Meet our 2011 bursary winner

Meet our 2011 bursary winner

We recently awarded our bursary to study for the CIPR Advanced Certificate in public relations to Rebecca Endacott, Marketing Communications Assistant at Dyslexia Action.

To win the bursary, Rebecca had to argue the case for undertaking a PR professional qualification in no more than 500 words. She presented such a passionate case for her chosen career and learning that we wanted to find out more about her entry into the profession and what her day job working for a national charity involves.

Here’s what she had to say when I caught up with her….

What was your route into the PR profession?

Rebecca: I completed a BA (hons) in Media and Cultural Studies at The University of The West of England. My course was great! It was varied and allowed me to explore many areas of interest, including public relationships and the media. My interest in PR really developed from here. I went on to do a short internship with a PR agency (LEWIS PR) and enjoyed the work so much that I decided to apply for paid PR roles afterwards

What does a typical day – if there is such a thing - involve working at Dyslexia in Action?

Rebecca: Days at Dyslexia Action are never typical. Tasks vary from generating PR for an event to writing news releases, to updating social media content. I can also be found responding to press enquiries, attending exhibitions, visiting our regional centres, producing collateral and recording video chats with supporters.  Working in a charity means you have to be creative. We want any money we do have to go to those who need it and so with no money to spend on expensive advertising we rely on PR to generate funds for and awareness of our cause.

Are you working on any major campaigns at the moment?

Rebecca: We aren’t currently working on any major national campaigns, although we are doing a lot of regional PR for Dyslexia Awareness week (31st October – 7th November). We are hoping to get more people into our 26 centres and to really raise public awareness of dyslexia and the issues it can cause. We will be undertaking a larger national campaign for the 10th anniversary of Dyslexia Action’s Annual Awards dinner.  The event, which takes place on November 29th at The Savoy Hotel, takes a lot of organising and so we will be helping the events staff with this.

What do you most love about your job?

Rebecca: Many people do not understand the severity of the lifelong implications that dyslexia can have. I don’t have dyslexia and I’m aware that it can be difficult to comprehend. The reality is that without adequate support and understanding dyslexia can and does affect access to education, work, and the confidence of those who deal with it.

I really enjoy the work I do and love seeing results – a positive mention of Dyslexia Action in the press, by a celebrity or a supporter. I also like the fact that I get to speak to and meet some of the people that the organisation helps. And I would love for the organisation to be able to support more people through the It’s ME! Learning Fund, which is why it is so important to get our messages out there and to inform people of the real issues facing those with dyslexia.

Why have you chosen to undertake a professional qualification?

Rebecca: After leaving University I missed learning and so wanted to take on something else. I want to know more about public relations, the theory and the practice, as I really believe that this will help me to improve my professional practice. I’m excited about starting something new and think the course will be hugely interesting. And I know that having an accredited professional qualification will benefit my future career progression.

Thanks Rebecca – and congratulations once again on winning the bursary!

About Dyslexia Action

Dyslexia Action is a national charity that improves lives through education. It is the UK’s leading provider of services and support for people with dyslexia and literacy difficulties, and specialises in assessments, teaching and training.  The organisation has 25 centres and 97 teaching locations around the UK. It also develops and distributes teaching materials and undertakes research.