Tribute to Nesta Hollis FCIPR – 1935 to 2013
Phyllis Oberman FCIPR, former public relations adviser to Hollis, and friend, has written the following tribute to Nesta Hollis FCIPR, CIPR member since 1967, and co-founder of Hollis Public Relations, who passed away on 15 November 2013.
Nesta Hollis was a journalist at Good Housekeeping magazine when she conceived the idea of developing a contacts reference book to put journalists in touch with public relations people. Within the same year, 1967, she and her husband, Robert, had produced the first edition – more a booklet than a book – after gaining the support and approval of the then IPR President, Tim Traverse-Healy.
Nesta worked with tireless enthusiasm and constant good humour to build the Hollis Directory into a ‘must-have’ for journalists and also for PR practitioners. She was an early adopter of technology with Hollis’s enormous cache of contacts and information stored on a massive database before this technology became commonplace.
She became a fellow of the IPR in 1986 – a vintage year for Fellows including Peter Walker, Roger Haywood, the late Carol Friend and others.
With her husband Robert, Nesta and her team brought out other directories including Hollis Europe. Later the company changed hands several times.
She built an ever wider network of contacts with many friends in the UK and internationally whilst at the same time bringing up three children.
In later years, Nesta suffered several strokes. She died peacefully in hospital on 15 November. Nesta leaves her husband Robert and children, Francesca, Tim and Fleur.
A service of thanksgiving will be held for Nesta on Wednesday 4 December at St. James’ Parish Church, Weybridge at 11.15am. Flowers and/or donations to the DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal are gratefully received.