The Spark - action learning, business coaching and effective marketing in Devon

About me #01

My experience can work for your business

My name is Alison Theaker and I have 30 years experience in public relations and management as a practitioner, academic and author. I have taught in higher education in the UK and US, and have used my expertise to enable others to be the best they can be as a business mentor, trainer and coach. I can help you find your own Spark!
My Public Relations Handbook, is a standard textbook in the UK. Its companion book, the Public Relations Strategic Handbook, is an essential guide for practitioners.




Business Mentor, Coach and Trainer, The Spark
July 2009 to date

  • Accredited by Devon & Somerset Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme
  • Shortlisted for Teacher, Tutor or Mentor who most inspires others to Learn Award in 2012 South Devon Business Awards.
  • ILM Level 7 Certificate in Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Focussed coaching to achieve business solutions for individuals and teams.
  • Accredited Action Learning facilitator with the Institute of Leadership and Management. Facilitation for Women's Development Unlimited. Facilitation of sets with Open College Network, Yorkshire. Founding and facililtation of action learning set for small businesses in Kingsbridge.
  • Delivery of business skills workshops in cost-effective marketing, media relations skills, soft selling and customer care for Plymouth Chamber of Commerce; North Devon Plus; Women's Development Unlimited; Women Do Business; Business Information Point.
  • NLP Coaching Practitioner accredited by ANLP. Focussed individual coaching to improve confidence and change old patterns.
  • Delivery of interpersonal and professional skills training in better presentations and assertive communication.

    Senior Lecturer, College of St Mark & St John, Plymouth
    August 2004 – July 2009
  • Delivering undergraduate teaching on BA Public Relations and BA Management
  • Undertaking course redevelopment, and design of FDA top up and MA in Corporate Communications
  • Co-ordinated Behind the Spin, the first Conference for PR practitioners in the SW, September 2006. 120 practitioners attended over 2 days.
  • Collaborating with colleagues in Australia on writing skills.

    Senior Lecturer, Worcester Business School, University of Worcester
    February – July 2009
  • Delivery of courses in Integrated Marketing Communications and PR Practice.

    Course Tutor, CIPR Diploma, Bristol
    September 2004 – August 2007, and from September 2009 to date
  • Delivery of Diploma sessions for up to 25 professional practitioners

    Scholar in Residence and Co-director Integrated Marketing Communications MA, Emerson College, Boston MA, USA
    January 2002 – August 2003
  • Delivered UG and PG courses in Principles of PR, PR Writing, Global PR

    Head of Education & Training, Chartered Institute of Public Relations, London
    December 1999- March 2001
  • Developed CIPR PG professional qualifications, Diploma and Advanced Certificate
  • Devised Developing Excellence, first CPD scheme for PR industry in Europe, incorporating nationally recognized Training Framework
  • Improved, maintained and expanded relationships with Approved Courses in the UK
  • Developed Approved Training status and created relationships with other PR training organizations

    Principal Lecturer and Course Leader, PR Studies, Leeds Business School
    September 1995- August 1998
    Senior Lecturer, Public Relations Studies, Leeds Business School
    July 1990-August 1994
  • First lecturer to deliver BA in PR
  • Development of UG programmes
  • Creating links with European institutions through Erasmus, plus US and Australia
  • Management of academic staff team

    Public Relations Practitioner, executive to director level
    October 1982 – June 1990
  • Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale:Senior PR Officer
  • National Museum of Photography: Press Officer
  • Institute of Housing: Deputy Editor
  • Association of Photographers: PR Director
  • Performing Right Society: PR Executive

    Freelance journalist
    1984 – 1990
    Regular contributor to Creative Review, British Journal of Photography, The Photographer, Photography. Occasional articles for The Independent, the Guardian, Marxism Today, Best.


    Publications
    The Public Relations Strategic Handbook 2013, co-authored with Heather Yaxley. Routledge
    The Public Relations Handbook (4th edn 2011) Routledge
    Effective Media Relations (3rd edn 2005) with Bland & Wragg, Kogan Page
    No Rhyme Nor Reason, (2001)Self-published novel with iUniverse

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