Where are you based?
I am based in Alton, Hampshire, UK
What job do you do?
I manage PR at jisp, an award-winning tech start-up delivering mobile marketing, shopping and payment solutions
How did you get into marketing/communications?
Since childhood I’ve always been told that I was a very good negotiator and I easily built trustworthy relationship with people no matter their age. At school I’d participate in the Debate Club, in every single quiz, presentation and networking event. I guess I just always loved talking to people and getting my point across. My Dad was a diplomat who was able to communicate with people from different nations without even knowing their language – he could just naturally talk to them, and five minutes later they would have been best friends. This has inspired me to be just like him, and I’ve decided to study International Relations at uni. Little did I know that my Dad was absolutely against me being in politics, arguing that it would be very hard for a girl in my country to be a diplomat, and that I was too creative to be stuck in an embassy. After doing a thorough research on similar subject, I finally knew exactly what I wanted to do. So that’s how my long romance with Public Relations has begun.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
Getting to be involved in so many exciting projects and meeting different people. I’ve tried my skills in different industries from automotive to entertainment to technology, and in each sector I’ve met some incredible people that I’ve learned something new from, and even managed to have long conversations with famous actors and TV presenters. But I guess the proudest moment of my career is seeing my company being positively mentioned or published in the news as well as seeing excited people use your services at events that you spent months preparing for. It’s absolutely rewarding to know that your work makes a change.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
PR is about the relationships you build with clients, media and industry colleagues. My job is to manage the reputation of my company and of my team, especially my CEO, and it’s an incredible feeling when you are being reached out to on LinkedIn or via email asking for a quote on a specific subject or offering to speak at a conference. At the moment I get to work with an incredible team of dedicated professionals who do the best job to bring our start-up to the highest recognition level. I guess my responsibility is to magnify those efforts by showcasing them through the social media posts, podcasts and press releases as well as mentions in various publications. And I am very proud to see that lately we get to be in the media spotlight more often.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
Funnily enough, my grammar used to be terrible. Due to changing schools and studying English via translating it into Russian first, I’ve never learnt, as they call it, the Queen’s English. Not only have I had a heavy American accent (courtesy of having American teachers), I also was writing like I would speak in Russian. It took me many years of practicing writing essays and stories, listening to English audiobooks, podcasts and watching movies to get my grammar and pronunciation under control, which is now an essential part of my career.
However, my biggest challenge was to overcome the fear of “I am not ready”. There were so many times when I wasn’t ready to write my first press release, not ready to publish my first social media post, organise event on my own or even manage a campaign. And, in many ways, I think I am still not ready to do a lot of things that I believe a PR Professional has to do. But you just have to bite the bullet or bite the dust. And even if you do the latter, you get up, and you try again. And again, until the fear goes away, and you think “Wow, actually this wasn’t that hard!”. I’ve gained my experiences through trying, failing, and next time trying another way. But I guess what I love about my industry is the fact that you always learn. And when you love what you do, any challenge becomes a valuable lesson. So, I know that even if I’ve had 20 years of experience, I’d still be trying something new every day.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
Never doubt yourself – I’ve nearly lost an opportunity to have a placement at my dream job (at that time) only because I thought they would have never hired me anyway. And never stop learning. Read PR books, listen to PR podcasts and read interesting blogs, and, of course, read the world news every day! Our industry is so fluid and fast-paced, that you can never say ‘I know everything now”. New trends are born every month, every week, and to succeed you need to be at the top of your game. The more you learn, the more exciting opportunities you will get to experience.
Where can we find you online?
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