Former journalist starts own business after being fired twice


A two-time-fired former journalist started her own marketing consultancy after accumulating more than 30 years in the industry.

Alison Gallagher-Hughes has spent the past 10 years dreaming of starting her own business after being voluntarily dismissed by Staffordshire Police in 2010.

But the 53-year-old finally took a leap of faith earlier this year after losing her job, for the second time after the pandemic.

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Alison, who lives in Stafford, said: “After spending 10 or 12 years as a press reporter, I moved on to a media relations position, working for the Staffordshire Police Press Office.

“I did this for 13 years, then the public expenditure review took place in 2010 and I voluntarily left with the idea of ​​trying to start my own business.

“Just about to start moving forward, I applied for a temporary job as a marketing and communications manager at a housing association – and got this job.

“This led to a succession of other roles and short-term contracts, and in 2016 I became a PR manager at a full-service agency in Lichfield.

“At the end of 2019, I was considering starting my own PR company again – then Covid came along! Alison continued.

“But in March, we were all put on leave, and it gave me a chance to take it easy for a little while.

“The pandemic had brought the agency to its knees, and I suspected the writing would be on the wall at some point in the future, so I started to prepare a bit from the start.

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“Eventually the agency dumped most of its staff and that was the boost I needed to get things done.”

Just 10 months after the official launch of Tillymint Communications, Alison has developed a diverse client portfolio comprising trade associations, product and construction companies and technology companies based in Staffordshire and beyond.

The company specializes in everything from media relations, copywriting and social media marketing to reputation management, crisis communications and business development.

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Alison said: “In a way, I came full circle. I started writing and then I got into the mechanics of marketing and communication – like strategy, advertising and market research. – then I got back to PR writing, and now that’s what I’m doing again.

“The market for marketing and communication activity has become more buoyant and I now wish to continue to develop the activity.

“At some point I have to pivot my business model and start recruiting people so that we can become more of an agency than an independent consulting firm.”

Alison – who also co-owns a dance studio with her husband – added: “I’m now in my 50s and some of my friends are starting to retire early, but I have a real passion for what I do. , so why would I want to stop? The highlight of my career came here, running my own business, which I have wanted to do for a long time. “

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