We have seen the departure of some of Scotland’s most respected press officers over the past few months including the likes of Noel Miller from Lothian & Borders Police and Rob Bruce from InBev, now at Whyte & Mackay.
Today I bring news of another changing of the guard.
This time Doreen Graham from the Scottish SPCA, one of the most knowledgeable, professional and likeable press officers I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with.
She has been with the Scottish SPCA for more than 12 years now, helping out hundreds if not thousands of journalists with quotes about all manner of things.
If she was ever unavailable and you left a message, she would always, always return your call as soon as she could – even when she was supposed to be on holiday.
On those occasions when a story would break at night or the weekend, I never once heard her complain about getting a call at home out of hours.
Being a charity, clearly it was never about the riches, and you could sense her devotion to the cause and her belief in the work they did, being raising awareness, saving animals or studies on links between animal abuse and criminal behaviour.
So, when she handed her notice in on Monday, it is sure to have been with mixed feelings. When she leaves on the 29th, no-one will begrudge her a few tears.
Doreen departs because of a change of location. The society is upping sticks and heading to Halbeath in Fife, which would make the daily trip a real grind.
Instead, she has been offered a new, prestigious role as Head of Communications with the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission in Edinburgh – watchdog for the nation’s legal eagles.
Funded by the legal profession itself, is a watchdog replacing much of the troubleshooting functions previously undertakent by the Law Society for Scotland.
Starting in September, it will be a whole new ball game for her to get stuck into, with news, publications and website all to be dealt with.
But there is little doubt she will carry out the role with some aplomb.
The Scottish SPCA’s loss will absolutely be the SLCC’s considerable gain, and I wish her all the good luck in the world in her new role.