Notes on Cultural Peeps Podcast Episode 12: David Brookbanks:
David is the founder of Ludlow Street, a Communications and PR Agency which specialises in the Arts, Culture and Leisure sectors.
David has worked for a diverse range of clients including VisitEngland, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Theatre Royal Newcastle and he continues to work for the destination marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative.
We started our conversation talking about what it is like to work as a freelancer, trying to balance a Freelance Career in PR with a healthy home-life in the age of the 24-hour news cycle. David outlines his average working day and details how he tries to manage both his time and his approach to clients and projects.
We then move on to talk about David’s journey to becoming a PR Practitioner, starting with his initial interests in both Art and Journalism at School. David describes his experience of School as stressful and fairly difficult, outlining how he didn’t feel particularly cut-out for academia and how the systems he was working within probably constrained his performance rather than bringing out the best in him. At this point in the conversation, we talk a little here about alternative routes through education and the benefits of different approaches such as Vocational Training, Placements and Apprenticeships.
David talks about not being quite sure what a career or Journalism or Media would look like until he was well into his Undergraduate Degree. Things started to come together for him whilst he was studying at Warrington, after he organised, and undertook a Placement within the Press Department at the newly opened Virgin Music in London. This is something that emerges as really important in David’s development and something of a ‘light-bulb’ moment. He recalls pushing very hard to secure both the Placement itself and also to be involved in interesting, meaningful and challenging work once he was there. This is something that he says isn’t normally in his nature, but something felt he had to do that given the pressure he was under and circumstances he found himself in.
Following graduation, David went travelling, seizing what he saw as a unique opportunity to see the world. After returning to Newcastle he undertook a non-media related job for 12 months before finally securing a job at the PR Consultancy company, Karol Marketing.
It was at Karol Marketing, and through work with clients like Northern Stage (a Theatre and production company based in Newcastle), that David was drawn back to his initial interest in the Arts & Culture Sectors and saw a way of tying these areas of interest together.
David then went on to work at the Theatre Royal Newcastle as the press officer, regularly working with local Television, Press and Media in support of the Theatre’s Programme. He describes that experience as a steep learning curve, but something that has equipped him with skills he still now relies on as a practicing Freelancer.
Towards the end of his time with Theatre Royal Newcastle, David secured and undertook a second placement, this time in New York with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Company, after seeing the piece ‘Revelations’ being performed as part of their UK tour in 2005.
David then joined NewcastleGatehsead Initiative (NGI) where he worked on a number of high-profile campaigns including the Football Association’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018/22, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Newcastle upon Tyne and most recently, The Rugby World Cup 2015.
David then gradually began to develop a freelance portfolio, initially taking on projects whilst remaining part-time at NewcastleGateshead Initiative before finally leaving to become entirely freelance to work on the Great Exhibition of the North.
I hope you enjoy Today’s episode and find it useful.
For further information about David Brookbanks, please visit:
Ludlow Street (About Us):
Links to the Podcast content:
City of Dreams:
Arts & Heritage:
Centre for Life:
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre:
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (Revelations piece):
European Capital for Culture:
Rugby World Cup (At St James Park, Newcastle):
Olympics 2012 (Football at St. James Park):
Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI):
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