The founder of a specialist communications consultancy based in Bath that was established during the first national lockdown has collected Gold at the annual PRide Awards for the South of England and Channel Islands, hosted by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
The 2021 CIPR PRide Awards recognised the outstanding work that in-house and agency communications teams have delivered across the UK in the last 24 months. The awards, typically held at a glittering awards ceremony in Bristol, took place virtually this year and were presented by British journalist and BBC presenter Louise Minchin.
Ben Veal, founder and director of Second Mountain Communications, was named the winner of the ‘Independent PR Practitioner of the Year’ category. His business, which launched in the summer of 2020, supports ethical and purpose-driven companies and has worked closely alongside charities including People against Poverty, The Charlie Waller Trust and Wiltshire Youth for Christ since it opened its doors.
“Having worked in public relations for the last 15 years, I’ve always been drawn towards the purpose that lies behind organisations - specifically, telling the stories of business leaders that look to use their firms to make a positive impact in the world,” says Ben Veal.
“I am overjoyed to be named the CIPR's Independent PR Practitioner of the Year for the South of England and Channel Islands region, 18 months after losing my job at the start of the pandemic. I am so proud to collect this award in recognition of the work that’s been delivered for great clients, who have all been focused on making a difference and transforming communities during the most uncertain of times. It’s been a privilege to have the opportunity to support a host of great charities and ethically-minded organisations since launching my own business last year, and I’m really encouraged to have been recognised by the judges.”
The CIPR category judges stated that: "Ben is climbing his second mountain with grace and with the respect of his peers and his clients; a shining example for his profession and our region.”
Second Mountain Comms has been established based on core business values of reliability, honesty, transparency and putting quality above all else, with close adherence to the CIPR’s strict code of professional conduct. The business is a Gold ethical member of the Business against Poverty movement, a member of the Children’s Hospice South West Business Club and is part of the Better Business Act coalition.
The Gold CIPR award win caps off a big week of personal accomplishments for Ben, who completed his first ever London Marathon virtually last weekend alongside running partners Nathan Baranowski and Jo Wren from Bradford-on-Avon based Digital Wonderlab.
Between them, the trio’s marathon challenge has now raised over £4,000 for mental health charity The Charlie Waller Trust, which provides mental health education, training and support for young people and their families experiencing difficult times.
The full list of CIPR PRide Award winners for the South of England and Channel Islands can be found here: https://ciprawards.co.uk/pride/south-england-channel-islands/results-2021/