business (CiB) Communicator of the Year awards under the ‘Best newcomer to the industry’ category.

I’m thrilled for Sarah as she is passionate and dedicated to corporate communications. This was reflected in the scores – she scored 5 where 5 is excellent. Highly deserved and fingers crossed she will scoop class winner at the awards in a few weeks’ time. She is part of the award-winning comms team at Essex County Council. Well done Sarah, I’m very proud of you.

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about PR Week. Over the past 24 hours my email, voicemail, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts have been full of lovely messages as I’ve been named in the PR Week Top 29 under 29 list. (The secret photo shoot I mentioned a few weeks ago and said I couldn’t say any more about at the time). I presented to our Exec team this morning and when I got back to my desk my copy of PR Week had arrived and I was shocked to see I was on the front cover too! My grandma will be proud.

My own ‘unofficial mentor’ as I call him, Jeremy Reynolds nominated me. Jeremy is Regional Head of Strategy and Corporate Relations at Visa and was my bosses’ boss when I worked there a few years ago in the Corporate Communications team responsible for communication in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region. We have remained in touch and it’s invaluable to know I can ask his advice and I trust his judgement. I keep in touch with most of the team I was part of and really value their opinions.

Knowing you have experienced people in the industry who are willing to offer help, support and encouragement is incredibly helpful. If you’re thinking about a mentoring arrangement, I would definitely recommend it. I mentor Sarah through CiB to guide her through the entry-level Diploma of Proficiency in Internal Communication (and hopefully beyond). But it doesn’t have to be regimented – Jeremy and I have an ad-hoc rather than formalised arrangement, which works well for us.

Congratulations to the other 28 people on the list, I’m proud and honoured to be alongside them. I met a fair few a couple of weeks ago and will watch with interest to see where their careers take them. Have good weekends all, Rachel.

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