UPDATED: Suzanne Watson on Take That, eczema and life in public relations

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Suzanne Watson and a young Take That

By Kelly Woodward

Life hasn’t always been so easy and straightforward for award-winning Suzanne Watson, managing director of Approach PR based in Ilkley.

Suzanne, 44, told students at Leeds Trinity University’s Journalism Week that what she considered her “career low” was turning down the chance to interview “a new up-and-coming boy band” doing a gig in Bradford in 1995.

That band turned out to be Take That before they became famous – but she later got to Gary Barlow.

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

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

At 19, Suzanne said she did not enjoy the journalistic tasks such as interviewing a grieving family but told students she needed to do this in order to get to where she was today.

“You need to be able to relate to somebody in a professional and effective way,” she said.

Eczema has always been a struggle for Suzanne, making it hard for her to talk to people as she was self-conscious.

Suzanne, named Woman of the Year in Bradford’s Inspirational Woman Awards, wrote to many women’s magazines and newspapers about her experience with eczema and how it has shaped her career.

“This began my 23-year campaign to raise awareness of eczema and the National Eczema Society,” said Suzanne.

“I wrote a story about my experience with eczema which appeared in numerous women magazines and newspapers.”

Approach PR regularly employs graduates and has student placements as Suzanne wants to give students a chance to learn and have the same opportunities that she had within a journalistic field.

Building confidence is hard but essential when wanting to become a journalist – that was Suzanne’s message.

She advised students: “Push yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone.”

 

 

 

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