For anyone living in the Channel Islands, or indeed anyone with more than passing interest in the affairs of the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, the launch of Condor Ferries' new £50m. vessel Liberation won't have escaped notice.

Condor's history has not been plain sailing (pun intended) with too many people quick to criticise them for timetabling issues and poor performance.

However, they should be congratulated for the way they have engaged the islands' communities in recent weeks. Firstly, they made a long-term commitment to providing a maritime transport link to the UK and France, running a competition to name the ferry and another for children to...

Managing to listen

I started on the PR Week Mentoring project unclear about what to expect. I wasn't sure what to ask of my mentor or what she could do to better equip me for the challenges that come with being a shareholder, director and account director of a PR agency with offices in three jurisdictions. 

As it turns out, Denise Kaufmann from Ketchum UK has imparted invaluable advice, having a dramatic effect on my performance.

We decided last March that there were four key areas to cover, starting with how to become a better manager of people - and Denise shared with me the wisdom I'd been looking for. I consider myself to be a capable consultant, but that doesn't always translate into being a good manager. Being an excellent manager and being a strong leader are...

Becoming a working mum

I've been on the PRWeek mentoring scheme since March and have built an excellent relationship with my mentor, Denise Kaufmann of Ketchum UK. She 'gets' me, to the extent that when I announced I was pregnant at our last meeting she knew what I was going to tell her.

Apart from all of the advice Denise has been giving me about being a better mentor, manager and leader, she has shared with me some valuable life lessons. She's seen many women go on maternity leave and return. She's helped scores of them find a manageable, rewarding and enjoyable work/life balance. She also (as the boss) makes sure that all of this is achieved while not compromising the standards of service provided to the company's clients.

Denise has observed that women who thought they'd dread going back to work have, in the main, been incredibly excited to return. It's not because they don't want to be with their children, but rather because it allows them to be...

A good read for Christmas

My bookshelves heave with books. I cannot resist adding to my collection.

Whilst I've read some of all of them, I've only read all of some of them.

One notable exception is David Ogilvy's 'Confessions of an Advertising Man', which I dip into often and have read through twice.

My battered old copy was printed a decade before I was born and bought for R30 in 2004 in a second hand bookstore on Cape Town's Long Street. The proprietor told me that it was his favourite book. To this day, I don't know whether he was telling the truth.

Ogilvy was a legend who lead a fascinating life. He was a chef in the Hotel Majestic in Paris, an Aga salesman in Scotland and worked at the British Embassy in Washington, before...