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Essex branch launch: beginning to pick up pace

22 October 2013

Nina Bryant

Having picked a Friday evening in mid-October for our launch event some months ago, it hadn’t occurred to me to check that there might be a football match on…

Had I known in advance that England were playing on that dreadfully rainy night, I might have been tempted to postpone the official launch of the new Essex-wide branch of the NUJ, so nervous was I about no one turning up. As it happened, my worries were unfounded.

A regular round of emails to everyone on our list and a flurry of social media messages ensured that we welcomed just shy of about 10% of our membership. If you’d been to some of the earlier planning meetings, you’d know just how much of a success this turnout was!

From non-members and students, to staffers and freelancers in magazines and newspapers, as well as PR and broadcast, we had a very good showing across the journalistic disciplines.

It had been a minor worry beforehand that bringing together such a diverse range of journalists might not work as far as networking and a guest speaker was concerned.

Thankfully Gareth George from BBC’s Look East provided a witty and easy-going talk about his career, which everyone enjoyed. Discussions about the state of the industry locally followed, and I think because we’d enjoyed a spot of networking beforehand, people felt able to be pretty candid.

During the meeting we formally elected a full committee and circulated a survey to members, asking them what they’d like to see happen at future meetings and events.

We even made plans to arrange a Christmas party.

Join us at our November 12 meeting if you want to help us plan it.

Thanks to everyone who came, and all those who have helped us get this far.

Nina Bryant, Chair, Essex NUJ branch

Tags: , essex, branch