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Where are you based?
Thames Valley area

What job do you do?
PR Consultant

How did you get into marketing/communications?
I always thought I was going to work in Journalism. I have a first class journalism degree – I love writing, being creative and learning new things – and decided pretty early on that I wanted to do film or music journalism. Thing is – so does everyone else! Journalism is a tough gig, and it gets even tougher vying for jobs in such a popular space. I left uni feeling deflated and after a short – but character building nonetheless – stint in a call centre, I fell into a tech PR consultancy. I started out in a social media role at XL Communications and everything clicked into place. I love creating a voice for a brand and spending every day learning about new technologies, new applications for my clients and crafting stories online. When the opportunity came up to use some of these skills in a PR role, I jumped at the opportunity.

What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
I really enjoy seeing the return on investment from my PR and communications efforts. When I speak to my clients and I hear that a particular article I have written and placed has led to a new business lead, or website visits go through the roof, or LinkedIn followers exceed 30,000 – it’s a great way to see the tangible impact you are having. Personal highlights for me are achieving national press coverage in The Sunday Times, Guardian, Financial Times and having senior leadership professionals ask me to write or speak on behalf of their company.

How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
I see the benefit of PR and communications everyday – but it’s not always something you can see in figures. It’s important to remember that PR, marketing and the whole communications package is about raising profile, creating a reputation and making noise in a target industry. I have seen my clients sign new contracts or sell new products as a direct result of a media briefing I have set up or an article I have placed, but I have also seen clients thrilled when a respected member of their business community comments on an article they saw about them in Guardian. They may not have got an extra sale or customer from that situation, but they were recognised and respected for their market presence. Communications campaigns can be used for fast and flashy results, but they are also critical for building a longstanding position in any industry.

What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
Fortunately I have been part of a supportive PR consultancy that doesn’t follow the traditional PR agency structure: account executive, account manager, account director, director. I have had the opportunity to learn and grow my career quickly by being trusted to work with some incredible clients. From social media to single-handedly managing a number of accounts in three years! While this has been amazing, it’s meant challenging myself on a daily basis. Meeting CEOs, presenting PR plans to boards, running messaging workshops, new business meetings and pitching to national media – all of these things were out of my comfort zone the first time I came across them. It can be really challenging to try so many new things in quick succession, but also very gratifying. Now I’m dab hand! In PR in particular, coming from a call centre and trying to build relationships and meet people in a new industry has been really challenging too. I didn’t know anyone working in PR or in relevant publishing houses and it can be tough knowing your a stranger in a room of well-affirmed PR/Journos at networking events isn’t too much fun. I’ve stepped out my comfort zone, approached everything with a “well, I’ll give it a go” attitude, and maybe winged it a bit, but we’re getting there!

Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
There are so many opportunities in marketing, PR and communications – working in different industries, sectors and companies around the world. It’s an amazing industry to be a part of and there is potential to do a lot in a short space of time. I know it’s a bit of a given, but get experience as and when you can – it will be invaluable. I would also highly recommend working in a consultancy or agency before venturing in-house. You’ll be busy, very busy – but it’s an incredible place to the learn the tricks of the trade and pick up on the experiences and skillsets of the people around you. The exposure you have to multiple clients and situations will serve you for the rest of your career!

Lastly, where can we find you online?

LinkedIn

 

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