I have never expected anyone to like me, but I do expect them to respect me

Robin Lander Brinkley from Portsmouth who has reached the final of a national competition for freelance PR consultants
Robin Lander Brinkley from Portsmouth who has reached the final of a national competition for freelance PR consultants
The Bridge Tavern and Camber Dock''''Picture: Paul Simpso

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He bounces around his immaculate home like Tigger on steroids with endless energy and enthusiasm.

His speed of conversation edges Sir Patrick Moore into the slow lane and topics dart from everything from a fledgling acting career to his passion for Portsmouth.

Flamboyant does not really do justice to the whirlwind that is Robin Lander Brinkley.

At 32 the former Portsmouth Grammar School pupil is one of the most ubiquitous faces in the city and beyond.

Whether it’s promoting night club and bar Tiger Tiger at Gunwharf, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, the Holiday Inn, or Wet ‘n’ Wild cosmetics, he seems to pop up everywhere.

He knows his demonstrative personality might not be to everyone’s taste. ‘I have never expected anyone to like me, but I do expect them to respect me.

‘I know I’m loud and have to be noticed. I have to be. It’s not only who I am, but what I have to be to survive,’ he said.

And survive he has, in one of the most competitive industries, that of public relations.

That boundless effervescence and a genuine desire to point up all the great things of the city of his birth, has now won him national recognition.

Robin, of Highland Road, Eastney, has reached the finals of the 2011 Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ awards for best freelance.

Which is not bad considering he only set up his one man business in 2005 at the age of 26. It is called Maxwell Communications after his grandfather Maxwell Lander, an actuary who set up a highly-successful business in Liverpool and London and who, Robin is proud to admit, paid for his ‘top-class education’.

‘I was absolutely gobsmacked when I heard I had made the cut for the finals. Little old me, working from home in my spare bedroom.’

It comes as no surprise to learn that Robin fell in love with the stage while at school which eventually led to some professional work.

‘I was always doing drama at school and was a member of Chichester Festival Theatre’s youth theatre.

‘That progressed afterwards to the occasional non-speaking role as extras in some television shows including a Ruth Rendell. I did get to speak. Once.

‘I also did some professional theatre, but I found that doing professional TV was just mind-numbingly boring. It simply wasn’t for me.’

He hoots when he recalls what he started reading at Warwick University. ‘It was English and, now don’t laugh, the Philosophy of Religion.’

That altered to English and Theatre Studies and later he gained his Masters at the University of Portsmouth in marketing.

‘That was tough,’ he admits. ‘I did it part-time on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons while I was working full-time.

‘I used to work extra hours at my full-time job to make up the time, but I’m a firm believer in hard work. You’re nothing without it.’

And so to Maxwell Communications. ‘I’d been working for a firm in Southampton but it didn’t work out.

‘After I left I had calls from various people asking me to work for them and I realised that in two days I had been approached by three clients. I thought it would be stupid not to see where it would take me.

‘So, I went to Barclays Bank in Osborne Road and after just 10 minutes got a business start-up loan. A five-minute meeting with the Southern Enterprise Agency followed in which they offered to help sort my VAT. I bought a laptop on a credit card and off I went. It all seemed incredibly easy.

‘I admit I was obsessed with work in the beginning. I would come home late at night after being out with clients and sit up until all hours dealing with my e-mails. I’ve learned not to do that now. I have learned a sense of proportion.

‘One thing I have never pretended to be is a consultant. I don’t do consultancy. I actually do the work. I sit down with a client, they tell me what they want and I do it.’

He is also a passionate believer in voluntary work and working with young people. He is a former chairman of governors at Court Lane Infant School, Cosham, and is now a governor of Milton Park Federated School in Eastney Road.

‘I consider I was very lucky in the education I had and I want youngsters to have as good a grounding as I had.

‘I love working with them and regularly go back to Portsmouth Grammar School to talk to them about my work.

‘I feel that many young people are misunderstood. I have heard more sense and more insight from a teenager half my age than some people 20 years my senior. We should listen to them much more.

‘Education should teach you to think and give you the ability to cope with life.

‘If you can think and cope there’s nothing you can’t bounce from.’