After studying Fashion Marketing and Branding at Nottingham Trent University it may seem surprising that I am now working at C8, in disruptive-tech PR.
I always knew I wanted to work in a fast-paced, varied, and social environment, but was torn between marketing or PR whilst at university. Eventually the dialogue-driven nature of PR seemed more rewarding, and Fashion less appealing, learning of the alleged unethical and environmentally damaging practices of the industry and the role PR plays in practices such as greenwashing, was something I could not overlook.
Tech PR wasn’t something I had really considered, but after finding C8 through a recruiter, I was quickly drawn in by its impressive, diverse range of clients. The challenge of working in an industry I wasn’t familiar with was also appealing, combined with working in a boutique agency, I knew I would consistently be challenged and forced to develop skills and understanding quickly.
During the interview process it quickly became apparent that C8 was somewhere I could see myself. It’s a graduate friendly agency which puts an emphasis on training and upskilling, with trust, value and responsibility given to new starters from day one.
Since joining, the time has flown by. Now in my 11th week, I feel fully settled into my role as a Junior PR Executive, even if I do still mistake a byline for a briefing on occasion. My understanding of the ever-evolving tech industry is continuing to develop through tasks such as daily newsjacking; I can say with confidence cloud is the future of business, the metaverse is meh, digital transformation is top of mind for CISO’s across the globe and a Zero Trust SD-WAN network is the answer to the working environment of the future. I look forward to continuing to develop my knowledge and PR skills at C8.
Advice to Graduates
The job market isn’t getting any less competitive, with the difficulty of applying in the pandemic likely to continue with the current economic uncertainty for grads this year and in the future. Two pieces of advice for grads interested in PR or who are unsure if they are right for PR:
This was one of the key attributes I was advised to develop during my first training session at C8 (thanks Ken Deeks), but it has truly resonated with me ever since and I hope will continue to in the future. Being curious is key to being successful in PR. You must constantly think about story angles and opportunities, and being curious helps tremendously, whether you are finding a comment opportunity or working out if a rapid response request is suitable, curiosity is vital.
There is no doubt writing is important in PR, but don’t write yourself off (excuse the pun) if you don’t consider it to be your greatest area of expertise. PR writing is very different to the analytical writing taught at university or school. In PR you aren’t analysing Romeo and Juliet or Of Mice and Men for 20 marks, you are conveying a brand’s message or selling an article to the press, for example. Having never considered myself a writer, this was my biggest apprehension about working in PR, but so far so good. If I can do it, you can too!