Dr Anne Gregory has been Professor of Corporate Communication at the University of Huddersfield since September 2014. She joined the University from Leeds Beckett University where she was Director of the Centre for Public Relations Studies. While at Leeds Beckett, she also completed a three year term as Pro Vice Chancellor.
Anne was one of the tutors and course leaders at Leeds Beckett (formerly Leeds Met) when I studied there in the mid 1990s.
She was also the one who had to validate my sandwich year work placement in London at Building Design Partnership. I think I still hold the record for the shortest official placement, having been made redundant on the second day of my actual placement.
Stuck in a rented house in Leytonstone (pre smart phone / home internet) I was firing off letters trying to get a job. Eventually opting for temporary work via Office Angels on Oxford Street in the centre of London.
I was rewarded for my effort in the finance department of BDP - but being curious and a little cheeky asked if I could meet the PR team while I was there. Pleading poverty and sharing my misfortune of losing my placement, managed to blag a maternity cover role managing the 35mm slide desk.
The rest is history.
Anne has always held the view that communication is strategic, it is what organisations are all about. Translating the vision of the CEO, communicating with the communities in which they operate. Comms is right at the heart of that - making vital connections. Orgs move forward due to certain conversations. It means comms pros are in every bit of an organisation - they are the go to people. Embedded into the fabric of the organisation.
We reflect on what it was that set some students apart from others. A hunger for wanting to know what was going on, what worked and what didn't. An insatiable curiosity and the ability to think through things and make a contribution. Someone who understands issues and has a mindset that says: how am I going to address those issues?
Anne's advice on life is do what makes your heart sing, because that is where your passion will be. Have the bravery to do what makes your heart sing.
Thanks to Anne I found that communications is what makes my heart sing.
If you enjoy listening to this podcast why not check out some of the others in season 1 & 2. Or perhaps you fancy taking part yourself? If so why not get in touch. You can find me via LinkedIn or Twitter