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Top national honour for young PR professional

A young public relations professional from South Yorkshire has been named a finalist in a national awards programme set up in memory of one of PR’s brightest stars.

Chloe Staniforth, 20, has been shortlisted for this year’s Suzy Ferguson Spirit Award 2016.

The award, now in its third year, was set up by London agency Lewis, Suzy’s former employees.  Suzy died from bowel cancer in 2012, aged 31.

Chloe was nominated by her employers Cream, a Barnsley-based PR agency.

Since joining the agency aged 17, Chloe has enjoyed successive promotions, battled serious health problems and worked on one of the biggest news stories of the decade, the Rotherham Child Sexual Exploitation inquiry.

Elizabeth Hudson, a director at Cream, said: “Chloe’s great enthusiasm for the job is infectious. Despite just turning 20, she is remarkably mature when dealing with clients and complex situations.

“When Cream was commissioned to provide independent PR and media support for Alexis Jay OBE, author of an Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham, Chloe worked closely to help the story to appear in 9,940 articles and reach 900 million people.

“As a then 18-year-old from Rotherham, Chloe gave media interviews, wrote published articles and blogs and was a credit to her employers and her town. She has suffered serious health problems for the past 18 months but this hasn’t dented her enthusiasm or determination.”

Chloe is one of six people shortlisted. Others include a London-based publicist whose clients include Samuel L Jackson and an entrepreneurial PR director who is a consultant to the Department of Health.

The award aims to acknowledge individuals of exceptional character, integrity and determination.

“This year we had a record number of nominations from all over the country, across a broad spectrum of the communications industry. The judges were very impressed with the quality and calibre of those nominated,” said Sally O’Neill, VP at LEWIS and one of the judges.

“It’s clear there are some truly inspirational people who are not only good at their job, but also go the extra mile to bring out the best in others and support their local community.”

The six finalists and their nominators will meet the judges on 19 February and the winner will be announced at a special ceremony on 18 March.

Chloe Staniforth

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