International Women’s Day 2018 – five PR powerhouses that happen to be women

International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate women in the PR industry.

Here’s five women who ROCK the world of public relations. I’ve picked some of my favourites to inspire, empower and motivate you on your PR journey.

These ladies are listed in no particular order, I admire them all for very different reasons. If they were super heroes they’d form that Avengers team kicking ass all over the world.

This list isn’t complete, when I drafted a list of women I wanted to mention it was over a page long. My aim is to feature all these PR women on this blog at some stage but thought this was a great selection to start things off.

Anne Gregory

Anne will have absolutely no clue who I am. I however feel like I know Anne. (Don’t worry Anne, I’m not a stalker!)

Her book, Planning and Managing Public Relations Campaigns: A Strategic Approach,  has been my companion throughout my PR Masters and now at the start of my PR career.

My well thumbed copy has been a constant source of help when I feel like I’ve lost my way or I’m not sure exactly what I should do.

When I read this book I feel like James Bond, you know, like you’ve got a plan and an awesome secret gadget that’s going to save the day.

Anne was also CIPR President in 2004


Follow Anne on Twitter @GregsAnne

Ella Minty

PR powerhouse Ella Minty is sharp, smart and savvy, and she’s the one you’d want on your team if things go pear-shaped.

Please read my latest post, The #StartingOut Series – an interview with Ella Minty, to understand exactly why I like her so much. It also lists her extensive experience and achievements and some posts of hers that I’ve found really useful.

Follow @EllaMinty on Twitter for smart commentary on topical PR and communications issues.

Sarah Stimson

Diversity in PR is extremely important and Sarah’s a real champion for it. Sarah helps to create opportunities for people in the PR industry through the Taylor Bennett Foundation and this is why I think she’s amazing.

The Taylor Bennett Foundation

PR hasn’t always had the most diverse work force and I think this is such a shame. Diversity brings strength, different perspectives and a larger knowledge pool. Sarah’s targeting diversity in PR at the grass roots stage – something that I think will improve the PR industry in the long term.

PR Careers

Sarah also created PR Careers, a blog that’s unbelievably useful if you’re looking for a job in PR. There’s lots of advice and guidance to steer you in the right direction at any stage in your career. Her personal website is pretty ace too –

Her talent doesn’t stop there, she’s also an author. Her book ‘How to get a job in PR’ is worth adding into your next Amazon order if you’re looking for a role in public relations. *hint hint PR students*

Sarah Hall

Sarah is the CIPR’s President for 2018. She’s the founder of #FuturePRoof, features in the PRWeek UK Power Book and is evolving and supporting best practice in the PR industry. Just like Ella Minty, Sarah’s a real PR powerhouse!

Since I can’t list all of her achievements, here’s a wonderful summary that I’ve shamelessly stolen from her website, Sarah Hall Consulting.

Sarah’s impressive array of PR achievements and projects

Sarah’s blog is a consistently cracking read full of thought provoking posts which blend the academic, strategic and practical aspects of PR.

Read Sarah’s blog

On a much sillier note, she makes me laugh on Twitter, as well as providing relevant and interesting thoughts on what’s going on in the PR world of course!

Follow Sarah on Twitter @hallmeister

Catherine Sweet

My mentor, PR Masters lecturer and all round PR whizz. Catherine believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I will forever be grateful for this. Catherine made a big difference to my life. After a huge knock to my confidence in my early twenties, she helped undo the damage and taught me to write and think more critically.

Catherine was one of the first female Rhodes Scholars. She saved the UK from a major economic crash and crisis in the 80s because she spotted something in a document that would have ruined us all (Not many people know this!). And, I am pretty sure there’s a million more amazing things about her that I should know but don’t.

There’s a fantastic article online about her that manages to sum up Catherine’s magnificent career far better than I can. It’s called 1977: Ms. Rhodes Scholar in the University of Virginia Magazine.

Some of Catherine’s thoughts about winning the Rhodes Scholarship and going to Oxford University

Catherine was also interviewed for Behind the Spin in a PR teaching profile article which also has some interesting insights.

The interview was in 2008 and the last two questions talk about the future of PR. She thought that the PR industry would see a split between digital communications and strategic PR and I think she was accurate with her prediction. I’m definitely seeing a split happening in the industry.

Part of Catherine’s interview with Behind the Spin

Catherine’s response to an article called ‘I wish I’d had a female mentor’: what Rhodes Scholars say about the lack of change for women is cracking.

I’m pointing this out on International Women’s Day because although it’s fun to celebrate women on this day she’s absolutely right, gender doesn’t matter. Mentors should be mentors because of their skills, not because they have a specific set of body parts. Catherine’s comment is really indicative of her approach and way of thinking.

Catherine’s technically retired and focusing on writing a novel but, her PR and communications blog is still live, with an excellent back catalogue of interesting posts to look through.

Go to Catherine Sweet’s PR and communications blog

All five of these people are PR powerhouses that just happen to be women. Five fantastic minds that have influenced the PR industry for the better. My PR journey wouldn’t be the same without them.

2 thoughts on “International Women’s Day 2018 – five PR powerhouses that happen to be women

  1. Well- all I can say is that I am honoured to be on this list. And grateful to you, Rebecca Henderson, for reminding me on this of all days that ambition is important. Of course, you didn’t mention my greatest achievement, which is to have been able to teach and perhaps inspire a new generation of women to be the voice of authority that they should be in a world that needs better communication.

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