The founder of a purpose-driven communications consultancy based in Wiltshire has been named a finalist in the leading national awards for the public relations sector, the CIPR Excellence Awards.
Ben Veal, Chartered PR Practitioner and director of Second Mountain Comms, is one of seven finalists shortlisted nationally for the ‘Independent PR Practitioner of the Year’ category at 2023’s awards ceremony, to be held in London this June during the historic 75th anniversary year for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the world’s only Royal Chartered professional body for PR practitioners with over 10,000 members globally.
Based at the Glove Factory Studios in Holt, Second Mountain Comms helps purpose-driven companies and charities reach new heights through their strategic use of marketing and communications. Since launching in summer 2020, Ben has worked in close partnership with a number of regional and national charities including People against Poverty, The Charlie Waller Trust, Wiltshire Youth for Christ and Somewhere House Somerset, and has built up an international client base, now reaching as far afield as the USA and Australia.
In 2022, he launched the ‘Good Journeys with Second Mountain’ podcast series, which aims to help good people do good by sharing the inspired stories of inspiring people. Widely available across Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Music and Apple Podcasts, guests of the #GoodJourneysPod to date have included: best-selling autistic author Pete Wharmby; mental health campaigner and CEO of The Burnt Chef Project, Kris Hall; highly-regarded sports entertainer and broadcaster Nick Aldis; social mobility activist Sarah Waddington CBE; and happiness coach Sarah Perrett.
The CIPR’s 2023 Excellence Awards announcement marks the second consecutive year that Ben has been in the running for this prestigious national award; at 2022’s ceremony in London, he proudly received the ‘Mark of Excellence’ honour in the same category. Ben is also a two-time Gold winner of the ‘Independent PR Practitioner of the Year’ PRide Award for the CIPR’s South of England and Channel Islands region, and picked up ‘Best Start-up of the Year’ for Second Mountain at the 2022 Creative Bath Awards.
He was also elected on to the CIPR’s national council for 2023/24 at the beginning of this year – helping to promote the Institute’s ongoing positive professional impact during its 75th anniversary year – and currently serves as the Chair of the CIPR South West region.
Ben Veal, Founder of Second Mountain Comms, said, “Making the shortlist of the national CIPR Excellence Awards is a genuine honour. I took a big leap of faith when I established my own niche, independent comms consultancy business Second Mountain amidst the uncertainty of the first lockdown – yet I knew that there was a real need in society today for purpose-focused, meaningful comms support directly aimed at the specific needs of charities, not-for-profits, and philanthropic business leaders. Almost three years into this purpose-driven journey, it is an absolute privilege to be recognised as one of the UK’s leading independent PR practitioners.”
CIPR President Steve Shepperson-Smith added, “Many congratulations to all the companies, agencies, and individuals that have made the shortlist for this year’s CIPR Excellence Awards, which as ever have been rigorously judged to identify the very best from a really high quality of entries.”
The 2023 CIPR Excellence Awards will be held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Wednesday 28th June.
Pictured above: Ben Veal, Second Mountain Comms