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Kelly O'Hanlon

Kelly O'Hanlon

Senior Lecturer in Public Relations, Birmingham City University
Kelly has worked in the PR industry for over 15 years, both agency and in-house, consumer and B2B, and still offers consultancy services. She has held the position of Senior Lecturer in PR within the Birmingham School of Media, at Birmingham City University, since 2016, and is also the Marketing and Recruitment Lead for the Birmingham Institute of Media and English.

She is also Vice Chair and Budget Manager for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Midlands Committee, and is an Accredited Practitioner.

Kelly runs a student agency and social platform called #BCUWeArePR, is a founding member of the Midlands PR Conference and is a lifestyle blogger in her 'spare' time.

Further background:
Kelly started her career at WPR Agency and went on to lead the successful home and lifestyle team, before moving on over a decade later to establish a PR arm for One Black Bear. Campaign highlights from Kelly’s career include: an award-winning experiential stunt for National Express, #notsuchadrag, involving some famous drag queens and a mock protest at Victoria train station, a campaign for appliance manufacturer Neff that went on to become Europe's biggest online baking community, a brand partnership for Sharps Bedrooms with celebrity designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and a trade initiative called JOSB Done to promote a particular type of wood panel; in short, “If you can PR a piece of wood, you can PR anything!”.

Since 2016, Kelly has held the position of Senior Lecturer in PR within the Birmingham School of Media, at Birmingham City University. She has worked hard to develop the BA and MA programmes through engaging, practice-informed modules, she has established a student agency platform that emphasises the need for hands-on experience and she also co-designed a standalone PR and Media degree, which is now in its second year. Kelly has also continued to boost the reputation and build the recruitment activities for the Birmingham Institute of Media and English in her capacity as Marketing and Recruitment Lead.

A regular contributor to industry debates, Kelly has been interviewed by national and local media on a variety of topics, including issues around social media, celebrity profiles, brand reputation, crisis and representation, and is both a PR consultant and a blogger on the side. Kelly seeks to nurture crucial connections between academia and industry, to help shape the practitioners of tomorrow – and is always looking for ways to #doPRdifferently.

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