With little idea of what career path to follow, Claire got a temporary job with the Inland Revenue and quickly climbed the ladder to become an Inspector of Taxes. She gravitated towards communication roles and spent some time in the training department, travelling around the South East coaching colleagues in new legislation and skills to work more effectively with taxpayers. She was selected to conduct several phone-ins every month on BBC local radio and this led to a full time job in the Inland Revenue press office. Dealing with journalists from a range of media including the Financial Times, The Sun, Accountancy Age and Manchester Evening News, Claire was a regular spokesperson on television and radio. She launched the government’s Taxback campaign with appearances on a single day on Radio 4’s Today, ITN’s Lunchtime News, Sky News and the News at Ten.
Claire then moved to the marketing department of the Inland Revenue and spearheaded the launch of Self Assessment with a multimedia campaign including TV and radio advertising, engagement programmes with staff, financial representatives and employers as well as numerous events. She won an award for this work as ‘Internal communicator of the Year.’
Claire then moved to the private sector. She worked in the Barclays press office in the City of London and ran media training programmes and set up a team of regional radio broadcasters to increase the profile of the bank. Further roles within the bank ensued. Claire pioneered the use of radio advertising as a way of reaching small business customers, leading to an increase of 2% in market share. All the major banks followed this example and it remains the first choice media for targeting this audience. Claire was responsible for revolutionising the way corporate hospitality was used by the bank with KPIs introduced to assess the business value gained from entertaining. She left as Head of Positioning with responsibility for several million pounds of advertising, negotiating major sporting sponsorships, global events, new media and regional publicity.
In 2003, Claire set up a PR consultancy in the Midlands with clients including Brantano, NPower, M6 Toll, Jaguar and Barratt Homes. In 2011, she identified a gap in the market in that small businesses (who could benefit considerably from PR) could not afford a PR consultancy. The PR Doctor was born, to give smaller businesses the tools and training to undertake their own PR.