Could you give us a brief overview of your communications career so far – how did you get to where you are today?
I have covered a variety of areas within or closely related to communications over my career. I have been on the editorial side, as well as doing events, multimedia production, marketing analysis, media and external relations. This multidisciplinary background helps me in my current role and is very useful at times when many of these disciplines are converging. This is a pattern that is becoming prevalent in both in-house communications teams and PR agencies.
How would you say the professional services industry has changed in the last five years?
In my specific field, I have seen the appetite to communicate externally grow over the last few years. I have heard of a similar trajectory from peers in the professional services industry, which traditionally had been reticent to external communications. The approach remains conservative, but there has been increasing desire to do more.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your PR career so far?
Working with diverse content and "voices" to build a compelling, cohesive narrative. When you work in a content rich firm which depends on personality as much as skill-set, you have to work hard to keep bringing things back to the core mission of the communications function, while maintaining the richness that comes from diverse ideas and styles, and respecting the views of the different internal stakeholders.
What is the most important lesson you have learned as a leader in professional services?
Clients come first, whether internal stakeholders or external revenue generating clients, the relationship is crucial. If what you are doing doesn't cover this well enough, then you need to re-asses your priorities and those of your team.
What are the top three essentials you look for when you’re hiring for your team?
Intellectual curiosity, can-do attitude and professionalism. Our team works with really intelligent people, many of whom are at the top of their respective careers and credibility with them is crucial.
In one sentence what advice would you give to someone starting out in communications?
Buckle-up - Communications as a discipline is growing and evolving both in terms of scope and importance. It will continue to do so.
The Works Search specialise in placing mid to senior level PR and communications talent in leading PR agencies and in-house organisations across London, on both a contingency and executive search basis. For our latest roles visit our jobs page, or contact the team on 0207 559 6690 to discuss your career in confidence.