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Where are you based?
Birmingham

What job do you do?
See Media, PR account manager

How did you get into marketing/communications?
I didn’t know a great deal about marketing, communications or PR until I was in college and sat down with my politics teacher to discuss my next step. I attended a CIPR conference with him in Bournemouth and after hearing all about the challenges facing the industry in 2012 (seems like a life time ago), I was hooked. I wanted to be a part of the marketing, communications and PR noise, but more importantly I wanted to help disrupt it and embrace the shift to digital.

What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
I’ve worked for award winning agencies and worked on some impressive campaigns, but I’m most proud of how I have been able to position myself to clients over the years. Today, a lot of marketing, PR and comms professionals will happily just accept a brief and do the work, despite knowing it’s not going to generate the results the client is hoping to achieve. This for me is just unacceptable and so, I’m proud of being able to establish trusting relationships with the marketing teams I’ve worked with and ensure that together, we do nail the brief and make every penny spent on comms and PR, count.

How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
I’ve worked for a number of agencies and seen how the work I’ve produced has delivered results for individual companies, whether that’s raising awareness about its products or driving traffic to its website. However, I actually began my career at a regiment for the Royal Armed Forces as a Communications Assistant and my job was to market the regiment and increase its recruitment figures by running a targeted campaign across the local area.

What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
Like many in the industry, I’ve overcome burnout. As a student, I did several internships to gain experience but many of these were unpaid and as my family were not in a position to financially support me, I needed to work full-time, alongside my studies and work experience. This habit of working around the clock was something I continued in my first graduate job as staff retention was not the greatest, which meant my workload was always increasing resulting in even less ‘me time’. Finding balance at work is always difficult, especially when it’s in your nature to go the extra mile and ensure you clients are happy, but actually not having a break can be more hindering to your performance at work – especially in terms of creativity.

Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
Don’t be afraid to dive into sectors you’re unfamiliar with. In my professional career I have worked across technology, housing and charities. Getting a wide range of experience will really help you find out what you’re most passionate about and often, this will be the most surprising.

Where can we find you online?                                                                                                                      
https://www.linkedin.com/in/saramillsbricknell/

@sarabrickwall

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