This week I have something to celebrate. I have been working for Greater Manchester Police communication team for 15 years. As a mini-celebration of this quite significant achievement I am going to dedicate this week of blogs to looking at the past 15 years and what it has brought. But first things first, let’s go back to 2001 and try to remember what the world was like.
In August 2001 few people had heard of Al-Qaeda and the disaster of 9/11 was a few weeks away. I remember it really clearly and it changed the way I viewed life and how I worked but more of that during the week. Back in 2001 the iPod was launched by Steve Jobs and Wikipedia came into existence.
I checked out other key events in 2001 and courtesy of Buzzfeed found out that George Harrison died, Joey Ramone died, Bridget Jones hit the movie screens and Russel Crowe won an Oscar for Gladiator.
The cost of a litre of petrol in 2001 was around 77p and the cost of a wholemeal loaf of bread had risen to around 54p. The Prime Minister in 2001 was Tony Blair who was four years into his 10 years in Number 10. In America George W. Bush had just become the 43rd President.
Back in 2001 I was just turning 30 and I was still totally focused on working my way up to becoming the head of a communication department. Social media didn’t exist and the whole focus was on media relations. Internal communication was focused on giving orders and there were no staff dedicated to this role which is now seen as vital. One of the first things I was involved in was the appointment of the first dedicated Web Manager.
When I joined GMP my longest job had been for three years and generally after about two years I was looking to move on. I don’t think I ever expected that 15 years on I would still be within GMP and in charge of the communication team.
Tomorrow I will try to remember the first day and the early years.