New Challenges week kicks off with one of PR’s best Jane Hunt

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Winner of the Best Freelance PR Practitioner award at the CIPR Excellence Awards, the Managing Director of her own consultancy: Catapult PR and with over two decades of experience in the field, Jane Hunt is – without a doubt – a massive personality within the PR industry, and with 21 awards backing her, she’s also clearly an individual worthy of high praise.

The New Challenges week kicked off with a top PR practitioner. Solent welcomed Jane Hurst by greeting her with a lecture theatre that was almost full of students from the PR and Advertising courses.

Jane, whose worked with big names such as South Western, British Gas & Swinton Insurance; been the editor of various employee magazines and even wrote her own book: Rogue Elephants: One PR Girl’s Fight Through the Human Jungle, was a delightful start to the New Challenges week for Solent students to get industry insight into the world of PR.

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She’s the mastermind behind a campaign that is the equivalent to an FA cup of shirt donating: “Send Shirts to Skopje”. A campaign that had her storing 13,000 shirts in a London office, with up to £100,000 of coverage and earning the campaign the Silver Award for Best PR Value. All before using her charm to score the campaign a Hercules Jet from a friend to fly the shirts out after finding out the army couldn’t. Now that’s crisis management.

Speaking of crisis management, Jane was with SWEB (South Western Electricity Board) during the Great Storm of 1987 which left the whole electricity supply south of Bristol without power. All hands were on deck with constant calls in and out, giving Jane 3 days of PR hell but also making her a key role model in Crisis Management.

She’s also responsible for giving Cumbria farming a massive boost with her Luxury in a Farm campaign that had responses such as:

  • “Cumbria is the New Paris” (Observer)
  • “Cool Cumbria, Down on the Farm” (Independant)
  • 21 x return on investment: £400,000 of coverage.

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So why consider a career in PR?

It’s more like how couldn’t you?

Jane has met Sir Bobby Charlton, toured the world and has even had a suit complimented by Princess Diane. She’s had one on one conversations with Robbie Fowler, Harry Redknapp and met Eddie Kidd while also attending a large number of Motor Shows around the world. This is just the tip of the iceberg as it seems her time in PR has had so many highlights that a single blog post alone can’t do it justice.

What’s it all about for Jane?

  • Inspiration for others: women in business.
  • Bade apples/business ups and downs.
  • Glitz/ glamour: grit & gritted  teeth.
  • Anecdotes, campaigns, laughter and tears.
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