She’s just been named in the inaugural list of the UK’s leading 100 movers and shakers in “in-house communications”.
That’s quite a mouthful – especially to dinosaurs like me who, in the past, would simply have referred to these departments within big organisations as, the press office.
Times have changed though. These days the top corporate comms operators are dealing with far more than just media relations (to give it the modern title). They’re also handling corporate affairs, internal communications, investor relations and the current cause celebre, corporate social responsibility.
The people putting together the list are from CorpComms magazine, so they can be relied on to know their stuff. They’ve described Helen as “a first class communicator who could compete on a global stage” and is “viewed as having an unrivalled network of contacts in the Scottish media”. High praise indeed.
I can vouch for Helen’s credentials – since Holyrood Partnership has been helping out in the Scottish Water office for five years and we’ve seen her in action. Working with Helen is like being caught up in a whirlwind. She has unbelievable energy and her contacts book really is a Who’s Who of Scottish journalism.
Part of that is because Helen spent a long time at the sharp end working in the Scottish media. She’s never let me forget the first time I met her. She was a big noise at The Herald while I was humble young hack at the Daily Record. That didn’t stop me in a drunken moment of bravado from suggesting that she was in some way linked with my editor (I might even have used the term shagging).
Whoops. Still it is probably Helen’s greatest asset that she’s got such a good sense of humour. She’s also got a bank of funny and outrageous anecdotes and goes out of her way to make me blush virtually every time I see her. Revenge for those outrageous comments when I was too young to know any better.
For my money, Helen’s other outstanding quality is loyalty. After five years working at Scottish Water (24-hour on call, emergency incidents, cover at short notice etc) we still didn’t have a contract to speak of. Helen has recently sorted that out for us.
So as well as offering congratulations for her inclusion in the prestigious 100 Club, I’d also like to offer her hearfelt thanks. Next time she’s out the Champagne will be on us.