PR is often hard work and involves long hours, but it can also be very rewarding and a lot of fun. Comms professionals describe some of their personal highlights of working in PR.
Ross Furlong, founder of the blog agency BlogStar:
“My favourite parts of the working day are mostly related to some form of creative communication – speaking to or meeting potential new clients, writing blogs or designing images/writing copy for BlogStar promotions. This is where I get the most buzz. Also, if it's a rainy Tuesday in October and I need a little boost, I just start phoning people – there’s an energy you get from that. These days phoning someone unannounced can freak them out though – I’m not sure when we passed the line where you have to email someone to ask if they’ll take a telephone call!
“I also enjoy the first coffee of the day and being well organised, which means I probably enjoy a tick list more than I should. I’m not saying I’m Rainman, but I like a tidy desk when I leave for the evening. Other nice parts of the day are the informal ‘water-cooler’ chats which in my office means the kitchen area – people from various companies use it in my building so it can be quite an interesting place and occasionally some business comes from it too.”
Emma Hart, co-founder and director of PR agency Missive:
“It’s the excuse to play with the written word every day that makes me love the world of communications. I get an incredible buzz from the ability to influence how somebody thinks, feels, and possibly even acts, from what they read.
“Successful public relations work is undoubtedly the result of a number of things – judgement, creativity, timing, knowledge – but all that can be undermined by careless copywriting. I have a reputation for being a stickler for confusing less and fewer and for inappropriately using an apostrophe to pluralise SMBs or KPIs. But, to me, this is fundamental stuff.
“I think it’s a shame that ghostwriting has some negative connotations. I am extremely proud of the work I do and the opportunity I am afforded. My work is always entrenched in the direction and opinion of the individual, company or brand I write for. I imagine it is a little like acting. I go through the process of character development before I put pen to paper.
“You’ll have heard the saying, ‘Everyone has a good book in them, which is where it should stay‘. This definitely applies to me. But unlike many others, I’m lucky enough to be able to flirt with the idea in my day job and I’m very grateful for it.”
Gary Jenkins: co-owner of two PR companies, No Brainer and Social Cell:
“I’ve been a journalist or worked in PR for more than 17 years now, and I’ve written creatively every single day of my professional life. I found a passion for writing when I was very young and I was also lucky to have the ability to condense large amounts of information into simple language – something which really helped through my exams! But it also inspired my career choices. So, for me personally, a day without writing something new, discovering something I didn’t know, challenging myself creatively or taking a simple idea and making it newsworthy, is a day wasted.
“I genuinely have no interest in self-publicity. As the co-owner of two PR companies now, I know that might have to change! However, my career was built by building strong relationships and giving others the platform and opportunity to showcase themselves to the world. That’s what gives me the buzz. So, professionally, if we deliver positive profile, great content ideas or simply deliver the results we set out with our clients (or in the past the company I’ve worked for) and they’re happy, then I’m happy. It sounds cliched I guess, but it is the best part of my day. And wanting that every single day is a great motivator to work harder, do more and care more!”
The best part of my PR day
From Louisa Norman, account director at communications agency MSL group:
Making a difference. “I love my job in PR because I thrive on the fast-paced nature of the industry and the opportunity to develop campaigns that can actually make a difference, whether it be changing perceptions, gaining public support or achieving my client’s business goals.”
The resources. “I have a whole host of resources at my fingertips, which allows me to provide my clients with a 360-degree approach and I work closely with our studio, digital and copywriting teams. This is not only beneficial for my clients but also for my own development, as my skill set is constantly evolving.”
From Rebecca Armstrong, PR consultant at agency Aberfield Communications:
The brands. “I’m very lucky to work with some fantastic brands and love getting under the skin of a business to understand its audiences and how we can positively influence consumers, employees or customers to think, feel or act differently.”
Being creative. “The most important thing is that there are no boundaries when it comes to creativity in my role. It’s one of the most exciting feelings to come up with a creative idea and see it come to life, knowing it has inspired and influenced someone.”
Writing. “I’ve always loved writing and think it’s a great time in the industry for creative copywriting and content creation, as communications channels expand and develop. Not only are we writing technical and consumer copy for the media, but we’re creating colourful content for our clients online, from captivating video content to engaging social media campaigns.“
From Liz Beswick, editor at agency Bottle PR:
The variety. “I love the variety involved with the PR industry. No two days are the same and the work you are doing in six months’ time could be completely different to what you are doing today, which is really exciting for career and personal growth and erases any chance of monotony at work.”
How the industry evolves. “I love that our industry is constantly evolving – and quickly – which means our skills and knowledge are continuously growing. I am fast becoming an expert not only in communications, but also in SEO, digital strategy, video production and web development.
Learning something new every day makes for a very rewarding career.”
From Chris Levy, director at APCO Worldwide:
The people. “What I appreciate most – particularly working at a global agency, and working in research – is the sheer variety of people I get to work with: from government relations specialists, to digital gurus, to experts in corporate campaigns and positioning. The fact I get to do this with people from across the world means I’m always learning something new about different clients and contexts.”
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