Where are you based?
What job do you do?
VP of PR and Communications, Wheely
How did you get into marketing/communications?
Originally, I went to college in my hometown to become an aerospace engineer but quickly realized people and communication, not machines, were my true passion. In the summer of my freshman year, I found an internship as assistant PR manager at an advertising agency but overall, my college courses didn’t feel like enough. That was why in 2009 I entered the PR pre-masters program at BBSI UK and graduated with excellence. Back in Russia, it helped me move to Moscow and quickly find a position as a PR manager at a tech company.
In 2017-2018 I hold a position of VP of communications at WayRay, a developer of advanced automotive AR technologies. Now I am with Wheely, a London-based ride-hailing company. In addition to that, I own and manage This Is Fine, an independent PR agency that helps Russian tech companies get coverage in Western media.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
I am a big fan of trade shows and tech conferences. The most remarkable were CES 2017 and 2018 when we managed to gain coverage in tier-1 media and demoed the product to thousands of tech enthusiasts. Having joined Wheely in July 2018 at a key stage in the brand’s ambitious growth as a Head of PR, I am currently VP of PR and Communications. A recent focus on the UK press has resulted in our market-leading, chauffeur-driven ride-hailing app featuring in Evening Standard Magazine, Business Insider UK, and GQ. The Paris launch was covered by Les Echos and Le Figaro, the leading French newspapers.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
Every press mention helps startups a lot, this is how they get exposure for the products and services they offer. I was honoured to witness how PR campaigns we run helped founders to establish new connections with partners and investors, as well as promote products.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
I am not a big fan of face-to-face communications and I was a closed person in my teen’s age. So first conferences and live pitches were a big challenge. I am grateful to PR how it changed me as a person, and helped me to overcome my fears.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
You will soon realize the hard work that goes into good PR. Not only will you write press releases, but also train your spokespeople, search for best angels to pitch your story, gather the information from every department, track hundreds of resources and deep dive in analytics. Yes, this is hard but so exciting! Wish you all the best!
Where can we find you online?
If you’d like to be featured in the next ‘They do comms’ article, share your story with us here.