I was sorry to belatedly hear of the death of Denis John Elliott Inchbald, or (as he once confided - Inchebald - from the Norwegian...) he passed away on the 9th June 2014. He was my boss in the early 70's at Welbeck Public Relations then part of FCB, Foote Cone and Belding the advertising agency. Denis was an ideal light touch mentor, who was willing to try out new ideas, and would back you against his fellow board members.
We were the first to use studio based focus groups, set up a TV and Radio studio, introducing the concept of Syndicated Radio Tapes and Professional media interview training for clients. All now staple tools of the PR business.
Even in retirement decades later he'd call up from his Buckinghamshire retreat (Shardeloes - the film Carve Her Name with Pride was shot on location at the property and lake) for a chat or comment on something he'd read, that I had either written or an event produced.
He was a passionate supporter of the Institute of Public Relations, and it was a rite of passage that we all became members, an MIPR.
Denis was also one of the founders of the PRCA, and guided that organisation through its troubled formation, and a parliamentary timetable when Public Relations was under the political microscope.
The Welbeck staff list from that time reads like a Roll of Honour for the PR business, and certainly as we all eventually left either to set up our own businesses or take over rival firms, it is fair to say the multitude of skills Denis was always happy to pass on remained with us throughout our careers.
This is from the CIPR website:
Denis Inchbald Hon FCIPR
Starting his media career as Editor of Varsity, the Cambridge graduate weekly, Denis then moved on to the Daily Telegraph, after which he moved in to the field of public relations, working firstly for Pritchard Wood and Partners, at the time a top three public relations consultancy.
Denis became a Member of the Institute of Public Relations in October 1954, after which he took up a key role as Head of Publicity for the 1956 British Industries Fair, an international showcase for the manufactured goods of Great Britain.
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