Before he trades in PR for a career in cricket, Alastair Turner, managing director of agency Aspectus PR, spares us ten minutes to describe his career to date and explains why it is useful to have a creative streak.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Open the batting for England. I still do. Cook is looking for a partner and I’m by my phone waiting for the call up. Reckon I’ve still got it…
Would your teenage self approve of your career now?
My teenage self would be amazed by my career now. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved as a team. Last year we won £800,000 worth of new business in the UK alone. Over the last three years we have recorded revenue growth of well over 100%.
Aspectus is one of the UK’s fastest growing independent agencies. Of course the new challenge is to keep that going.
Why did you decide to work in PR?
I met a brilliant bloke called Bill Penn who was starting an agency. I was his first employee. He is now our chairman and our relationship has lasted nearly 20 years.
What has been your best career decision?
Joining a start-up and working my working my arse off to make it work. And having lots of fun along the way!
The principle behind Aspectus is simple: we hire the right people to create an atmosphere in which everyone feels inspired to produce their best work and develop professionally. That in turn inspires the agency to progress so it can continue to provide opportunities for everyone to grow and develop their capabilities. It’s a positive dynamic for all.
Bill Penn, set up his first PR agency because he wanted to create a happy, positive and professional environment for himself and anyone who wanted to work with him. And we try and carry that with us today.
We have our values, mission and culture written down. But what I’m really proud of is that everyone seems to intuitively understand them. We all share a clear idea of what it means to be part of Aspectus.
What are the biggest challenges of your present role?
It’s constantly challenging. But then that’s the point. The alternative is boring. This is addictive.
PR is a vibrant and dynamic field of work. I love the way that new ideas, new methods and new technology are constantly making us rethink how we do things. I also love to innovate and to surprise our clients. But we can only do this if we listen to each other’s ideas and suggestions. And working as a team with the guys at Aspectus is incredibly rewarding and uplifting.
What advice would you give to other PROs?
A career in PR will present you with countless opportunities to be creative, not only in terms of writing, but also in coming up with new ways to promote businesses and approach new clients. It’s a profession which constantly calls for fresh ideas and lateral thinking, so having a creative streak can be a crucial skill to bring you to career success.
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