Lynne Franks

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Lynne Franks

Lynne is one of the world’s top PR and marketing strategists. She founded one of the UK’s best-known public relations consultancies in the early 1970s and is currently an advocate, communications strategist, writer and spokeswoman on women’s issues, sustainability and consumer lifestyles.

Lynne Franks completed a shorthand typing course at Pitman’s College and was a regular dancer on the popular music TV programme Ready Steady Go!.

Following a brief stint as a PR assistant, and at the encouragement of the fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, Franks started her own PR agency at the age of 21, with her first clients including Hamnett’s own fashion business, Tuttabankem, and Wendy Dagworthy.

In the summer of 1974, she supported her husband in setting up Howie, a menswear store on Fulham Road. Two years later the business, now renamed Mrs Howie, was moved to the Covent Garden area of London, becoming one of the first fashion stores and designer studios in that area.

In 1979, Franks’s PR agency was commissioned by the Murjani Corporation to launch Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, one of the first designer jeans to be launched in the UK.

Over the next few years, Lynne Franks PR established itself as one of the leading fashion PR firms in the UK, working with many high street brands including Harvey Nichols, Tommy Hilfiger, Brylcreem, Raleigh Bicycles and Swatch.

Lynne Franks PR was also involved with a number of charities and NGOs. In 1985, Franks helped to initiate Fashion Cares, a fundraising series of events which have since gone on to raise more than $10 million for HIV/Aids. In the same year, she helped in the promotion of Live Aid and worked with Bob Geldof and Harvey Goldsmith to create Fashion Aid, which raised $300,000 in aid of victims of famine in Africa.

Franks’s agency worked with Amnesty International, helping to promote their fund-raising Human Rights Now! world tour, and with John Elkington to promote ‘Green Consumer Week’ in 1988.

In July 1995, Franks chaired a consortium including former Jazz FM director Katy Turner and TV executive Linda Agran, that launched Viva! 963, Britain’s first radio station for women, with Franks herself hosting a twice-weekly interview show entitled ‘Frankly Speaking’.

In 1997, Franks published her autobiography, Absolutely Now!: A Futurist’s Journey to Her Inner Truth.

Whilst in California, Franks developed the idea of SEED, an acronym for Sustainable Enterprise and Empowerment Dynamics, as a model for using principles of femininity, sustainability and social responsibility in business. In 2000, Franks published The SEED Handbook: The Feminine Way to Create Business, a guidebook for female entrepreneurs.

As well as continuing to develop the SEED projects, Franks has worked as a communications consultant for a number of multinational corporations in recent years, working on their female employee development programmes, and advising on market positioning strategies.

Franks is currently the chair of V-Day UK, a charity created by Eve Ensler, that campaigns to end the violence against women and girls around the world. In March 2009 she organised a ‘Women of Influence Lunch’ at the House of Lords, to draw attention to the campaign.

Lynne’s considerable marketing and business experience, combined with her pleasing manner, informed approach and articulate delivery, make her a natural choice for personal appearances, motivational and after dinner speaking, as well as corporate days and promotions.

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