We would love to introduce you to Lee Jones, one of our Cat's Pajamas Collaborative founding members.
I’ve worked in comms for over 20 years. For the vast majority I have worked in the NHS, which has supported my development and taught me a great deal from media handling to patient and public involvement, fundraising, marketing, public affairs, strategy, staff engagement and internal comms to name just a few areas. Beyond that, as a director, I’ve found huge transferability of my communications and engagement skills to support the wider development of the organisations I have worked with, whether that is developing leaders and managers or planing our strategic future.
I have been lucky in my career to work with some great people from across my networks. I haven’t always been a part of a big team and so I found my networks to be hugely supportive and positively challenging. However, the traditional networks out there are becoming a bit formulaic. I believe this collaborative provides a different offer to people and I’m excited to be at the start of it as a founder member.
I am looking forward to being inspired and learning from others. I hope that I will get the opportunity to work with and meet different people across different industries and sectors.
I also hope that I will be able to provide support to others as I have been supported throughout my career. Whether it's providing a different point of view or sharing my knowledge and experience to help build confidence in others. And if nothing else I can offer a listening ear over a gin and tonic at a collaborative event!
I think some of my proudest moments have been when everyone has worked together to bounce back from an incident or issue. I have been in situations where my organisation has faced criticism and it is hard to see that impact on the morale of the people you work with and knock the confidence of your patients and the local public. The scrutiny it puts you under, personally and as an organisation, is intense. Yet I’ve been overwhelmed with the resolve people have shown to make things better and I’ve been proud of the small part I’ve been able to play to support my colleagues and to rebuild that confidence over time.
I think leadership and education is pretty key in terms of what we will need to focus on in our profession. Comms isn’t always great at blowing its own trumpet and demonstrating the value added. And we need to do that in a way that resonates with the wider business. That means comms leaders utilising our skills to talk to others in a language they understand, rather than expecting them to adapt and learn about our areas of expertise. We need to shake off the ’spin doctor’ tag once and for all, and establish ourselves on a par with corporate services that organisations feel they can’t exist without and won’t do on the cheap.
Thank you so much to Lee for sharing her views on communications, leadership and the collaborative. We are so lucky to have Lee on board as a founding member. If you want to find out more about joining our Cat's Pajamas Collaborative click here.