Interview with Andrew Smith, Director at escherman

This week for my Interview Series, we have Andrew Smith, Director at escherman, talk about his career path, current role, changes he’s seen in the PR industry over the years and his thoughts on the future of PR.

andrew-111. Before working in PR, you spent a couple of years working as a Deputy News Editor at a weekly UK publishing trade title. Can you talk about your experience working there and why you decided to enter the PR industry afterwards?

I started life as an editorial assistant on the Retail Newsagent Tobacconist and Confectioner in September 1985. In spite of appearances, this was an excellent training ground in journalism.

One of my former predecessors in this role at the magazine – Mark Haysom – went on to become Chief Executive of Trinity Group Newspapers  and one of the most powerful people in British newspaper publishing.

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Interview with Mandi Bateson, Head of Social at Mindshare

This week we have Mandi Bateson, Head of Social at Mindshare, discussing her career path, her creative process for coming up and executing ideas, technology trends and skills that are becoming increasingly important for marketers.

Mandi 2012

1. To kick things off, can you tell us a little about yourself and provide a quick overview of your career to date?

I started working as a marketing and events coordinator during a 2 year stint in England in the early 00s. After a few years working in a multitude of B2B marketing communications roles, I was adamant that I would a) never specialise and b) never work for an agency. And yet here I am, loving agency life and in one of the more niche marketing areas in the industry.

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Interview with Ishtar Schneider, Senior Account Executive at Palin Communications

This week we have Ishtar Schneider, Senior Account Executive at healthcare PR agency Palin Communications, talking about her career path, working at Palin, her thoughts on company blogs and emerging PR trends and how she keeps up-to-date with all the news out there.

profile1. Prior to Palin Communications, you worked in a range of roles — from interning at Edelman to community management to media relations assistant — can you give us a quick overview of your past positions?

Haha well there is a fair chunk, I’m one of those people who always likes to be busy. I worked three jobs while doing Uni full time. One of those was as a media relations assistant for my own school – University of San Francisco. I was lucky enough to be hired into that job when I was only a sophomore so I was able to learn a lot through my 3 years there. It was basically entry level in-house PR experience and I got a really great base for my career in that job.

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Interview with Edward M. Bury, Strategic PR & Integrated Marketing Communications Consultant.

This week for my Interview Series, we have Edward M. Bury, a strategic public relations and integrated marketing communications consultant based in Chicago. With extensive experience in the marketing, PR and journalism sector, Edward had a lot to share, especially about his career path, his stint as a journalist and why blogging is important for business.

1. You’ve been in the marketing and communications industry for over 30 years – can you tell us a little about your career path?

Upon graduation at Illinois State University with a degree in English, my goal was to land a position in journalism. It’s all I ever wanted to do. Fortunately, I received a referral from my Scoutmaster to an advertising executive at the Chicago Tribune. He referred me to an editor at the City News Bureau.  I secured an interview and was offered a job starting at $100 per week. This was January of 1977.  I was thrilled.

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Public Relations: What are the differences between working in-house and at an agency?

If you’re currently not on the Q&A website, Quora, I recommend you create an account and start participating, now! Ever since I joined, the only other website I’ve spent more time on is reddit – it’s a great place to learn about new things and connect with interesting people. A while back I posted up the question – “What are the differences between working in-house and at an agency?” – because I was interested in learning about how the two differed.  

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Interview with Andrew Tran, Social Media Specialist at Vodafone Australia

This week for my Interview Series, we have Andrew Tran, a Social Media Specialist from Vodafone Australia, who has had a ton of experience working with online platforms, managing communities and running social media channels.

Andrew also manages his own blog where he writes about social media and how brands can incorporate it into their business objectives. For this interview, Andrew talks about his career path, his current role at Vodafone, blogging for business and the evolution of content creators. Enjoy!

1. You’ve worked in a lot of interesting roles – community producer, sales specialist, social media producer – can you tell us a little about your career path? How sort of steps did you take to end up where you are now?

Starting from sales I got my break working in eCommerce which gave me a good platform to learn a bit of online sales through SEO and some analytical exposure as well.

After 3 Mobile merged with Vodafone, I was given an opportunity to broaden my skill set in digital with, the intention to come back to the social media realm.

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PR Word of the Week – Content

Earlier this year I had the pleasure to write a guest blog post for Kristine Simpson, a PR professional based in Canada. The below blog post, which touches on my favourite PR word – ‘content’ – originally appeared on Kristine’s blog – Running a PR life.

My favourite PR word: Content

There used to be a time when PR mainly meant media relations, i.e. you have a story that you push, you send out a press release to your media contacts and hope that you’ll be able to score some coverage. I’m exaggerating a little here, but that was the gist of it.

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Interview with Thang Ngo, Strategy and Planning Manager at SBS Australia

This week for my Interview Series, we have Thang Ngo, Strategy and Planning Manager, Audio and Language Content, at SBS Australia. Thang has had quite a diverse career path, starting out in the advertising industry before becoming a Councillor at the Fairfield City Council as well as several positions in SBS Australia. Thang talks about his career path, social media tips and his food blog Noodlies.

1. You’ve had quite a diverse career – from advertising to councillor to your current role at SBS — can you tell us a little about your career path?

I graduated with a commerce degree, majoring in econometrics, but really, I didn’t learn much about economics or statistics. Uni did help me to work out meeting deadlines, a good writing style and being able to work in a team are all really important. That’s really helped me in all my jobs.

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Interview with Arik Hanson, Principal at ACH Communications

For the latest addition to my Interview Series, we have Arik Hanson, Principal at ACH Communications.

Arik has working in communications for some time and offers his perspective on topics like the differences between in-house and agency roles, keeping up to speed with relevant information as well as the skill sets that are becoming increasingly important for PR professionals.

1. You’ve been working in the communications industry for over 10 years, what has been the most memorable highlight during your career?

Without a doubt, starting my own business almost three years ago. It’s been the most exciting, rewarding and challenging job of my life (I mean, other than parenting).

2. With experience in both agency and in-house roles, what can you tell us about the similarities and differences between the two?

Agencies definitely seem to attract a certain kind of person. You have to be OK with a lot of ambiguity. You have to love solving problems creatively. And, you have to love juggling about 14,531 things at once. You’ll get that on the corporate side from time to time, but it’s not quite the same.

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Interview with Lars Voedisch, Principal Consultant at PRecious Communications

The latest addition to my Interview Series is Lars Voedisch, currently the Principal Consultant at PRecious Communications. Lars has over 15 years experience working in the communications industry, working extensively in both in-house and agency. He talks about the evolution of the PR industry, the difference between agency and in-house and provides some great insight for students looking to develop a long and fulfilling career.

1. Looking back on over 15 years of working in communications and public relations, at what moment did you realise this was the career you wanted?

Having worked for a radio station in the past and with a Masters in Economics, corporate communications seemed to be a natural fit of bringing media and business perspectives together.

Since that start it’s the people, the exciting brands I’m working with and the constant change that keeps me on my toes and constantly wanting to learn more. Imagine: Until social media came to play, PR hardly changed for decades. So being part of and to a certain extent even defining the ‘New PR’ is awesome!

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