KCOM’s Community Coordinator, Brendon Smurthwaite, visits Hull College.
Brendon Smurthwaite took time out of his busy schedule as Community Coordinator for Kingston Communications, Hull, to speak to Journalist students at Hull College on Monday, 27th February.
Brendon is probably best known for his role as Press Officer for Hull Kingston Rovers Rugby League Club. He started his career as a Trainee Journalist at the Hull Daily Mail, then went on to spend 10 years at Hull City as the club’s Press Officer before joining Hull KR as Media Manager in 2011.
The session commenced with Smurthwaite recalling his early career as a Sports Journalist, working on a magazine in Sheffield. He then began working as Senior Press Officer for Hull City AFC in 2001. This was “the beginning of the dot-com era” but preceding the creation of a website, he had a leading role in the production of 52 issues of ‘City’ magazine for Hull City fans.
His advice to budding journalists was to get as much work experience as possible. To go out there and knock on doors. He also stressed the importance of getting contacts, stating that it is more often not what, but who you know.
After a succesful career, spanning nearly two decades, in Sports Journalism he left Hull KR in 2015 to take up a very different role with KCOM. However, he points to “transferable skills”. Similarities with his media based position include communication, dealing with people and marketing skills. In his previous role he acted as a liaison for the club.
He spoke about some of his work on the ‘ KC in the Community ‘ programme which gives a lot to local charities, community groups, sports clubs and businesses. Recently, they donated 50 recycled mobile phones to Preston Road Women’s Centre for the charity’s use. He has also visited many schools and colleges to talk about his experiences and views on the ‘world of work’.
Brendon considers himself to have been very ‘lucky’ in his career. He has embraced his work as Community Coordinator in order “to give something back” after all “why wouldn’t you”.