CIPR Fellows Q&A: Alastair Ross

Earlier today the CIPR announced the names of six members who’ve been awarded Fellowships, the Institute most prestigious grade of membership.

CIPR Fellowship is awarded by the Fellowship Nominations Committee (FNC) for outstanding contribution to the CIPR and the public relations industry.

This Q&A series aims to shine the spotlight on the newly appointed CIPR Fellows by offering  insight into their professional and personal interests. The first in the series introduces Alastair Ross FCIPR, Director at Pinsent Masons LLP.

Lives: Bathgate, near EdinburghAlastair Ross

Drives: Too much, and I don’t cycle enough

Most trusted media brand: Not sure I trust any media brand, but the FT is my most reliable one.

Career highlight: Taking part in the US Government’s International Visitor Leadership Programme – a fantastic three-week trip learning how America works.

Favourite campaign of the past ten years: The Scottish independence referendum campaign is just fascinating on so many levels – different strategies, objectives, tactics, channels, tools, resources, and engagement. I predict PR will be studying both sides for years to come.

Campaign you’re most proud to have worked on: It’s not a major one, but the Bank of Scotland’s Midnight League (promoting football as a diversionary activity for socially disruptive teenagers) was very special in terms of the impact we saw it have and how many people were prepared to give up their Friday night for it.

How do you explain what you do to your friends and family: In public affairs we tell people what the Government’s thinking of doing, what it means for them, and what they can do about it.

Favourite social media platform & why?: Professionally, Twitter is a useful newswire (albeit with no quality control). Personally, Facetime’s made a big difference in our family.

Form of communication I would ban is: Emailing when it’s possible to speak instead – interpersonal skills need development.
Personal mantra:There’s no such thing as stupid questions, just stupid answers

Favourite restaurant: Timberyard in Edinburgh for lunch, Le Roc du Boeuf in Rochechouart for dinner

If I hadn’t worked in public affairs, I’d have:  (hopefully) still been working as a newspaper reporter

Professional role model: I learned a lot of good things from Alex Pagett at Bank of Scotland and Neil Gibson at the BIG Partnership

When not at work I’m: Laughing with my wife and daughters, going the extra mile on my bike, or agonising over Aberdeen FC

One piece of advice for an aspiring practitioner: Be bold – go for it, have the courage of your convictions, and try to make a positive impact so people see it and remember you.

To find out more about CIPR Fellowship, visit the website.

Keep an eye out for tomorrow’s Fellows Q&A, featuring Ashley Scott-Wilcox FCIPR.

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