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Yorkshire entrepreneur selected as BBC expert woman on social media and business

The BBC has chosen and trained Victoria Tomlinson, chief executive of Northern Lights PR, as one of their stable of expert women.  The communications consultancy is based in Harrogate and Dubai.

The BBC’s initiative aims to address the lack of female faces in factual programmes.  Victoria was one of 30 women from the North who were trained in Salford – chosen from more than 200 who applied; her particular expertise is in social media, business and education.  She has already appeared on BBC Breakfast TV and Woman’s Hour.  The BBC has trained a further 60 women in London.

Victoria explained:  “There is a global problem because senior people have dismissed social media as irrelevant and unpleasant.  That means they are failing to exploit opportunities and not managing risks.  This applies to all sectors and every size of organisation.

“Through this initiative I hope to explain social media in language that leaders can understand and apply to their organisations.  I was amazed how many people were tweeting when I was on Breakfast TV saying it was good to hear common sense spoken about social media!  There is definitely a need out there!”

Victoria has addressed and trained more than 1000 senior people at major conferences, in-house workshops and training programmes.  She was a speaker at the Connect Gazelles Summit – alongside Lord Kirkham with 200 business leaders; delivered a programme for female in-house counsel for Eversheds in London and has run a number of highly successful masterclasses for business people for the University of York. In addition, she also runs bespoke workshops in social media, both for senior directors and management teams.

An author of ebooks, her first was written three years ago, Why you Can’t Ignore Social Media in Business and last year she wrote From Student to Salary with Social Media to help students use it to build relationships with employers and get jobs.  Victoria was commissioned by the NHS to co-author an ebook for mental health practitioners and she has also written guides for wedding venues and social housing organisations.

Victoria added: “There are plenty of reasons for senior people NOT to be using social media, but even more for them to be active so they understand the risks and opportunities as a management tool.  The one thing they must not do is to ignore it and hope it will go away.”

Nicky Hall, marketing director at Hanson Green and Directorbank said:  “I’ve read numerous articles on maximising social media and have attended several social media courses, and can honestly say Victoria’s Social Media Masterclass is the first one that has proved wholly relevant. Victoria thoroughly understands the B2B market and the best techniques for effectively engaging with a very senior audience.”

A former director of Ernst & Young, London, Victoria was named one of Yorkshire’s top 100 entrepreneurs 2010 and Communicator of the Year 2011. In 2012, she established an office in Dubai.

Victoria chairs the University of Leeds Management Division advisory board and sits on the boards of Bradford University School of Management and Northern Ballet.

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