Here are 5 tools everyone in the PR industry should be using…according to me!

I love finding out what people are using in their work and personal life, which may make them more productive. Anything that saves times or acts as a stress buster, is a winner in my eyes. I know how frazzled I can get when I don’t use some of my trusted apps or if I don’t have my planner with me, I like to carry it everywhere with me.

Everyone is different and works in different ways, but these are just some of the things I can’t live without.

1) iPhone (what’s on my iphone post coming very soon)

2) Google/YouTube

3) Planner/Journal

4) YouSend it/ We Transfer

5) Travel apps (Bus timesTube MapUberRingGoPayByPhone and Westfield UK)

Please share in the below comment box the top five things you can’t live without.

 

(Picture taken from Pinterest)

“Be Cool”

I love working in PR. However I know how important it is for me to take some time out every so often, so I don’t become burnt out and over stressed. PR is frequently cited as one of the most stressful industries to work in so I try to stay on top of this as much as I can!

According to The CIPR State of the Profession survey 2015 “51% of senior managers in PR identify as being “extremely stressed” or “very stressed” in their roles”

So when I met the lovely Francesca Moresi at a CIPR networking event, it was nice to hear her explain how and why she helps her clients when it comes to ways of managing stress levels.

So let me hand this post over to her as she shares some useful tips with us.

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F: Talking about stress, the very first thing we need to learn is recognising if and when we are stressed. This may seem banal, but nowadays life is extremely busy and everyone is stressed; so it’s important for you to stop and see the difference between a fast-paced rhythm and a stressful situation. If you really are stressed, your body will send you specific signals and your behaviors will change, for instance: you probably have a short breath, your posture is stiff, you fidget, you have tension in your shoulders, neck and jaw, your eyes may be red and smaller, you feel quick-tempered, you struggle concentrating and tend to forget things easily, you need more cigarettes/coffee/alcohol, you eat either way more or way less than usual. Are any of these familiar? If so, you actually know what stress is: acknowledge your symptoms and recognise the triggers.

Then follow these tips to learn reducing your level of stress.

  1. Again, banal? Maybe, but…are you actually able to relax? My suggestion is to go through a guided relaxation – there are many free audios on the Internet, if you don’t have the chance to go to a class. This allows your body to go into a very deep relaxation and to free your body and mind from the physical and mental tensions. You will also find many tools that will specifically help you fall into a restful and deep sleep, should you have any trouble sleeping – my favourite is Natasha Kerry Yoga 
  2. Practice Mindfulness. It will help you relieve stress, regulate your emotions, regain your concentration and, most importantly, become more self-aware: it’s powerful and very quick to practice; you will only need few minutes.
  3. Seek for help and support. Reach out to your friend to share what’s bothering you and don’t close yourself off ruminating. If you feel that the level of your stress is unbearable, then you may want to consider speaking with a professional therapist who will help you stop life from spiraling out of control.
  4. Develop a good level of self-esteem. In fact, many times life becomes stressful because we tend to degrade our achievements and to focus on the negative side of things.
  5. Embrace a positive attitude. Be open, honest and non-judgmental towards people; be kind and pay compliments. People will do the same with you and you will live in a more relaxed and peaceful environment. Also, be aware of your internal dialogue and avoid ruminating and repeating negative or anxious statements.
  6. Improve the quality of your relationships and be assertive. Learn to communicate effectively, to respect and affirm your needs and feelings in the relationship whilst listening to the needs and feelings of the other: the stress due to relational conflicts will decrease.
  7. Defuse your body. You can do that through regular physical activity.
  8. Detox your body. A correct and healthy diet will help you feel healthier and reduce the physical symptoms of stress.
  9. Improve your ability to manage time and your organizational skills: keep a diary and set SMART goals – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Follow your plan of action through the day but be careful not to overload your schedule, otherwise you may feel even more stressed!
  10. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Have you ever thought that you have to do everything perfectly, that you can’t make mistakes? This and many more similar beliefs have an incredible impact on our wellbeing and force us to be in a constant stressed state of mind. So, take the pressure off, allow yourself to be flawed and you will start to feel better. You may even find yourself being more successful, because without that noxious stress you will just perform better!

In collaboration with Francesca Moresi 

Name: Becky Lockett

Job title: Publicist

Company: ME!/Crep Protect

Twitter@Blockett

  1. How would you describe your current role? 

No day is the same!  I’m currently working across a number of projects – and they are very varied but that’s how I like it!  I’m working with both brands and talent which is a good mix and there’s a lot of cross over.  My experience as a personal publicist has definitely helped when it comes to working with brands, especially when they are reaching out to talent as part of their campaigns. It’s fun to be able to work creatively with both parties to meet all of their objectives.

  1. How would your current or past colleagues describe you? 

Haha – erm, tall!  And hopefully hard-working and creative – I like to think there’s always a solution to every problem if you just think about it in the right way.  I think it’s important to enjoy what you do and have a good time for the most part.  I believe that’s when people are most productive and some the best work can come from a throw-away idea when you’re having a laugh.

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  1. What roles make up the company or, what role are you currently in?

I’m working in house at a brand called Crep Protect – they produce a rain and stain shoe protection spray and the brand has grown phenomenally over the two years since it started. It’s a really exciting time for the company and there’s a lot going on – it’s a really dynamic team and we have the scope to be really creative in our approach to building brand awareness.

  1. Describe a typical working day for you? 

No such thing – but I generally like to be working by 9.30am.  Checking emails and doing the usual twitter, facebook, instagram checks, reading the papers and catching up with the Mail Online, key blogs etc  then it could be anything from driving to the Crep Protect office, having a label meeting, catching up with a journalist, heading to a trade show, planning a shoot or working from home.

  1. What are the perks of the job? 

No boundaries. Being able to be as creative and as outrageous as you can, taking inspiration from everything and everyone around you.  It’s people watching on a professional level – what makes people tick, share, like, RT etc and trying to incorporate that into your brand activity and messaging.  Plus you get to do some amazing things and go to amazing events.

  1. My career highlight would be… 

Taking Method Man from Wu Tang Clan shopping in Marks and Spencers on Oxford Street… don’t ask.

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  1. A mistake I made in my career, which I’m happy I learnt from, is… 

That’s a tough one as you make a good few along the way! The one that springs to mind is when I worked at GAP and I messed up when I was cashing up one night so the figures said we had taken £0 but there was about £10k in the safe…we had to phone America and explain..! I was mortified but I survived and the company’s still doing alright – I never made that mistake again though!!  I’ve definitely learnt that most things can be fixed – it’s PR not ER at the end of the day.

  1. What was your biggest career break? 

I’d probably have to say working at the MOBO Awards – it was a hell (note the emphasis) of a rollercoaster ride for a number of reasons but it was a baptism of fire and I learnt a lot very quickly and met some great people.

  1. What qualities do you think are essential, for working in PR and communication?

The ability to communicate, it sounds silly but amazing how many people lack that fundamental skill in this industry – and it is a skill!  Being sociable doesn’t hurt as you have to do a lot of socialising and usually when you feel least like doing it.  And being able to say no to the 6th glass of free prosecco [it used to be champagne but you know, budget cuts…] is always a good one.

  1. Name some useful PR tools that you cannot live without?

You have to have smart phone!!  It’s cliché but you genuinely cannot live without it now.  Along with that a phone charger, as currently there is no phone on the market that can last as long as a PR!   A full contacts book too.  I have worked with some incredible people and thankfully, most of them are on the other end of the phone when I need to check something or ask for advice.  I have to shout out Sundraj Sreenivasan at Supersonic PR and Tristan Piniero at Grayling who are the best at what they do, and are always on hand for some sage advice or a good old brainstorm!  Especially working for yourself it’s so valuable to have people whose advice you trust and who have your back.

  1. The best thing about working in PR is?

It changes every day. But I love coming up with an idea, making it happen and seeing the results.  Plus I still get a buzz from having a happy client.

  1. With a hectic schedule, how do you keep beautiful inside and out? 

Ha!  I don’t know that I do!!  Lots of water, even more Chocolate, cocoa butter, lip balm and Mac Face and Body.  An absolute essential though is having good friends who keep you grounded when you’ve been to one red carpet event too many and get overly blasé about Chris Hemsworth stepping on your foot – plus they let you have a good old moan over a glass of wine when it all gets too much!!

  1. What are your work wear staples?  

Sneakers. I don’t think I actually wear anything else.  It’s one of the perks of being a “creative” – you can get away with it!!

  1. For all our overseas readers, please tell us what is your favorite thing to do in London? 

Ooh, lazy Saturday mornings wandering around Brixton market (South London) and stopping for brunch.  I love it there!! We even have our own currency, you know.

  1. Finally, what are the top 5 items every PR Girl should have?  

Smartphone, Benefit “they’re real” mascara, a sharpie, baby wipes [honestly] and a black body con dress.

Thank you Becky for taking the time to support PR Girl S.O.M xxx

Name: Ann Pilkington

Job title: Director

CompanyPR Academy

Twitter@AcademyAnn & @PRAcademy

 

  1. How would you describe your current role?

I am director of PR Academy which is the largest centre for CIPR qualifications. We also run the AMEC College which is all about measuring PR and communication and have a suite of our own courses and master classes.

  1. How would your current or past colleagues describe you?

Gosh, no idea – I’d rather not think about it! I would like to think hard working and caring but you would need to ask them!

  1. What roles make up the company or, what role are you currently in?

I am one of two directors that run the business, we have a small admin team but about 30 PR professionals who teach and mark assessments for us

  1. Describe a typical working day for you?

It’s very varied. I am often dealing with queries from tutors and students. A big part of my time is spent on process improvements (we are ISO 9001 accredited) . As a small team we need to be lean and as efficient as possible – managing the study of more than 500 students a year can get complicated! I also spend time developing the business. That might be designing a new course, talking to potential partners or conducting research about what communication professionals are looking for.

  1. What are the perks of the job?

Meeting lots of great PR and communication professionals and learning lots all the time about the business that we are in.

  1. My career highlight would be…

When I was working in PR I got some great coverage for companies I worked with (BT, The Woolwich and The AA). I think starting PR Academy and seeing it grow is probably the best.

  1. A mistake I made in my career, which I’m happy I learnt from, is…

I am the type of person who is quite self-critical so I am also thinking “how could I have done that better”. One silly thing I do remember though from my very first PR job. I went home and left the guest list for a major event on my desk (this was before we had computers – yes I am that old!) and came in the next day to find it gone. In the night it had fallen on to the floor and the cleaners had thrown it away. I had to spend the morning in the loading bay going through all the rubbish bags until I found it ! Even today, I never leave anything on my desk that isn’t weighted down!

  1. The most important thing I’ve learnt, which has helped my career is…

Work with people who have the same high standards that you do. We have a cracking team of tutors and markers at PR Academy who are all passionate about what they do and really care about their students.

  1. What has been your journey to get to where you are now?

Taking risks, being a bit disruptive. I never wanted to sit in the same job or organization for years to build up a good pension. I always took that view that you could walk out of work on your last day and get hit by a bus, so take risks, be a bit disruptive.

  1. What was your biggest career break?

Going to work for The Woolwich I think. It introduced me to working with national media and understanding more about how business works

  1. What does success mean to you?

Thinking that there’s nothing you want to do that you haven’t done. (Including wing walking which I really must get booked !)

  1. What qualities do you think are essential, for working in PR and communication?

Common senses – unfortunately it is all too uncommon ! Curiosity and some healthy cynicism,

  1. What is the one piece of career advice you would give to someone starting out?

Being interested in everything, be helpful, be easy to work with (sorry that’s three!)

  1. Name some useful PR tools that you can not live without?

Anything that keeps me up to date with what is making the news – Twitter, Google alerts etc

  1. The best thing about working in PR is?

The variety

  1. Do you have a favourite PR person? If so why?

I have worked with some lovely and very talented people, it wouldn’t be right to name just one!

  1. If a PR person ask you “How can I do my job well?” what you say to them?

See 12

  1. With a hectic schedule, how do you keep beautiful inside and out?

Getting outside for a walk – I believe in fresh air and walking is almost a form of meditation

  1. What are your work wear staples?

Because we don’t have many visitors to our office, I can get away with jeans most days

  1. For all our overseas readers, please tell us what is your favourite thing to do in London?

What a great city! Cocktails in The Shard is a real treat, I have a thing about tall buildings (and roof gardens) I seek them out whatever city I am in

  1. Finally, what are the top 5 items every PR Girl should process?

Well it’s not just girls of course! Never go anywhere without something to make notes on, take your curiosity with you, something to take pictures and upload them – you never know what you might stumble on. I think that’s enough.


Hello there!!! (sorry for shouting at you, just excited that someone may be here reading this lol) Thank you for taking the time to read all of this interview. So what did you think…I’m hoping to make this a regular feature. If you have anyone in mind who you think may be suitable to interview please let me know in the comment box below.

Also I want to thank Ann from the PR Academy for taking the time to support PR Girl SOM.

“Hello. Come on in”

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Firstly, I want to say a big thank you to you! The person who has somehow found this site and took an interest in finding out what a PR Girl State of Mind (#PRGirlSOM) is all about.
It’s important for me to sincerely thank you, because this site may be my dream but it’s for you.

I’ve been stressing myself out, with endless thoughts, brainstorming sessions, meetings etc thinking of what to write, how and where to film and who I can do partnerships with.

In the end I’ve decided to dedicate this first entry to you. I want to share my story with you, in the hope that it may inspire someone to keep going. Or at the very least it may give you a bit of a laugh when you see how I’ve managed to mess up simple things or how blessed I am.

Apologies in advance if I ramble and for any typo’s. If you plan on returning to this blog, please don’t be too harsh and love me anyway lol I suffer from dyslexia, which I hope to address in length in another post and my mind runs at 100 miles per hour. I like to get things out fast in case I forget lol.

So here’s my story so far… I always start it off in the same away to be honest. Because people always ask me how long I’ve been working in PR and the communications industry (because when they find out my age and the fact that I run my own PR company, that is always the next question!) So I start my story with me being at uni (UEL), studying Music Culture, with no real idea of what exactly I’ll do after I graduate. At the time I just knew that I wanted to work in the music industry.

The story continues with a new character. Her name is Mariola. She had the most beautiful, long, black curly hair that I’ve ever seen. One day, out of the blue (or maybe I’ve just forgotten some info) she suggested to me, that I should consider a career in the Public Relations industry. She went on to point out some amazing qualities she felt I had, some of which I had no idea I processed, let alone that she and others had noticed it in me.

So after our conversation, I went back to my student apartment, went straight to my room and began to research just what was this Public Relations stuff!

In an effort to try and speed up the story here, I’ll let you know that I managed to get a number of work experience placement, worked for a record company, a PR agency, set up my own company and now I’m freelancing.

I know I’m where I am suppose to be (well kind of), however that wasn’t always the case. For a long time I regretted not getting more agency experience under my belt before I set out on my own/freelance. However now I love being a freelancer. I still am having some teething problems, due to the fact that I am switching sectors it hasn’t been easy to find the contracts but I hopeful that that will change and I’ll get into a nice stride soon.

Please tell me about your journey in this PR world. Did you study it? what was your first PR/Comms role? Do you still love what you do?

Be sure to follow me on my social media and watch my YouTube intro video below.