RAISING AWARENESS AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE

PR consultant Jenny Rose talks about Int’l Women’s Day and working for causes that matter.

This International Women’s Day I’m busy and I love it. I’m busy because I now only work for causes and people I believe in and that includes gender equality – and who doesn’t believe in that?!

I’m a PR Consultant and for years I did the agency thing; working for companies big and small, learning to decipher corporate marketing speak (ergh) and working all hours to make big brands bigger and rich people richer. I also drank a lot of cocktails – enjoy the 90’s cocktail revolution? I was working it, you’re welcome.

I was good at my job and I got to do lots of fun stuff. I also learnt loads and made some great life long friends. But always a free spirit, I left the agency world and went freelance in my 30s. It suited me so much better but I had to put my big girl pants on and pitch some things that maybe weren’t so amazing in the grand scheme of things.

Then in my mid 30s a friend introduced me to a charity that was looking for PR. The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, a global movement for reproductive, maternal and newborn health rights. It supports activists worldwide in ending maternal mortality and advocates for women’s rights. I had never worked for a more passionate, creative, fun, political or switched-on group of people in my life and I LOVED IT.

Through my work with them I met mothers2mothers and Women for Women International, NGO’s doing equally exciting and important work for women globally; led by equally strong activists in countries, served and supported by fantastically creative and passionate teams in the UK.

I’m proud to help raise the voices of the women served by these organisations and get coverage of their achievements and the issues they face in national and international media – TV, Radio, Newspapers, Glossies etc.

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When I hit 40 and had a baby I had to cut back on work and that meant a bit of a client cull. I made the decision to say good bye to the commercial clients (lovely though they were) and concentrate on the campaigns and organisations I believed in. And I can honestly say I’ve never loved working more.

As my son has got older, I’ve increased my work hours and now as well as charity clients I work in a couple of PR collectives – one of which specialises in eco and sustainable campaigns and the other in businesses with purpose. They say the secret to loving your life is working your passion and I have to agree. But it’s also a privilege which comes with age for many of us. I had to put the hours and years in to reach a stage where I had the confidence and security to be able to do it.

So, if you’re looking for ways to celebrate International Women’s Day may I suggest the following? (once a PR always a PR etc etc):
Hold a Wonder Woman Tea in aid of mothers2mothers. A fun get-together to celebrate the Wonder Women in our lives and raise funds for mothers2mothers’ Mentor Mothers, eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and supporting 1000s of 1000s of HIV positive mothers and their families across sub Saharan Africa. Learn more about mothers2mothers here.

Send a #MessageToMySister with Women for Women International at https://www.womenforwomen.org.uk/send or using the hashtag on twitter – a few simple words to express your solidarity and support for women living in some of the world’s most dangerous places. Watch supporters sending and receiving their #MessageToMySister postcards.

Join the White Ribbon Alliance’s movement of over 1 million women worldwide and take the #WhatWomenWant Survey: @WRA_UK to advocate for safe maternal and reproductive healthcare.

Words: Jenny Rose, PR Consultant www.happypr.co.uk / @RoseySpecs (Twitter) and @HappyPRLtd on Instagram.

Pics from the top: mothers2mothers clinic in Dark City South Africa; Women for Women International programme participant in Iraq receives a message from the MessageToMySister campaign credit: Alison Baskerville; Women for Women International programme participant in Rwanda receives a message from the MessageToMySister campaign credit: Aidan O’Neill.