Teela ClaytonResearcher and Lecturer, Leeds Business School

Lyrically feisty, with a PhD in Communication Management loading, Teela Clayton is a CIPR Accredited PR practitioner whose agency experience spans healthcare, pharma comms, consumer and B2B. Alongside her PhD, Teela works at Leeds Business School as a researcher and lecturer. A former teacher by trade – though she never mentions it – she knows her way around a dictionary and is never without a red pen. Her interests include spelling, Yorkshire Tea, and socio-political communication. She is most oft found atop a soap box, or in a bucolic setting.

Why did you say yes to become a CommsHero Ambassador?

My Dad had a saying: everything happens for a reason.
These days I can recognise the fatalism of the phrase, but in the days and years after my Dad died, I clutched it beating to my chest; breathed life into its words, reciting it like some shamanic ritual. It explained away those mishaps that seem to happen in succession and only ever when you’re already having a bad day. It numbed the pain of missing out on roles and opportunities, or being overlooked for promotion. It silenced, for a moment, those voices, doubts, about the choices I had made and who I was becoming. It was a small comfort on those moonless nights when I lay awake thinking of Dad, the oppressive darkness crushing me into the foetal position. Everything happens for a reason.
Knowing I needed to take ownership of this reason, I made a career change. Mid pandemic, facing an uncertain and inhospitable market, I was ready to give up on PR and communications. One thing the world will always need, I thought miserably as I marked another terrible piece of home-schooling homework, is teachers.
But there in my doldrums, I found #CommsHero. I found joy. I found a community at my fingertips. I found Jules Loveland (MCIPR) and Carly Cook (MCIPR) and Rebecca Sangster-Kelly and Keith Riley-Jones. I found swag and biscuits and Desk Buddy and CIPR CPD points. I found knowledge, and laughter, and belonging. I found me.
Dad never got to see the way things turned out for me, the teaching, the masters, the PhD. My two babies.
But as Dad would say: everything happens for a reason.