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PR has far too much focus on one channel, says TVC MD James Myers

With a passion for fashion, James Myers, group managing director of PR agency TVC Group, has succeeded in tailoring a PR career that is a perfect fit. In our quick, ten-minute catch up, he tells us how he is breaking his family mould and why it is important to be a lateral thinker if you want to succeed in comms.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I grew up in a family of retailers and going to university wasn’t really the norm. I was pre-programmed by my family to either continue working in the family business or become an accountant. Neither of those options was appealing, but I didn’t really know anything else. I had always imagined I would work in the world of fashion in some way, potentially as a buyer or merchandiser, so spent most of my teenage years trying to break into that world. I ended up being the first person in my family to go to university and what I do now is completely alien to them all.

Would your teenage self approve of your career now?
Yes most definitely. When I started at TVC Group, it was a very young company with just eight people and I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been able to shape a career working with brands and clients I always dreamed of, and helping to create campaigns I’ve wanted to work on. And because our client portfolio includes lots of fashion brands I’ve been able to step into the world of fashion just as I dreamed.

Why did you decide to work in PR?
Before I got into comms, I had heard of public relations but, like many, I had a preconceived view of what it was. It was while I was studying French at university that I realised how valuable communications was and moving into a career in comms started to sound very appealing.

How did you get your first break?
It really was a case of being in the right place at the right time. I answered an ad in a local publication and 15 years later… 

What has been your best career decision?
There hasn’t really been a big career decision as such, but what I would say is that one of the most valuable things I’ve learnt along the way is figuring out the right time to take advice and the right time to trust my instinct.

Why TVC?
That’s an easy one to answer – try and find another agency that does what we do. Our set-up and offering is unique and when you look at the competitive landscape I honestly can’t see myself anywhere else. We’ve built a global business with an incredible client portfolio, so much so that The Economist bought us – and we’ve got very exciting plans for 2017.

What are the biggest challenges of your present role?
Combining all the different elements we have in-house to deliver amazing client campaigns is the biggest challenge. Overseeing different departments with different skill sets and bringing them together can be tricky at times, but ensures we get the best results for our clients and the most engaging campaigns.

What advice would you give to other PROs? 
My biggest piece of advice is to stop thinking vertically and start thinking in new directions. There is far too much focus on one channel and that needs to change if we want to deliver and create the kind of behavioural change our clients want.

James Myers is group managing director of TVC Group.

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