Paul Smyth is a freelance strategic communication consultant and an officer in the British army reserves.
In 2008 he was appointed media director at the UK Ministry of Defence. During this time he served with 11 Light Brigade in Helamand, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Most notably he was worked as media ops centre director for the British Army at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, and according to PR Week 'Smyth's main role is to chaperon journlaists.. However, if it is deemed too dangerous he takes out a combat camera team to gather information and report back on the action.
According to PR Week:
- Smyth decided to become a soldier relatively late in his life, after seven years spent in various PR roles in the UK. He recalls that it was a childhood ambition, but it was not until he realised he could transfer the skills he had achieved in his PR career to the Army that he decided to enlist. He has now completed tours in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Despite telling his wife, with whom he has two children, that he 'just needed to get it out of his system', he is still loving the role seven years later: 'In terms of experiences, the things that I'm doing at the moment are once in a lifetime.'
Among his roles Smyth was involved in the British retreat from Basra:
- Smyth was heavily involved with the comms planning for the withdrawal of troops in Iraq, which is one of his proudest achievements from his Army career.
- 'To have the honour of orchestrating events in our British history like that is absolutely amazing. Deep down, although I'm a tiny cog in a massive team here, I am hoping that I'm making a valuable contribution and a bit of difference.'
Paul Smyth has created a raft of WEB2.0 projects including Blog and online projects for the Ministry of Defence:
- Paul Smyth Linkedin, accessed 16 January 2015
- Shooting on the Front Line: One Soldier’s War in Afghanistan - A New Photographic Exhibition at the River & Rowing Museum Kallaway, accessed 16 January 2015
- Gemma O'Reilly Profile: Major Paul Smyth, media ops centre director, British Army PR Week, 3 March 2010, accessed 16 January 2015
- Melanie Newman PR Uncovered: Bell Pottinger’s links to government The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 1 December 2011, accessed 16 January 2015