NE comms conversation #12 “creating a meaningful dialogue”

Rachel McBryde is the Business Development Director at Gardiner Richardson.

It’s great to get the views of someone so senior at one of the region’s top PR agencies and add more to this conversation about communications in the North East. There are some fantastic tips here for people looking to break into the industry as well as some great commentary on how PR is changing.

What are the key traits people in PR need to succeed?
Seeing things from your customers perspective is key. It’s no longer about pushing your message. It’s about engaging on a micro-level, adding value to customers lives and creating a meaningful dialogue.

What made you get into the PR/comms business?
It paid better than journalism!

How have things changed in the last 5 years?
Digital has brought down barriers between communications disciplines. Working together, digital, PR, marketing and design can tell some unique stories in truly creative ways.

Are you optimistic about the future?
Very. Digital creates opportunities and brings down barriers. I see original and inspiring content almost daily and that is so exciting. Whether you’re new to the profession or a seasoned PR, it feels like we’re involved in a comms revolution.

What single bit of advice would you give graduates just entering the business?
The right attitude means more than experience. Are you positive? Willing to learn? Self-starting? Interested? Have you researched the organisation or business you’re interviewing with? Write your own blog, set up a website, volunteer. Basically, be willing to learn and get involved.

What do you see as the most important issues in PR right now?
It’s important to add value for clients, really taking the time to understand their needs so you can work together on the best comms solutions. A client might come to us wishing to create some social media content, but discover on their journey that isn’t necessarily the best approach. PRs should be advising, because for the non-professional it can be very confusing. It’s about ensuring you’re looking at the whole picture – what’s your story and what is the most compelling way to tell it, to share it?

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