In this series, we talk to a member of the CommsCo team, to glean their thoughts on PR, agency life, and everything else that matters. Next up is Ed Clark, our 24-going-on-54 year old Senior Account Executive.
What is your favourite thing about working at CommsCo?
Definitely the team. A hardworking, friendly and inspirational bunch in equal measure – it really feels like we grow and succeed as an agency.
What do you see as the key benefits of working for a smaller agency?
Exposure has to be the biggest plus. Getting to work externally with clients’ CEOs and CMOs, and internally with experienced managers and directors; it’s great for personal and professional development. I think I’m learning faster here than I would have done at a larger (and probably more ‘faceless’) firm. Also, the faith shown in you by smaller agencies is exciting; half the team is under 30 but already includes managers and senior execs.
How did you decide on PR as a career choice?
I don’t think I did, really. When I left university I picked up work as a freelance journalist, without a real idea of where I wanted my career to go. It was an interesting time, I suppose. I’ve read news bulletins for the World Service that went out to millions of people around the world, and I’ve written 250 word reviews about the local panto; I’ve interviewed Claudio Ranieri with Premier League trophy in hand – and I’ve trekked around the streets of Derby finding out peoples’ view on Brexit. Feast and famine.
After a year the lack of stability in the world of journalism pushed me out, but I wanted to find a role where I could still use my communication, content and interpersonal skills every day. I sent a few emails out to PR firms asking for an internship, and this company called the CommsCo decided to give me a go. Due to clerical error I’m now employed here full time.
What would you say to people who are thinking about trying a PR role?
If you’re interested, go online and search out agencies that offer internships. Get some experience under your belt, even if it’s just a couple of weeks. That should give you a pretty clear idea about whether PR is a viable career option.
What do you see as the main vision for CommsCo?
I think ‘vision’ is just a jargon word. We’re going to keep doing a great job for our clients, and that brings success for us as an agency. We’ve just moved to new offices, and I’d say this will be the base of operations for CommsCo for a good few years as we expand and become a more recognised industry presence.
Which skill would you say is most important in achieving PR success?
What is the most rewarding thing about working in PR?
That email of thanks from a client after seeing a successful project through from start to finish. Or getting front page coverage in the FT – either or.
How do you like to relax at the end of a working day?
Meeting friends and grabbing a beer, a trip to the theatre, a night in with my girlfriend, or a game of snooker. Rarely all at once.
If you could only describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Tell us something about yourself that the team may not know.
Back in my journo days, I was reviewing a play for The Stage. As the lights dimmed, Professor Umbridge and Downton Abbey’s Carson sat down next to me; Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter are married in real life, and their daughter was making her professional debut that night (she was rather good).
To find out more about the CommsCo, click here.