PROFILE: Julie Wilson, IPC Magazines - Running the rule over IPC - Julie Wilson is responsible for selling IPC to potential City backers

Publishing giant IPC’s new communications head Julie Wilson must be made of strong stuff. Promoted to the position earlier this year, she is to be responsible for internal and external communications at the publisher, for publicising top magazines like Women’s Own and Loaded, and for smoothing the company’s introduction to the stock market within the next two years.

Publishing giant IPC’s new communications head Julie Wilson must be

made of strong stuff. Promoted to the position earlier this year, she is

to be responsible for internal and external communications at the

publisher, for publicising top magazines like Women’s Own and Loaded,

and for smoothing the company’s introduction to the stock market within

the next two years.



At the same time, she also has to be ever vigilant of the health of her

two-year-old daughter Evie.



Born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLH), Evie has half a heart

and is highly susceptible to illness. Through caring for Evie, Wilson

has become involved in the charity Left Heart Matters, and is now its

chairman.



Known for being direct in her dealings with people, Wilson holds true to

form in answering questions about her personal life.



’A very important part of my life is my daughter Evie,’ she states

immediately.



Evie was born in 1996, and Wilson and her husband Patrick spend as much

time with her as possible in the knowledge that their time together

could be cut short at any moment. IPC allows Wilson to work at home on a

regular basis.



Head of finance at Left Heart Matters Andrew Shaw says: ’Julie has

brought a quality of leadership and an ability to bring people together

in the team. She is bubbly, a tireless worker and wants people to be

included.’



Shaw credits Wilson’s PR skills with helping the charity increase its

revenue from pounds 6,000 two years ago to the current figure of pounds

140,000.



A key contact for Julie throughout her career at IPC has been Anna

Griffiths, media reporter on advertising trade title Campaign.



’If you are up front with her, she will be straight with you,’ Griffiths

says. ’She is good at keeping people in hand and makes sure things

happen when they are supposed to happen.’



Wilson began her career as a journalist in 1986 with trade weekly

Convenience Store. Two years later it was the money that drew Wilson

into consultancy work, at Hill and Knowlton. Although she learnt a lot

working for the agency, she missed the freedom of being a journalist,

disliked the long hours and did not like being told what to do.



In 1989, she joined Reed as a PR officer. Two years later, she was made

redundant along with 11 others in the press team when the company

slimmed down.



Despite earlier misgivings about consultancy work, Wilson decided to get

back into the field and joined Paragon Communications as an account

manager.



But in 1994, she made up her mind to move in-house and joined IPC

Magazines as chief press officer. She was promoted to corporate

communications manager in 1996.



’I have to say I did not like consultancy work at all and that is why I

work in-house,’ she says. ’I enjoy handling PR for journalists.’



In her new role as communications head, which she assumes from incumbent

Jack Low in June, Wilson will be working with major brands including

Women’s Own, TV Times and Loaded in an attempt to woo City investors.

’Sometimes City people can be very stuffy but they all know our brands,’

she says.



A more immediate and unpleasant part of Wilson’s job will be to inform

200 IPC staff that they are to be made redundant. The company announced

the redundancies earlier this year and in mid-April, the staff will find

out who is to go.



’It has happened to me before and I know that I need to be honest with

everyone,’ Wilson says. ’You have to remember these are people and you

have to understand the emotive side of this,’ she adds.



An internal team has been set up to ensure everyone is kept up to date

with news on the cuts. Wilson will need all her steel to see through the

difficult changes facing IPC.



HIGHLIGHTS



1988 - Account executive, Hill and Knowlton



1989 - PR officer, Reed International



1990 - Account manager, Paragon Communications

1994 - Chief press officer, IPC magazines



1999 - Communications head (designate), IPC Magazines.



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