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Kelly O'Hanlon

Senior Lecturer in PR

Birmingham School of Media
0121 331 7641

Kelly has worked in the public relations PR industry for over 15 years, both agency and in-house, consumer and B2B, and has been Senior Lecturer in PR within the School of Media since 2016. A former BCU student herself, Kelly graduated in 2005 with a BA in Media and Communications, and has since gone on to study both a PG CERT in Higher Education and an MA in Public Relations at the very same institute she teaches at.

She started her career at WPR Agency and went on to lead the successful home and lifestyle team, before moving on over a decade later to establish a PR arm for One Black Bear. Campaign highlights from Kelly’s career include: an award-winning experiential stunt for National Express, #notsuchadrag, involving some famous drag queens and a mock protest at Victoria train station, a campaign for appliance manufacturer Neff that went on to become Europe's biggest online baking community, a brand partnership for Sharps Bedrooms with celebrity designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and a trade initiative called JOSB Done to promote a particular type of wood panel; in short, “If you can PR a piece of wood, you can PR anything!”.

In her Senior Lecturer in PR role, Kelly has worked hard to develop the BA and MA programmes through engaging, practice-informed modules, she has established a student agency platform that emphasises the need for hands-on experience and she also co-designed the standalone PR and Media degree. Kelly has also continued to boost the reputation and build the recruitment activities for the Birmingham Institute of Media and English in her capacity as Marketing and Recruitment Lead.

An additional responsibility sees Kelly as the Vice Chair and Budget Manager for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Midlands Committee, plus she is an Accredited Practitioner. Part of her CIPR background includes helping conceive, launch and execute the annual Midlands PR Conference, and delivering CIPR certified courses to practitioners.

A regular contributor to industry debates, Kelly has been interviewed by national and local media on a variety of topics, including issues around Christmas ads, social media, celebrity profiles, brand reputation, crisis and representation, and is both a PR consultant and a blogger on the side. Kelly seeks to nurture crucial connections between academia and industry, to help shape the practitioners of tomorrow – and is always looking for ways to #doPRdifferently.

Areas of Expertise
Work With Industry
Links and Social Media