PR agency bosses and charity comms chief in Queen's Birthday Honours list

The bosses of PR agencies MC2 and Shepherd PR have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list - as both agencies celebrate their 20th birthdays. The policy and external affairs chief at homeless charity Crisis is also on the list.

Awarded: MC2 chief executive Mike Perls and Shepherd PR MD Jane Shepherd
Awarded: MC2 chief executive Mike Perls and Shepherd PR MD Jane Shepherd

Mike Perls, CEO of Manchester-based MC2, has become an MBE for "services to the community of Manchester".

He founded the agency in 1999. It now has an office in San Francisco and works with clients across the world including governments, city regions, global corporates and high-growth businesses.

Perls is involved in numerous other projects and initiatives in Manchester, such as being chair of GreaterSport, which aims to improve activity in Greater Manchester; visiting professor (marketing) and member of the board of governors at Manchester Metropolitan University; and a trustee of the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Charity.

Perls said: "To be nationally recognised for my contribution to the community of a city that I love is beyond special. But this award isn’t just for me. Manchester is a very special place and the collaborative leadership shown by those in public office, the charity sector and the business community creates an environment that encourages people like me to step forward and make a positive difference.

"And I couldn’t have been part of this without my amazing family who have taught me that what really matters is to care about those around us. I would like to encourage even more people in the business community to step forward and join the movement. Together we can make a real difference."

Jane Shepherd, MD of Shepherd PR, becomes an MBE for "services to international trade and the community in Staffordshire".

In 2017 she was appointed by the Department for International Trade as an export champion and one year later to the Trade and Investment Group of the Midlands Engine, the partnership organisation that aims to make the region a powerful centre for business.

Shepherd, whose agency has offices in Staffordshire and also in Austria, was formerly a newspaper and magazine journalist. She initially joined the marketing department of The Sentinel newspaper and then switched to journalism there.

Her previous comms roles include media operations officer at the Royal Air Force and a media trainer for organisations including the Environment Agency and the Nuclear Accident Response Organisation.

Special year

She said: "It’s been a privilege to work with the Department for International Trade on the #exportingisgreat campaign, as an export champion.

"Part of that role is to encourage smaller businesses like ours in the service sector to be aware of and take advantage of the opportunities to export their expertise globally. The benefits for businesses that export are well-documented and it’s important to continue to get the message across.

"The MBE comes as we celebrate 20 years in business at Shepherd PR, so that makes 2019 feel a really special year. We are lucky to work with brilliant clients, here in the UK and Austria, who make the business so rewarding and exciting."

Meanwhile, Matthew Downie, director of policy and external affairs at Crisis, becomes an MBE for "services to tackling homelessness".

According to the Crisis website, his remit includes communications, as well as political influencing work, research into the causes of and solutions to homelessness, and evaluation of the charity’s services.

Downie has been in the role since 2014. Prior to Crisis, he worked at Action for Children, The National Autistic Society and Shelter.

He tweeted about the accolade after the news was announced:

This article was updated on Sunday afternoon with a comment from Jane Shepherd.

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