She made a difference. That was the message that came through at Carol Rennard (Arthur)’s remembrance service in Tunstall, North Yorkshire last month, where the PR industry, clients, universities, former students and charities turned out in recognition of the difference she made to them.
Carol sadly died at just 63, after living with breast cancer for nearly 20 years.
She trained as a journalist with Yorkshire Post newspapers, moving into PR with the Co-Op and a college before joining Northern Lights PR in Harrogate where she helped develop and run many of their award-winning campaigns.
She chaired the CIPR Yorkshire and Humber committee, supporting the PR industry widely in the region. Robert Minton-Taylor said: “Carol was extremely supportive of Leeds Beckett Students’ Union ‘Fair Deal for Interns’ campaign and, if truth be known, we would never have achieved our accreditation programme for interns had she not given us the inspiration for doing so.”
More recently she became part-time director of communications for Silk Family Law – who turned out in force in appreciation of the difference she made to their firm – alongside several charitable roles as trustee and chair, with a particular focus on rural regeneration and mental health.
Comments about her support and kindness were mentioned frequently. One student said: “She saw something in me way before I had recognised any particular potential in myself. She invested time and effort that she really didn’t need to and gently pointed me in the right direction, giving me a shot of confidence just when needed.”
Jan Thornton, now vice chair of ACRE, sums up so much about this generous PR woman: “Carol was an extremely committed trustee who gave so generously of her time and expertise. We were colleagues on the board at Involve Yorkshire & Humber, then Rural Action Yorkshire and subsequently Community First Yorkshire. She was such a lovely, kind and positive person.”
The final words go to Minton-Taylor: “In my 50 years working in PR and journalism I have met few executives in our industry who were genuinely nice people. The kind of person you could call up when all hell was breaking loose, give you impartial advice, a hug or a warm smile and tell you not to worry.
“Carol was truly one of these people. She always thought of others first.”
Carol Rennard was born on 22 November 1955 and died on 9 August.
With thanks to Carol’s former colleague Victoria Tomlinson for compiling the above.