Up-and-coming Tyneside PR firm O Communications has expanded with the appointment of PR graduate and industry award winner Gemma Clarke.
Gemma, 22, from Blyth, joins the agency as PR executive at its Newcastle Quayside base, swelling staff numbers to four.
After graduating from the University of Sunderland in July with a first class honours degree in PR, Gemma also won the industry-sponsored most outstanding student award and the best practical project award.
O Communications was launched in the summer of 2005 by Northern Ireland-born entrepreneur Kari Owers, with the aim of bringing the same level of innovative communications techniques commonly applied to consumer brands to the `business to business' world.
The agency has already established itself as a front runner in business to business communications, with a string of impressive clients including Mobilx, Young Enterprise and the Vipers ice hockey team.
Gemma said: "I was instantly attracted to O Communications' fresh and creative energy and their style of no-nonsense PR.
"I have been fortunate enough to join the team at a very exciting time, during which the company is rapidly expanding with great new clients to work on.
"During university I completed work experience at a number of large and small PR agencies. I was lucky enough to work for a high-profile PR firm in London and, on return, I didn't think I would be able to get the same buzz in a PR agency up North.
"But at O Communications I recognised they shared my passion and enthusiasm for energetic PR. It just goes to show you that you don't have to move to London to get the job you want and bigger isn't always better.
"I am very pleased with the accounts I will be working on. They are young and vibrant with lots of exciting things going which suits me down to the ground.
"I knew I had hit lucky when I was offered the job and invited to two high-profile client events on the same day." Managing director Kari Owers said: "I think one of the reasons O Communications has been so successful is that we've shown clients we can add value to their business strategy and help them get better results by engaging with audiences in a lively way, and always with one eye on corporate aims.
"Gemma's excellent performance at university, coupled with her solid work experience and industry awards made her the perfect new recruit to the team.
"Whilst studying, she had the initiative to complete work experience, such as a stint at a celebrity PR firm in London, and worked on impressive clients, such as the Channel 4 comedy series Green Wing and BBC2's The Apprentice.
"She will undergo our in-house graduate training programme, as part of our youth mentoring scheme, to ensure she learns our style and ethos and reaches her own long-term career aims."