There is nothing quite like simultaneously starting a new job and a new year.
On 10 January I take up the post Head of Social Media at WIMPS (Where Is My Public Servant ). It has echoes of the role I had when starting with the BBC in 1986 working with Community Service Volunteers Young Correspondents. There were a few people in the media who started their career there. Journalists of excellence such as Henry McDonald of the Observer and Guardian and Mark Carruthers (The Bottom Line isn’t mentioned in his Wikipedia page. Must fix.)
This time last year I had no plans beyond chairing Digital Circle and working with Momentum three days a week. There were other projects that I was enjoying including reporting for Radio Ulster’s Your Place and Mine. There was no suggestion and no intention of working from a second floor office in Stormont over looking the sweeping Prince of Wales Ave.
In March 2010 that changed. I was invited to become Director of Communications for the Ulster Unionist Party. The plan was to work through the General Election and perhaps stay for six months. But six turned out to be nine (in the words of Jimi Hendrix – almost).
It has been a privilege: an opportunity to do something special and enjoyable. An opportunity to work with people who have become firm friends. An opportunity to do something few have the chance to do.
Now I have been offered another privilege working with an organisation I have followed and supported for many years.
Exciting? You betcha! All the things I’m interested in rolled into one; digital media, working with new talent, helping people to talk to a wider audience.
It is back to the digital world for me with new friends, new opportunities and new learning.
I had a great time since March with some excellent people.
Thanks everybody for the last nine months. I had me a real good time.
Here’s to WIMPS and the future.