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A new voice on the block – Introducing CommsLabHQ

A new voice on the block – Introducing CommsLabHQ

I purchased the domain for naomimgsmith.com nearly a year ago. I knew I wanted to start writing but I didn’t quite know where to start. After endless research, several conversations with my crew and some encouragement from my nearest and dearest, I am launching CommsLabHQ today.

CommsLabHQ is my new blog for all things PR, communications, digital and continued professional development. I have some exciting plans for the blog and I can’t wait to share it with you.

CommsLabHQ means

  • Comms: Communications, PR, Digital and continued professional development 
  • Lab: Analytical, digital savvy and experimental
  • HQ: Put simply, the place to be.

Whilst CommsLabHQ is a blog in the traditional sense of words, do expect video and audio content.

Some background

I am a career changer. I graduated in 2016 and started out as an analyst/HR Business Partner working for an investment bank with coverage for EMEA. In 2017, I made the decision to switch to a career in PR and communications and I have not looked back since.

During the course of my career I have had exposure to five sectors. The roles I have held have varied including in-house Communications Manager, Digital Communications Lead, and now an Account Executive specialising in communications and community engagement.

In just three years of working in communications full time, I have learned a lot, I have had the pleasure of meeting some brilliant practitioners inside of the industry and last year I joined the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

With the convergence of PR and related disciplines, the rise of artificial intelligence and a post COVID-19 recovery ahead I want to share what I have learned and my thoughts with the industry and beyond. I also want to use this blog as a way of continuously improving my writing skills.

I consider myself to be forever a student, because of my strong desire to learn and to immediately apply my knowledge to what I am working on. With most efforts, trial and error are often involved. I want to share my findings with you, lessons learned and new hacks. I want you to leave my blog with new knowledge or a different perspective.

Talking about different perspectives

Last year the CIPR published the State of the Profession report. If you looked at the report were you shocked? Surprised? No, me neither. Here’s a quick summary of some of the key findings:

  • Only 8% of PR professionals are from BAME backgrounds
  • 21% of respondents live with or have previously lived with, a diagnosed mental health condition
  • 28% of the PR workforce are privately educated – four times the national average
  • Women make up 67% of the industry, but men occupy 44% of the industry’s most senior roles

Many more insights can be found in the report and I highly encourage you to read it. A good read to accompany this is the PR and Communications Census by Norstat and the PRCA, which gives an assessment of the industry.

There are some brilliant organisations in the industry including The Blueprint & BME PR Pros by Elizabeth Bananuka, UK Black Comms Network by Kamiqua Pearce, Black Women in PR by Deborah Sagoe, the Taylor Bennett Foundation and many other micro groups focused on improving and showcasing diversity. A huge thank you to those who are making an impact within the industry, it has not gone unnoticed.

My commitment to you

Lip service is not a thing at CommsLabHQ. My commitment to you is that CommsLabHQ will be:

  1. Diverse: Expect to see a wide diversity of people featured on this blog, with a special focus on those who are not well represented in the PR industry. It is so important that we show a variety of voices that we don’t typically see in the mainstream.

  2. Representative: There are some wonderful people within and outside the industry that I can’t wait to feature. CommsLabHQ will feature PR and communications professionals who are at different stages of their career. This includes practitioners who are just beginning their career, rising practitioners who are taking their first steps into management and drawing upon the experiences and wisdom of senior practitioners.

  3. A Role Model: CommsLabHQ is bigger than me, there is a deeper purpose that is unravelling as I type this. This is for the next generation of Black, BAME and underrepresented PR practitioners and beyond.

So here we are, it all begins from here. I hope you will join me on this journey and find the content to be interesting and useful, perhaps you may even learn something new.

I always welcome feedback and new perspectives, online you can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter. Alternatively, you can get in touch with me by using the contact form on the Contact Me page.