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Monday 22 January 2018

Solent University Public Relations Alumni

Kelly graduated from Public Relations and Communications degree at Solent University in 2008

Find out more about her Journey here…

How did you end up working in PR?

I toyed with many different career ideas including pursuing my hobby by working with horses and even becoming a lawyer. I soon realised that PR was the one for me. I was eager to jump right into PR. It made sense to find a course that was CIPR accredited and the right fit for me. That’s when I chose to study at Southampton Solent University.  

After graduating, I had ambitions to work in consumer and fashion PR. However, it wasn’t until I started my first job in technology PR that I realised where my skills lay. I now work in cyber security and love every single minute of it! I’m an Account Manager at éclat Marketing, an agency in Lightwater, Surrey. This agency specialises in cyber security. I’ve been with the company since February 2016 and work with some great colleagues, meeting really interesting clients.

Can you describe your typical day at work?

Every day is different, but it always starts the same way; with a cup of tea and a newspaper. I read cyber security trade titles and social media channels to see if there are any relevant stories our clients can comment on. Then it’s on to the day-to-day activities like drafting press releases, media briefings and account administration.

Every now and then we have a big story break which requires everyone’s attention, such as this year’s WannaCry and NotPetya attacks – those were some busy days but we got some great coverage, including the Financial Times and the Daily Mail!

What skills and qualities do you need to work in PR and how did the PR and Communications course prepare you?

It taught me how to work with people with diverse views and ideas.  Group projects may seem like the devil at the time, but they really do help in the long run!

Tenacity and time management are probably the two most important attributes a PR person can have. You’ll come up against many journalists who don’t have the time to talk or inclination to talk to you but perseverance pays off. Time management is also incredibly important, regardless of whether you’re working in-house or agency.  

Tips for people who want to create a career in PR:

  • Do everything and do it well – Reporting and account admin might not be the most exciting tasks but they make for a good grounding in PR. If you can do even the most menial jobs with enthusiasm and do it well, it will set you in good stead for whenever you’re given a more demanding piece of work.
  • Preparation is key –Making sure a client has everything they need is vitally important and the same goes for the journalist if you’re organising an interview.  
  • Enjoy what you do–I’m lucky that I enjoy what I do and I genuinely like going to work. And that’s what really matters.