Over the last few years, publishers seem to have identified a new revenue stream: "Best Places to Work" reports. Nothing wrong with that, although it's important for readers to bear in mind that it costs companies money to enter most of these awards. So from a statistical perspective, the research is not particularly robust.
So PRmoment reckoned that winning an award as a top employer, cannot be the only measure of how great a workplace is. Such awards have to be entered (and entering costs money), so there are many PROs who never get to vote for their companies, no matter how much they love them. To find out what really makes a business a great place for a PR job, we asked PROs what they appreciate about their jobs. And for most of those we spoke to, it’s the people. But it is also important that the work is interesting and there are perks, from nice coffee to a good pension scheme.
Press officer Amy Dutton has been working at Thames Water for three years and says that it‘s the people who make a difference: “I don't dread going into the office – I look forward to what the day will bring. I work with an amazing set team in corporate communications. We're a close team, full of big characters who are all passionate about what they do. Sometimes it feels like a little family and if you come into work feeling blue or have a bad day, you will be smiling again within seconds. It's not just my team, everyone in the business is passionate and committed, from the CEO to the guys out fixing leaks. When you see that everyday, its inspiring and motivating.”
Sarah Philips, senior account executive at PR agency Shine, also rates her colleagues: “When you consider that you spend more time with your work colleagues than you do with your friends or family day in, day out, it’s clear why it’s so important to work in a team with people you respect and value. At the risk of sounding cheesy, Shine really is like a second family. I’ve never worked in such a close-knit agency where everyone looks out for your well-being, both from a professional and personal perspective.”
As well as the people and perks at her firm, Emily Luscombe, account director at Bell Pottinger Business & Brand, enjoys a challenge: “A great place to work isn't about fresh fruit on a Monday, decent coffee or Christmas parties featuring the directors as Abba. It's not even about being confident that your IT won't let you down in a nerve-wracking boardroom presentation.” Luscombe says that what matters for her are the opportunities. She explains: “The feeling that you can try anything, work with anyone and always have something new to learn.“
“A great place to work has to push you to be that little bit better. It should challenge you and let you challenge. There must be room for irreverence – not a single 'company way'. It should inspire, recognise and appreciate you. And it should give you the freedom to have fun.”
Adam Harwood, account executive at Lansons Communication, says he particularly values the extras his firm offers: “Starting the day to the sweet aroma of fresh coffee and toast is certainly something I don’t take for granted when sorting the to-do list for the day. Often, a day will go on into the night, but by that I don’t mean work – the firm offers an array of evening activities including drinks with journalists, comedy nights, I’ve even recently done a ghost walk around Shoreditch.”
As well as the fun stuff, Harwood lists more serious benefits that he appreciates: “I’m a fully signed up member of the firm’s savings scheme, although I’m yet to take the plunge into the benefits of the pensions initiative …”
Soundbites: Why do you love your PR jobs?
Nikki Gooch, senior account manager at PR agency Publicasity:
“It doesn’t always feel like work, the agency strikes a great balance of work and social activities and the best thing about our company is who I work with”.
Ursula Benson, business partner, London:
“People. People. People. The madder the better. That is what is gets you up on a Monday morning, makes you queue to get on the tube in the rain and wind and makes you stay late on a Friday night. So, in summary, bright green and vivid purple personalities rock my world as opposed to grey and brown.”
If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our twice weekly event and subscriber alerts.
Currently, every new subscriber will receive three of our favourite reports about the public relations sector.