Gaby’s work experience at Liz Lean PR

Gaby’s work experience at Liz Lean PR

Now in my last year of college, I was excited to have the opportunity to do a week’s work experience with Liz Lean PR.

I came in wanting to expand my knowledge of my future career options, gain insight on what PR is and how a PR agency works.

Throughout my week at Liz Lean PR I was set tasks that were all completely different. I have developed so many skills and understood the important factors influencing day-to-day working life in PR.

Everyone at Liz Lean PR made me feel a part of the team and I was very lucky with the tasks that I was given, as these allowed me to get involved and hands on with real work. During my week’s work experience, I scheduled social media posts for clients, researched and got in contact with hotels for an event, sat in team meetings, planned a floor plan for an event, handled RSVP’s and managed a guest list – these are not even half of the tasks that I was lucky enough to undertake. It makes me very happy to know that the work that I have done is helping the team and that it will be used within the company.

The office was a great environment to work in too, with laughter, teamwork and loads of cups of teas every day! Each member of the team was kind enough to sit and have a one-to-one with me, so that I could understand their job roles in more detail. They also took the time to give me some really helpful advice on my next steps. The Liz Lean PR team was extremely welcoming and kind from the minute I stepped in the door.

I cannot express how thankful I am for my week with the company, they have really helped me with improving my confidence, my understanding of the working world and also the different career paths that I can take. I am really happy that this opportunity was available for me as now, I can see myself working in a PR agency.

Thank you to every member of the team, you have made my experience at Liz Lean PR one that I will never forget.

By Gaby Manning-Sinclair

Liz Lean PR announces expanded services and new senior hires

Liz Lean PR announces expanded services and new senior hires

Dorset-based PR agency Liz Lean PR has expanded its senior team, making three new senior appointments and formally expanding its planning and stakeholder engagement offers.

The agency has worked with clients on planning and stakeholder engagement throughout its 20-year history but is now bolstering these clients with a series of new hires.

Through their experience as journalists, editors, and political advisors, the three new hires will significantly diversify and enhance the agency’s offering and will set Liz Lean PR apart from other south coast PR agencies.

Ian Murray, former Editor of the Southampton Daily Echo, has been working with LLPR on select projects for several months and has now been appointed as a Senior Advisor with a focus on media in Dorset, Hampshire and nationwide. Ian left the Southern Daily Echo, based in Southampton, in 2017 after 19 years at the paper, during which time he was also Editor-in-Chief for a variety of Hampshire-based Newsquest titles. He is currently the Executive Director of the Society of Editors and is Vice Chair of the UK’s Defence and Security Media Advisor Committee as well as being a board member of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.

Andy Martin, former Editor and News Editor of The Bournemouth Echo, has been appointed as a Senior Advisor on media and stakeholder engagement, working outside Dorset and Hampshire. After 31 years at the Echo, Andy stepped down in June, and will be working on current clients and new opportunities with Liz Lean PR. Andy is also involved in training journalists for Newsquest and the National Council for the Training of Journalists, is a lecturer at Bournemouth University, and a councillor on Highcliffe and Walkford Neighbourhood Council.

Emma Coakley has joined the agency in the newly created post of Head of Engagement. She builds on her time working with Liz Lean PR on several planning and development projects and has been appointed to expand the agency’s work in this area and on wider political stakeholder engagement. Bringing with her over 5 years of agency experience in London, she has also spent time as a Special Advisor to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and has worked on several local political and General Election campaigns. She will be working with clients to devise and execute effective strategies for both planning projects and community and reputation management.

All three will be providing advice and support to existing clients whilst also working to expand the agency across Dorset, Hampshire, and nationally.

Commenting on these hires, MD and founder Liz Willingham, said:

“With the media landscape ever changing, and as PR reshapes and evolves into new areas within our clients’ businesses, Andy, Ian and Emma bring an enviable amount of experience to the agency, allowing us to harness the change and push forward with our plans to grow.

“I am delighted that we have secured such strong talent around and am excited to see the significant value they are going to add to our client’s businesses across the country.”

Please email [email protected] if you would like to discuss how Liz Lean PR could assist your business, or to arrange a meeting with Andy, Ian or Emma.

Liz Lean PR welcomes new team members


Sandbanks-based public relations agency Liz Lean PR is expanding with the appointment of new team members: Charis Gibson, Alice Rook and Zac Furbank.

Charis joins the team as business development manager with a background in local journalism and project management. During her seven years as a journalist, she worked at the Bournemouth Daily Echo, before running the press office and then becoming head of communications at the Evangelical Alliance, a national charity based in London. She’s no stranger to winning awards, having received accolades for various digital projects at the Alliance, as well as recognition for her journalism with Newsquest’s weekly reporter of the year.

Charis is delighted to join the team, commenting: “Having worked with Liz Lean PR as a reporter for the Echo, I knew it had a reputation as the best PR agency in Dorset and look forward to winning new clients.”

Alice Rook joins the team as an account executive with a background in content marketing and editing. Alice has previously been the editor of local magazines DV8, Listed and Do More. She has spent the last few years with LexisClick, a digital marketing agency. Alice will be responsible for supporting the account managers with social media activity, copywriting and marketing.

The team has further been strengthened with the addition of Zac Furbank as PR and marketing assistant. Zac is a mature PR student at Bournemouth University, currently on his placement year at Liz Lean PR. He worked for several years at a local radio station, spent some time in the USA and has now moved back to Dorset with his wife and two young children. In his new role, he supports the account management team working with a variety of clients.

Managing director of Liz Lean PR, Liz Willingham, said: “New faces bring new skills. Charis, Alice and Zac have joined us at an exciting and important stage of our development. There are new opportunities coming our way and 2015 is going to be a good one for us. We look forward to recruiting two new additional members in the New Year. I’m excited about working with such an array of professionals and to see the business growing so positively.”

Homeward bound

Katie Damiani

The LLPR team were thrilled to welcome back a familiar face to the business, Katie Damiani née Sutton. Katie has returned to us as our office manager earlier this year.

After graduating with a BA (Hons) in Communication and Media in 2007 Katie started her career with us at LLPR. Katie worked her way up in the business, but decided to leave for a couple of years to experience pastures new only to realise that she missed us too much!

As part of her new role, Katie is responsible for business administration processes, supporting the team with client work when required, as well as supporting Liz in day-to-day activities.

Katie said: “I’m so pleased to be back. The business has such a fantastic reputation and it’s great to once again be a part of this dynamic and well respected team.”

Liz comments: “It’s great to have Katie back with us again. With her extensive experience of us as a business, our clients and media relationships, she provides invaluable support to everyone in the team as well as to me – it feels like she never left!”

Moving up in the ranks

Louise Blackwell

With a host of new clients comes a range of new opportunities within LLPR, and as a result we have been able to promote the newest member of the LLPR team, Louise Blackwell 

Louise graduated with a BA (Hons) in Journalism from Southampton Solent University in 2008, and to gain relevant experience in the communications industry, she secured placements at BBC Essex, Press Gazette, The Guardian, The News of the World and The Spectator (while Boris Johnson was editor!).

Prior to joining the LLPR team, Louise worked in various roles which included in-house marketing, communications, PR and internal communications.

Louise said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for me. I love being a part of the LLPR team and am enjoying managing a range of diverse clients.”

Liz comments: “Louise has developed in both a personal and professional manner over the last year, so I was delighted to offer her this promotion opportunity. I look forward to seeing her continue to grow within the company.”