Communication experts to help regional businesses take flight

THE man whose guerilla marketing tactics hijacked a British Airways press launch is coming to the region to show how innovative PR thinking can steal your competitors’ headlines, no matter how big they are.

The former head of PR at easyJet, James Rothnie, was behind one of the most memorable PR stunts the aviation industry has seen.  Under James’ leadership, when British Airways (BA) launched its low-cost airline Go in 1998, he arranged the purchase of ten tickets so that easyJet staff could board the inaugural flight in orange boiler suits. By employing guerrilla PR tactics, easyJet ensured that it would be able to steal the media spot light from BA.

James was actually one of the ten staff on board that flight, and it is through such milestones in his 20 year career that he has established himself as a leader within the communications field. 

Now a highly regarded management trainer and PR consultant, James’ own real life examples and knowledge are tipped to help the business community move towards business success through teaching the importance of good communication. 

Organised by Newcastle Science City, The Science of Communication event – on 24 October – will show the region how James helped easyJet’s legendary owner Stelios Haji-Ioannou to become a household name through his communication campaigns. 

James, will share his top tips of creative and effective communication practice and how understanding the marketing and PR function of your company is fundamental to business triumph. 

Aimed at managers, owners and investors of small businesses, the event will combine communications theory from Helen Woodruffe-Burton of Northumbria University and practical examples from James.

Newcastle Science City head of business support Simon Green said: “The Science of Communication is set to be a really engaging and interesting event, providing the business community with some of the best advice and guidance from leading figures in the field. 

“The combination of James’ stories and Helen’s latest academic theory in this area will give attendees knowledge and ideas to use in their own businesses.”

PR consultant James Rothnie said: “I am fortunate to have worked with many high profile brands during my career, and they all attached importance to communication with both internal and external audiences.  I will be sharing my first hand experience of the best examples of public relations, branding and communications.” 

The Science of Communication forms part of the newly launched Science of Success event series. Created to help entrepreneurs unlock the science behind running a successful business, the innovative event series heralds the beginning of a new era in the region’s efforts to support the business community.

The series is being held as part of the development of the first regional Business & IP Centre, based on the British Library’s highly acclaimed model in London, which is planned for launch in Newcastle next year. The Centre will provide information resources and advice specially tailored to help entrepreneurs and businesses on their journey to success.

Newcastle is leading the way in what will be the first in a proposed network of regional centres, and at the forefront of this is a series of events over the next six months under the Science of Success banner.

Brought together through a collaboration between Newcastle Science City and Newcastle City Council and in partnership with the city’s universities, the Science of Success event series includes showcase events, workshops, coaching sessions, entrepreneurs in residence and networking opportunities in all areas of business from accessing funding to protecting your copyright, business planning to marketing.

Newcastle Science City is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, securing £2.3million of ERDF investment. The ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013 is bringing over £300m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.

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