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Meet our new account director, Islay O’Hara, MCIPR

Islay O’Hara is a seasoned PR and marketing pro, who’s covered everything from new launches to educational campaigns.  Her impressive track record and commitment to client success make her a natural fit for Sharp Minds.

Why do you love public relations?

“The pen is mightier than the sword”. We are all influenced, motivated and persuaded to act in a certain way through what we read, watch, listen to and consume via the media. This content, at some point, will have been shaped by a public relations professional, therefore, we are the driving force behind change, trends, cultures and the interpretation of societal issues.

What’s your previous experience?

I have been working for over 20 years in strategic communications and marketing for organisations in the healthcare, education, finance and charity sectors. Over that period, I have devised, implemented and managed many high-profile campaigns for organisations including Pfizer and Abbott Laboratories, including new product launches and customer awareness programmes. I built high-value partnerships, managed brand and corporate reputations and organised promotional events for large and small organisations. Media relations, including social media, content creation and management across the sectors was an integral key part in the majority of campaigns.

What are your key specialisms?

My specialism is public relations. I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (MCIPR) and hold a post-graduate Diploma in Public Relations (Dip.CAM).  My experience allows me to support organisations who are reviewing and defining their overall PR and marketing strategies to ensure they provide creative and deliverable solutions that meet their organisational objectives.

My particular field of expertise is relationship management, including partnership mapping, development and lobbying.

What made you join Sharp Minds?

Sharp Minds values excellent communications intelligence and skills which come from experience both at a strategic and at implementation levels.  The company has a pro-active, forward-thinking and collaborative approach with attention to detail, and the team has genuine passion for strengthening their clients’ communications strategies to deliver results. All of these values are in alignment with my own.

What do you do when you’re not delivering marketing and PR success for your clients?

When I am not devising new personal challenges such as walking the South Downs Way or climbing Mt Snowden, my favourite things to do are to wind down with family and friends over a great meal and (an occasional glass of wine), read a book and practice yoga.

To find out more about how Sharp Minds Communications can help with your marketing, email communications@sharpminds.agency

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