Meet Ed Hodge

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Ed is the Editorial Manager of The R&A and now has the CIPR Specialist Diploma – Digital Communications to support his work. The R&A is a leading body within the world of golf and engages and supports activities to ensure it is a thriving sport for all on a global scale.

Why did you choose to study this qualification?

I was keen to achieve a professional qualification, having worked in golf communications and PR for the last 13 years. I had also witnessed other colleagues gain a qualification, and they spoke positively about the experience. It was also an opportunity to learn new skills in a rapidly evolving communications world.

What did you discover about yourself in the process?

I think the ability to think long-term rather than short-term across my work. It’s always good to plan and there is a need for me to become more strategic in my activities.

Has studying with nesma helped you in your career?

Yes, I took on the CIPR digital communications diploma, which isn’t fully typical of my day-to-day job. So, I had to come out of my comfort zone and learn new skills in the digital environment, which can help me when working closely with our content team at The R&A. The digital world is constantly changing, and you must try to keep pace and develop new skills, including in the golf industry.

What did you enjoy most about the studying process?

It was a little like returning to my MA Modern History degree at the University of St Andrews, graduating in 2000! It was like being back on the books with regular tutorials and assignments. I enjoyed the challenge the most, simply doing the course and needing to be planned and organised before and after each session. My diploma group was very small, and I constantly had to respond to tutorial questions and think on my feet.

What do you do differently now?

I have a far greater understanding of the digital communications world and how campaigns can work effectively. I think my overall awareness of the digital landscape has increased – I feel a greater confidence being part of it.

What words of advice would you give anyone considering a career in PR/Comms?

There is rarely a quiet day! It’s a fast-paced world that can provide a great buzz. I’m lucky to have worked in sport my entire career (23 years), and from working through journalism and onto PR and communications, I continue to enjoy the thrill. You have to be confident, a good talker and listener, and have strong written skills, which is always useful. Developing a network quickly is also good, as communications can be a small world, especially in sport. If you are interested, go for it. It’s a great career choice.

What are the significant changes within your industry at present?

The media landscape continues to change, especially with print media. We are seeing less ‘old school’ journalists and more influencer-led content, but it’s a dynamic industry and always exciting!

What do you enjoy most when you aren’t doing the day job?

If not on the golf course myself, I’ll be helping run my son’s under-15 football team (Linlithgow Rose CFC 2009s) – a full-time job in itself!

The CIPR Specialist Diploma – Digital Communications equips you with the knowledge you need to make social and digital media an effective, integral part of your digital PR and communication strategy.