Julie O’Donnell, Ex Work Colleague, Published author, columnist and Chair of ArtsTaunton
I have known Pam Knight for some 20 years in numerous capacities:
- working on marketing for the Training and Enterprise Council (this included copy-writing and handling the entire print process for a Somerset business magazine);
- as a Director of a Somerset-based national charity, a post for which I headhunted her when I was the CEO, and in which she headed up all the business development, fundraising and marketing requirements (again with the key role in writing and producing all print materials and handling all internal and external communications);
- as a marketing consultant to a Somerset-based consortium of businesses (including accountants and solicitors) who were diverse and dysfunctional as a newly-formed enterprise; as ad hoc marketing/website technical advisor to a family business of which I am a director;
- as a fellow board director of the charity ArtsTaunton, heading up our marketing and communications requirements; driving forward the Taunton Deane Business Awards (including persuading local authorities and businesses to work together strategically and operationally, and to make financial donations);
- and most latterly as the supplier to whom I turn when, as a published author, I need assistance with my website – advice on the mechanics of the web, copy, SEO, visual presentation, or just as a sounding board.
The fact that I have worked with Pam in all of these disciplines (and indeed headhunted her/recommended her to others) gives me a unique insight into her abilities and strengths. A consummate professional, she has the ability to communicate at every level, be it in the very highest of political echelons, or in any socio-economic group whatsoever. In every role, she has had to be a positive force in unifying disparate groups inside and outside the organisations – and she has always demonstrated understanding of stakeholder needs, empathy, creativity, innovation, and resilience. She can write compelling copy at all strata: from detailed briefs for internal use by people of varying levels of ability, to strategic, board-level narrative with huge potential legal and/or reputational ramifications. She quickly grasps the commercial imperatives for all parties. She delivers swiftly on her commitments, establishes a sound 2-way dialogue with her clients/suppliers whilst getting to grips with their requirements, offers constructive advice and is solution-focused. She is not fazed by major challenges and indeed thrives on them, and can unify people’s thinking and translate nebulous concepts and ideas into sound copy. (In common parlance, she has the knack of herding cats!)
I should also add that Pam is absolutely passionate about her home town of Taunton and Somerset as a whole, as evidenced by her career choices and voluntary positions.
I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that Pam could take on such an important role in the county.