14 August 2022

PR: More than just a bit of Bolly

Tom-Phillips
Tom-Phillips
Tom Phillips
Account Executive

“What even is PR?”

“What even is PR?”

I was met with the usual responses when I told my friends I wanted to work in PR – ‘don’t you just get paid to take people out for drinks?’, ‘what even is PR?’, and AbFab quotes were among the most common reactions.
Annoying as it was, it did force me to think long and hard about what actually is PR, and why do I want to work in it?
At the time, I had spent two years working for media companies in non-client facing roles and realised that wasn’t the path for me. I knew my strengths at the time – great with people, creative and strategic thinking, and persuasive writing were all skills that I wanted to focus on, and I certainly wasn’t put off by the idea of entertaining clients.
Paired with my avid consumption of media, PR seemed like a pretty obvious choice for my next step. Fast forward to today where I’m now 4 months into my first PR role, and it turns out there is plenty more to it than just a bit of Bolly.
In fact, time spent schmoozing stakeholders is at an all-time low right now due to home working. And that’s not to say that we never do it, but just that it makes up a very small part of a hugely varied job.

Getting to grips with the role has been a steep learning curve, so here are three things that I’ve learnt on my PR journey so far…

1 - Not one day is the same in PR

It goes without saying that not one day is the same in PR. Whether it’s back-to-back client meetings, writing thought leadership, or pitching to journalists, I’ve learnt that it’s best to expect the unexpected. Even if you’re working for a specialist agency, you will constantly find yourself trying new approaches and networking with new faces.
Take, for example, working on an online safety RegTech. Although this may sound like your everyday tech startup from the surface, after peeling back the layers and uncovering the fascinating origins of a company ran by a founder who has dedicated their life to this work, you realise that there is so much potential and opportunity to tell this client’s story.
I certainly didn’t expect this account would lead to networking with senior journalists at nationals and in broadcast media.

2 - Method behind the madness

There’s a lot of method behind the madness. This one might seem obvious, but working across many accounts requires meticulous planning, and there is a strategic reason behind every decision made. Being exposed to these strategic conversations and contributing to client plans has been key to learning the fundamentals of PR and how agencies operate.
I myself am a methodical thinker – I find it really beneficial and enjoy knowing how the complex pieces of the agency puzzle fit together, something that will be instrumental in my progress as I rise through the ranks.

3 - A good team makes a huge difference

A good team makes a huge difference. Whilst you must be very self-motivated in PR, I’ve found that being in a team environment full of creativity and intelligence makes my job so much easier. Starting any job in a remotely can be challenging, but starting one that you haven’t had any experience in before is truly daunting.
For me, collaboration is key, so having colleagues to brainstorm with, discuss challenges, or even talking about the latest Netflix has been invaluable, and I can honestly say that the team at The Media Foundry have made the start of my PR career a joy.
There is still plenty to learn in the year ahead as my role in the agency continues to grow – I’m already running internal meetings, I’m in discussions to start winning new business, and I’m taking on more responsibility in managing accounts. And so my journey into PR continues…
Grace-Tucker-R
Grace-Tucker-R

Grace Tucker

Account Director

It’s November, so that means one thing – we reach Equal Pay Day.

It’s November, so that means one thing – we reach Equal Pay Day.

Now, it’s not as positive as it sounds – I can’t help but consider it a bit of a misnomer. Sadly, we haven’t closed the gender pay gap. Equal Pay Day marks the day every year where women overall in the UK stop being paid compared to their male counterparts.

Now, it’s not as positive as it sounds – I can’t help but consider it a bit of a misnomer. Sadly, we haven’t closed the gender pay gap. Equal Pay Day marks the day every year where women overall in the UK stop being paid compared to their male counterparts.

On average, as the Fawcett Society’s report details, women take home £574 less than men monthly, which adds up to an eye-watering £6,888 per year. Now, I’m no mathematician, but that’s not pocket change. And there has been very little coverage of this story in the media, save for an article in The Guardian.

With suffragettes in my not-too-distant bloodline, I’m stunned that we are still facing these age-old problems, five years since we marked the centenary of our right to vote. So why aren’t we taking heed of our suffragette predecessors and demanding the equality we deserve? Has taking any political action become synonymous with the ‘bra burning’ feminist myth, and so been consigned to the murky depths of ‘women’s problems’, not to be taken seriously?

We have much more work ahead of us. I urge everyone (regardless of gender) to read the report, and take a leaf out of the books of Pankhurst, Fawcett and all of the other pioneers of the women’s equality movement.

One day, hopefully soon, we can make Equal Pay Day a celebration, and not a commiserate reminder that in over a hundred years, we are still fighting for something as fundamental as equality.

Braden-MacDonald
Braden-MacDonald

Braden MacDonald

Senior Account Executive

As winter wraps its chilly embrace around Britain…

As winter wraps its chilly embrace around Britain…

As winter wraps its chilly embrace around Britain, cosy evenings have become the norm, and I find myself naturally drawn to the allure of binge-watching as much television as I can.

Finally, the much-anticipated first part of Netflix’s sixth season of The Crown finally dropped this month, bringing a fresh wave of regal drama to our screen. And let me tell you, I was itching for my fix of The Crown.

As winter wraps its chilly embrace around Britain, cosy evenings have become the norm, and I find myself naturally drawn to the allure of binge-watching as much television as I can.

Finally, the much-anticipated first part of Netflix’s sixth season of The Crown finally dropped this month, bringing a fresh wave of regal drama to our screen. And let me tell you, I was itching for my fix of The Crown.

Despite devastatingly bad reviews all-round, I couldn’t help but find myself fascinated with this Princess Diana-centric era of the show, where she navigates life and ascends to become one of the most prominent global figures in her own right. Elizabeth Debicki’s portrayal of Diana is so hauntingly precise, it’s easy to forget this iteration of Diana isn’t the late Princess herself. Debicki captures Diana’s mannerisms, tone of voice and playful charm perfectly, offering an artistic interpretation that not only showcases her own talent but also beautifully encapsulates the essence of Diana – a poignant reminder of why so many fell in love with the princess in the first place.

With much debate surrounding the sensitivity and accuracy of The Royal Family in The Crown, I’m glad the show delved into Diana’s hardship within The Royal Family, up to her harrowing last days. Despite the inevitable complaints, The Crown, regardless of intentions, did a fantastic job of showcasing a figure many people put on a pedestal in a brutally honest and open way. It served as a reminder that even those we admire, who seem ethereal and perfect, undergo hardships and struggles like the rest of us. And for that reason, I enjoyed it.

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