1. How did you get into PR – what’s your background?
I studied PR and Media at Queen Margaret in Edinburgh and during the final year of my BA Hons course I started working with a PR agency in Edinburgh, so was juggling uni work and my dissertation with ‘grown up’ work for about 6 months, which had its own challenges! Looking back on it I’m really glad I started working during my final year though because it gave me an actual understanding of how PR works in the real world, and left me knowing that if I could juggle working full time with writing a dissertation (and getting a 2:1 degree) then I could handle the pressures that come hand in hand with working in PR.
2. What’s the best piece of coverage you’ve secured for a client?
I’m not sure I can pick out one piece of coverage as being the best, but I do have a few I’m quite proud of. One example would probably be when one of the luxury whisky clients I worked for previously was announcing a new expression I managed to secure a great feature in the Telegraph Luxury, which was ideal for reaching the client’s target audience.
3. Is there anything you’ve done in your career that you’re particularly proud of?
On a more personal level I’m quite proud of the fact that after working in a PR agency for only four or five months I was given my own events account to manage. As I had not long started in the world of PR, and had only just turned 21, I’m really proud of how well I handled this challenge and the fact that I managed to do such a good job with the event that I was highly praised not only by the client but also by one of the directors and founders of the agency I worked for. One of the other projects I worked on which I’m particularly proud to have been involved in was for one of the whisky brands I worked for who were launching a new expression in collaboration with renown photographer Elliott Erwitt. Working with the rest of the team at the agency we managed to create our own pop up art gallery in Leica studios in London where we hosted the event, with Elliott in attendance. It was a great event and seeing all of our hard work come together and be such a success was a really proud moment for me.
4. What brands/startups do you think are doing a great job with their PR and marketing at the moment?
I think there’s a lot of really great PR and marketing happening just now, so picking a few examples is always a bit tricky! Despite all the controversy over the adverts I do think that Protein World’s latest marketing stunt was incredibly effective. It’s one of the most talked about campaigns of the year and provided so much conversation both online and offline that, as a result of the £250,000 they spent on advertising, they reaped over £1 million in direct sales revenue in just four days as a result of the campaign. They stuck with their marketing plan despite the controversy and managed to turn it around to their benefit. I also thought the recent campaign for Magnum ice creams, Magnum Pink and Black, was fantastic. They achieved fantastic coverage and social media conversation and I particularly liked their Regent Street takeover and the fact they turned the London Eye pink!
5. What’s been your biggest achievement out of work?
I think probably the fact that I was a published author at the age of 16, with my work being published as part of an inter-generational book of short stories and poems called ‘Oor Ain Toon’. That aside though, I definitely think there’s a big sense of achievement in managing to make the perfect gluten free caramel shortcake…if I do say so myself!
6. What’s your favourite song at the moment?
I have the most outdated taste in music and my usual choice is either something mellow like Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz or some good old country! At the moment I’ve been listening to a lot of John Mayer though, so I guess I’d have to say ‘Daughters’ or ‘Say’ are my favourite songs at the moment.
7. How do you like to spend your free time?
In a word? Eating. It’s definitely one of my favourite things to do, combine a Chinese with some Netflix binging and I’m pretty happy! Other than that I’m slowly beginning to explore Edinburgh and visit new places over the weekend, in between visiting the gym (yuck), seeing friends and writing.
8. What are your ambitions for the future, in and out of work?
I don’t have so much a 10 year plan as that I want to just be happy and enjoy my life while I can. Ambitions wise though I’d definitely like to move up the PR ladder and take on more responsibility for clients and campaigns as I go. Outside of work though I’d really like to keep up my writing and finally finish my first book!