Most bloggers are perhaps overly zealous about keeping themselves very much to themselves and I always find that disappointing, to the point where I almost feel cheated, having read their work. So, in a slight reversal of that, here are other places where I can be found.
By day, I run the international press release agency, Press Dispensary. Based in Brighton, England, Press Dispensary works for a wide range of clients across all business and organisational sectors, writing press releases and distributing them in a highly targeted manner wherever in the world our clients wish to reach. We also provide some training and build customised online press rooms.
The generic email address for the company is firstname.lastname@example.org and if you want to reach me there, replace ‘ask’ with my first name. The company is @pressdispensary on Twitter and the generic UK phone number is 01273 741410 (+44 1273 741410).
In addition, I’m one of the three founders running UK Press, a wonderfully useful email discussion forum for professional journalists and PRs that we started back in the last century.
I also have a LinkedIn profile but I must confess I don’t interact with it every day.
I do a certain amount of public speaking and stage presenting with, I hope, some humour, warmth and great accessibility, so do tweet me or drop me a line if this is of interest.
I’m an active member and former chair of the Green Party in Brighton & Hove, the only UK city with a Green MP, the fabulous Caroline Lucas, and a (minority) Green council. But all views on this blog are my own. My politics are to the left of the Greens (though you’ll always find someone lefter – that’s the nature of political parties) but I combine idealism (of which I have a lot) with realpolitik: I am in the Green Party, rather than a green movement, because I believe in changing things through the electoral process and the ballot box. So if, sometimes, we have to take shorter steps than we’d like, or wait longer than we like to change the world, so be it. Where we can be radical, I love radicalism, but not for its own sake: let’s be elected and so only change half the world this year, rather than formulating a plan to change the whole world this year but never have the chance to put it into action. There are, though, ideals that must not be sacrificed or watered down for the sake of elections: such sacrifice was the undoing of the Labour Party and, arguably, is now causing the possible electoral wipeout of the Lib Dems. Balancing ideals and and electoral realism is one of the biggest daily challenges faced by my party and its elected people.
Before I did what I do now, I had a briefish career as a musician and then a proper career as a scriptwriter and director, working in various media from Radio 4 and Channel 4 (and other telly, including the obligatory BBC stint) to being, for a while, one of the kings of UK corporate video in its ’90s heydays: tons of bluechip clients and a few US and UK awards, including Best Director in 1999 for a film that also won gold and silver awards in London, Chicago and New York. My old website from the ’90s remains pretty untouched.
I try to call myself robshepherd on all social media so that I can be easily found. I have consciously bought into the idea that those of us who embrace social media are diving into goldfish bowls and I’m watch the effects with both a personal vested (if course) interest and a dispassionate, almost academic regard.
The one major site on which I didn’t get my own name (I was beaten to it by an Australian who, because of timezones, got there before me on the day personal names were released – bah!, but I know your name, Rob Shepherd …) is Facebook, where I’m robshepherduk. But I should add that I’m unlikely to accept a friend request there unless I genuinely know you or we have real friends, acquaintances or family in common.
I’m not giving a personal phone number here as, so far, I manage not to be plagued by salesy cold-calling and would like to keep things that way.
Please don’t mistake me for the political radio and TV producer Rob Shepherd (as has happened a few times when our careers have nearly crossed), nor the football correspondent who is perhaps most famous for falling out dramatically with Graham Taylor and paying the price.