Focus on: County Public Relations Officer

4 January 2018

Lt Vicky Robinson, County Public Relations Officer

I was a three star passed cadet as a teenager and came back to help do the press for the opening of the Weekend Training Centre in Dibgate about 12 years ago, I only ever intended to cover that one event but was persuaded to come back in the role of PRO, I haven’t looked back since.

Like many other Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and Officers I have a busy day job. I work in London as Head of Marketing and Communications for the Institute of Risk Management and hold a Master’s Degree in Marketing Management (distinction), am a Chartered Marketer and Freeman of the City of London.

My role in the ACF is primarily to help gain positive press coverage for the county and help promote good news stories both on and offline - recruitment is a key part of the role as we’re always looking for young people and adults to join us from across the county.

Kent has around 1000 cadets, over 180 adult volunteers in 34 detachments across the county. With one of me it can be an interesting job (I often need a cloning machine).

Kent is a huge county so I very much rely on my colleagues at detachment level to keep me up-to-date with what’s happening locally and help with recruitment events where I can. We as a county attend a two week annual camp each year where I try to get photos of as many cadets as I can for all of the 50+ newspaper titles from across Kent.

I was commissioned in 2013 which is a great privilege, I received the Lord Lieutenant’s Award for Meritorious Service to Kent ACF in 2007 and with the then current team won the Wilkinson Sword Award for PR in 2008.

Having joined the ACF for the second time around I have an insight into the benefits for both young people and adults. Being a cadet gave me a firm grounding for discipline and gave me a hobby and chance to make new friends, some of which I am still friends with now. It’s one big family with the enjoyment and training of the young people at the heart of the organisation – the CFAV’s play a massive part in the young people’s lives and a positive impact on the direction they will take as adults.

Passing my 3 star cadre at Sennybridge Camp (1991) is something I won’t ever forget, especially the march back into the gates at the end of it – it always makes me well up when I see our 3 stars return to camp at annual.

The cadets give you great memories and opportunities to have fun whilst learning and getting muddy in the process, I loved it as a teenager.

My role as PRO includes writing press releases, taking photos and videos, content for social media platforms, administering the social media accounts, updating the county website and helping to promote local detachment events and success stories with press and stakeholders.

I liaise with the local South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadet’s Association to help promote Kent ACF more widely with employers and the reserves and also National ACF marketing and PR teams. I report into County Headquarters.

Each county has a PRO and we meet up annually at a conference to keep us up-to-date on communications and PR best practice and generally catch up.

I’m always looking for great ACF ambassadors and examples of how the organisation really does inspire to achieve - I feel greatly honoured to be in the role and part of the ACF community.