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My First Step To Success: APPOINTMENTS; The importance of good relations I.

Mark Hookham meets DOUGAL PAVER, PR Consultant at Paver Downes

T is impossible not to enjoy a career in public relations, argues DougalPaver.

The 32-year- old from Sefton Park, southLiverpool, says he learnt the mantra from his mentor, Liverpool marketing guru and PR fixer JackStopforth.

It's now Dougal's most important work philosophy at Paver Downes, the marketing and PRcompany he cofounded five years ago. He said: ``My view has always been the day you stop enjoying your job should be theday you walkaway. But, tobefrank, if you don't enjoy a career in public relations you should go and work at abank.''

Dougal was educated at SacredHeart Schoolin Crosby and Southport College, where he studied aBTEC in business studies. He enrolled at Trent Polytechnic but dropped out because he felt he was not being challenged enough and went to work as a tourist guide in Barcelona after seeing an advertisement in the LiverpoolEcho. He said: ``It was a fantastic year and I learnt Barcelona like the back of my hand. It was good to spend a year contemplating what exactly I wanted to do.'' He decided he wanted to work in promoting his home city as a tourist and economic destination. He started a marketing degree at Manchester Polytechnic and received what he considers was his big break when he was offered a six-month work placement with Jack StopforthAssociates.

Jack,known in PRcircles as `Mr Merseyside' because of his extensive contacts book,had previously been the head of economic development at the former Merseyside County Council before setting up his own company to promote the interests of newly established Merseyside firms.

Dougal said: ``Jackagreed to sponsor me through the rest of my degree, which was a fantastic help. He taught me a lot about marketing and PRand the need to develop and maintain good relationships with the media. I was a Liverpool lad and very much wanted to be part of promoting the city.''

He graduated in 1992 and started work for Jack's new firm, SBALtd. He quickly rose through the ranks and within three years had been made a shareholder. Then in 1997 he struck a deal withJack to take some of SBA's clients and set up his own firm with fellow SBAdirector SteveDownes. Dougal said: ``Jackhad taught me a lot about running a business effectively - I was 29 and felt like it was time for a change.'' Paver Downes has since branched out into PR,events management and E-commerce.

The company, which employs 35 staff, currently handles accounts for the University of Liverpool,DavidMcLean, Downing Developments and the Southport Flower Show.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 24, 2003
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