Claire Thompson is the managing director of Waves PR, a company offering PR services to digital startups, technology and telecoms companies, and a founding director of SEO PR Training.
She founded and ran the UK’s first ethical PR consultancy, and retains a strong interest in good practise and continuous learning, which has resulted in the thupr meetup group – an informal forum for people to play with the digital tools that help PR.
It was through a thupr event that she first worked with Nichola Stott, an event intended to help grow PR people’s understanding of SEO.
When Claire talks about PR, she means genuine public relations consultancy, everything from skills transfer, helping clients to engage in social spaces, through to crisis management; from media (including blogger relations) to analyst programmes.
Claire’s PR career has been defined by startup success, having worked with Arrow (now Kaizo) in its founding years, and with startup Bite. Her clients have included blue chips like Apple and Fujitsu, but she counts the introduction of new concepts as one of her fortes, having been part of the teams that launched LastMinute.com, Internet banking, the first consumer digital cameras and more. More recently she has been involved with numerous digital start-ups.
Her early career was spent in marketing roles in the fashion industry in London in the eighties, a time which she feels she should regret, but doesn’t; and marketing property in Southern Spain.
She has a degree in Latin American Studies, which she took when she returned from Spain, having fallen in love with the language and the country’s cultural heritage. She started her PhD , based on learning and identity, which she promises to resurrect when she retires.
As part of her studies, she spent a year in Central America, spending time in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica, which converted her into a passionate advocate of and for social justice and education. It was therefore fairly natural that she would be drawn to the social fundraising movement, Twestival, for which she was an early UK co-ordinator.
Claire is an experienced learning facilitator. She has been delivering media training for over a decade and has been transferring social media engagement skills in more recent years, as well as mentoring young companies still in their incubation periods.