How To Get Into PR - An Interview With Daniela Boyd-Waters

Name: Daniela Boyd-WatersDaniella

Age: 22

Degree: English Lit and drama

Current job title: Account Executive

Current workplace: Voicebox PR

Career/long term goal: Account director at leading PR firm (with a secret desire to one day be TV presenter.)

What made you pick this job?

Truffle PRI decided at University that PR was the career for me and started looking at blogs and social media to research into ways into the industry. I eventually found an internship at Truffle PR, which really stood out as trendy PR Company. I felt an immediate chemistry with my future colleagues. Truffle also had a great emphasis on social media as well as the more traditional aspects of PR, which really swayed my decision - PR firms tend to go one way or the other!

My move to my current job at Voicebox was influenced by the fact that I had a nasty injury which meant that I could no longer work at Truffle, so I had to move back home for a few months. I then found Voicebox and I thought that it would be much more cost effective to live at home and save the money I’d be spending in London on rent.

In terms of the Voicebox I was really impressed with their range of clients in the lifestyle sector and especially in food, which is probably the area I’m most interested in. Compared to some other PR firms they offered a great starting salary and once again I felt that all important chemistry with my colleagues at interview.

How did you get your position?Voicebox

When I moved back home I knew that I still definitely wanted to stay within lifestyle PR and begun scouring the internet and recruitment agencies; applying to anything and everything in the sector really. In the end it was by putting my CV online on an agency site that a recruiter found me and said that I was perfect for the position at Voicebox.

What skills do you feel are the most important in your chosen line of work?

Mics100% first and foremost is personality; to have the confidence to meet new people and speak on the phone is essential. Being able to create relationships really easily and sustain new friendships is also vital as it’s something you’re going to have to do everyday.

Obviously writing skills are extremely important, as there’s nothing worse than a badly written email or press release. Your approach to creativity is very important because having an open mind will do wonders for you when you need to be able to expand creative ideas and brainstorm.  You also need a willingness to go beyond expectations; there are a few days when you’ll be staying in the office until 10pm!

How is your job developing these skills further?

I have an excellent senior team who are very hands on and are constantly inspiring me to improve. Improving my press release writing is tough as I need to constantly change to accommodate individual requirements and approach tasks with different styles.

The fact that Voicebox is a relatively small agency is very beneficial as it means that I have been given a lot of responsibility very quickly. There are always new things happening quickly and often things that you wouldn’t get in a big agency. I basically sit opposite the managing director as well so I’m always in the spotlight but it also means that there is always someone there to help with any questions!

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far in your working life, including the application process, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was definitely the stage in-between my internship and my current job at Voicebox. The fact that I had a serious injury really made things difficult to find a new position and I was unemployed for 3 months. It really took its toll on me. Watching the news and hearing everything about the plight of today’s graduates started to convince me that there was no hope.

I started looking at other career areas such as the recruitment but I came out of one interview crying because I hated the thought of having to work in another industry so much. It was after that experience that I resolved to persevere with PR because it was something I really wanted to do and eventually I got my break!

Is your job helping you to achieve your long term goal?

Red Nose DayMy work at Voicebox covers such a broad range of clients: from lifestyle to architects and  corporates, and with such a high level of responsibility I feel like I’m learning about the PR industry in full. My biggest achievement to date has been managing some of the PR campaigns for Red Nose Day and being sent personal thanks and rewards.

And finally, do you have any last advice for students and  graduates reading this article?

Don’t give up on your dream if you have a career you really want to go for. Don’t listen to statistics and don’t be a statistic. Get involved in anything and everything that interests you, whether that is in your degree, work experience, blogging, working in bars, anything! Utilise the skills you learn and don’t give up; you will find something!


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