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Points North: Kate O’Brien, Group Marketing Director at Daisy Group PLC

Points-North-siteEach Friday in Points North, one of the North’s leading media personalities will be giving us their take on the news covered by Prolific North over the last seven days.

This week it’s the turn of Kate O’Brien, Group Marketing Director at Daisy Group PLC

Monday’s news that Susanna Reid is set to leave the BBC Breakfast team to replace Lorraine Kelly as the main host of ITV’s morning show won’t have come as a shock to many, given the popularity boost she received following her stint on Strictly Come Dancing.

This will obviously now put an end to Susanna’s ‘super commute’, which has attracted a lot of media attention in the years she has spent travelling from her home in London to the BBC studios in Salford, rather than relocating.

CAVENDISH PICTURELike a lot of working mums, myself included, she has spoken openly about managing it by separating home and work life very clearly, enjoying and giving her all to both in turn.

Advances in technology have really enabled us as working parents to do that, meaning we can work on a train, or catch up after the kids are in bed and hats off to the businesses that are adopting solutions like cloud computing to support more flexible working.

Good luck Susanna with the new job, even though I bet she’ll occasionally miss those hours of commuting peace and quiet and the toy-free hotel rooms!

News broke on Tuesday that the Co-operative Group has decided to involve the wider public in developing its brand positioning, post a particularly dismal 2013.

Its entire 150-year-old history is based on a spirit of co-operation and community so it has been genuinely shocking and upsetting to see the entire Group tarnished by the same scandals and irregularities that have hit the rest of the banking sector, especially when it only owns 30% of the Co-operative banking arm. As Warren Buffet once said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Let’s hope they do.

Has the move by independent publishers of local newspapers to come together to fund a TV campaign come too late to save the regional print industry?

In recent years we’ve seen a reduction in the numbers of local journalists and a slimming-down of the papers themselves as we continue to utilise social media to find out what’s going on in our area.

Whether or not the printed pages themselves have a long-term future, what we absolutely must not lose is the power and influence of those local reporters who ask difficult questions at council meetings, challenge politicians and support local causes and businesses. Good journalism is vital to our communities and to us as a democracy, irrespective of the medium on which it is consumed.

Kate O’Brien is Group Marketing Director at Daisy Group PLC

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