Meet our new committee member: Izabela Hamilton
Izabela is a communications specialist and certified executive coach with more than 15 years’ international experience. Her career has seen her implement PR and communications strategies for multinational companies across a diverse range of industries, including luxury hospitality, financial publishing, events management and education.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what attracted you to joining the International committee?
I am originally Polish, currently living in Mauritius. Prior to that, I lived and worked in Dubai and in London. A few days back I realised that I left my country exactly 20 years ago to pursue my career in PR. And what an exciting journey that has been!
Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working in financial publishing, market research and the luxury hospitality sector in the UK and the UAE. That eventually led me to opening my own Communication & Coaching consultancy and delivering PR & Soft Skills courses to corporates.
The best thing (or two) about working with a portfolio of clients is that it requires learning new skills, staying on top of the PR game and meeting many inspirational and creative people along the way. For exactly the same reason I was attracted (and honoured!) to join the CIPR International Committee and collaborate with the other members. I met Samantha Seewoosurrun, the Chair of CIPR International Group, shortly after I moved to Mauritius. Her drive and enthusiasm to spread the word about the PR industry and showcase its importance in the region - and beyond - is contagious. I knew I wanted to take part. I am therefore excited to see what we can do together as a team in 2023!
What would you say are the biggest challenges or opportunities facing PR professionals in your country / internationally right now?
For a comms team, having “a seat at the table” during a strategy meeting or an executive committee meeting proved to be challenging in the past. It does not seem to be the case anymore.
Our role as the PR professionals has been evolving over time (Covid-19 and its outbreak had a lot to do with it).
We now play a critical role in: 1) managing and advancing corporate reputation, 2) helping companies navigate cultural, economic and societal trends, as well as 3) advising clients how to better interact with and inform stakeholders. The list of our responsibilities has grown from securing media mentions, building media relations, writing press releases, managing issues, crisis and events to include managing reputation, social media, crafting CSR/ESG strategies, data-driven campaigns and messages.
And then, there is the whole world of AI and ChatGPT to add to it too.
It might feel challenging at times to keep up to date with the latest developments. However, with so many resources available at your fingertips (for example CIPR courses), it has never been easier to stay up to date.
I am optimistic that our seat in these boardroom meetings is here to stay!
What are you most proud of?
I have always enjoyed doing PR and teaching PR. So far, I have had an opportunity to primarily offer services and share my experience with other corporations. One of my personal goals was to have a chance to help shape young minds and prepare them for a career in the PR industry.
I am proud that this goal is just about to materialise, as I am starting a new role as a part-time lecturer in Advertising, Public Relations and Branding at the Middlesex University Mauritius.