A new mentoring programme aimed at senior industry practitioners has this week launched giving direct access to the industry’s highest-calibre communications professionals.
The VMA Enhance Mentoring Partnership is a new initiative from VMA Enhance, the professional development arm of communications recruitment specialist, VMA Group.
The Partnership has been specially designed to help senior practitioners develop further in their career and is specifically for those looking for enhanced personal performance, specific project support, or team development. It can also provide crucial support for senior professionals taking on a new position or following promotion to a senior role for the first time.
This latest innovation from VMA Group will provide unrivalled access to a range of independent mentors, who bring experience across all practice and business areas and have worked at the highest level within the communications industry. VMA Group is uniquely placed to develop such initiatives because of its distinctive focus on building long-term relationships across the industry.
· Marie Louise Windeler – an experienced senior executive with extensive board-level experience gained through a background in journalism and communications, followed by a 20+ year history in managing agencies and teams, to deliver significant business growth and profitable returns. Marie Louise was a former CEO of Hill & Knowlton UK and since leaving in 2006, she has developed a portfolio career in management consultancy, mentoring and non-executive directorships
· Peter Jones – a career Corporate Communications specialist with experience in both journalism and PR consultancy. A former Head of Public Relations for British Airways, Peter enjoyed 10 years with the airline from the time of its flotation and was also Communications Director of BUPA for 12 years. Peter also brings extensive Crisis and Change Management experience.
Julia Meighan is Executive Chairman of VMA Group and herself a mentor for the Princes Trust, she says: “I’ve witnessed the positive impact that mentoring can have on an individual, both in their approach to work and in their personal life. The VMA Enhance Mentoring Partnership will provide mentees with a private sounding board, unconditional support and professional advice from confident career specialists in their discipline, who understand the pressures faced in senior communications roles – whether in a business or a consultancy.”
All mentors, known as VMA Enhance Associates, go through a strict selection process; as well as having worked in PR or corporate communications for a minimum of 10 years, the mentors need to provide references from a former mentee and be able to demonstrate a proven track record of performing at director level.
VMA Enhance Associate Marie Louise Windeler explains: “At its best, mentoring is a powerful developmental process that focuses on the individual. It gives the person the opportunity to work through issues with an experienced communications professional that will bring clarity and perspective to the day-to-day challenges of a senior communications executive. The key to its success lies in a mutual understanding of the mentee’s objectives, the essential chemistry between him or her and the mentor, and the experience and perspective which the mentor brings to the sessions”.
Interested mentees initially meet with a member of the VMA Enhance team to discuss their needs and objectives. If it is agreed that mentoring is the right route for the mentee, the team will match them with a VMA Associate based on the objectives of the mentee and the experience of the mentor.