LIVE: Award-winning PR expert tells of “career low” when she snubbed Take That gig


Suzanne Watson of award-winning Approach PR spoke of her “career low” when she turned down an opportunity to see Take That in Bradford before they were famous

By Kelly Woodward

Fun ideas like getting a biking vicar to set a world record for the fastest motorcycle hearse are important in PR, according to an award-winning businesswoman.

But Suzanne Watson, managing director of Approach PR based in Ilkley, said it also has a serious business element.

Suzanne, 44, named Woman of the Year in Bradford’s Inspirational Woman Awards, told students at Leeds Trinity University’s Journalism Week that the Rev Ray Biddiss had said no biker would want to travel to their funeral in a hearse.

He took her up on her idea to design funerals that would appeal to motorcyclists – and ended up setting a Guinness World Record by travelling at over 100 mph on his “hearse trike”, which led to appearances on shows including This Morning.

Suzanne said: “Reverend Ray has a lot to thank PR for. He is now a gay icon in San Francisco.”

Suzanne began her talk by telling students that suffering from eczema led her on the path into journalism as she wanted to tell her story and other stories from people with eczema. Her company now represents the National Eczema Society.

“It is part of who, why and where I am today,” she said.

After leaving school Suzanne was instantly thrown in at the deep end working for a week at Bradford’s Telegraph and Argus.

Suzanne said: “I was propelled into a world full of business, politics and MPs but this experience was pivotal to my career.”

At 19 years old, Suzanne described how she did not enjoy having to get a photo and interview with a grieving family and told the students that she needed to do this in order to get where she is now.
“You need to be able to relate to somebody in a professional and effective way,” she said.
Suzanne showed students a few articles that she did when she was first starting her journalism journey at 19 years old saying that it gave her confidence to network with people for stories.
She also talked about a “career low”, turning down the opportunity to see Take That in Bradford before they became famous!

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