From Politics to Public Relations

How I ended up in an industry I never even considered…

September 2017

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I never imagined I’d be reading the words ‘policy’, ‘election’ and ‘lipstick on a pig’ from my desk at a PR agency. No, I’m not working on the communications strategy for a political party. But, the upcoming election and media whirlwind around the political parties contesting it has had me thinking about where my career could have led.

After spending four years studying a major in political science, and completing a Master of International Political Relations, I thought I had a pretty good idea of where my career would lead.

My predictions proved very wrong.

A string of interviews and job trials in the political sphere was all it took to realise that the career I had initially envisioned was not right for me. At least, not right now.

So, back to the drawing board to rethink where my career could get it’s start.

Although interested in writing, I knew journalism wasn’t the right fit. Sure, it is media, but I couldn’t see myself working at a magazine or appearing on a TV set. There was one other definite I wanted out of a job – diversity. I certainly didn’t want to wind up arriving to a mundane set of repetitive tasks, day in and day out. 

When the opportunity arose for an interview with Pead PR, my first thought was – what is PR? I’d heard of it, knew of the phrase ‘spin doctors’ and vaguely understood it had something to do with public reputation management. Beyond that, however, I had no real idea of what it entailed. After I did some research, I thought ‘this sounds like a bit of me.’

My first few weeks on the job were a whirlwind – learning about an industry I had no previous experience or qualifications in, getting to know a slew of clients I now work on - and figuring out what the hell ‘clippings’ are.

That was a year and a half ago and I’ve never looked back. Working on the technology, entertainment and corporate (TEC) team here at Pead has given me insights into a diverse range of clients. It has allowed me to peep into verticals I never thought I would be involved in – from the music industry, to online TV streaming, property development, smartphones and everything in between.

It’s overused, but the phrase ‘no two days are the same’ regularly springs to mind working in agency PR and I can confirm, hand on heart, the old cliché is entirely true. I’m not sure there are many other industries which can offer the opportunity to go from escorting an international TV star on a press tour, to planning a smartphone launch event all in the space of a single day.

The media frenzy around this year’s political developments has given me pause to consider my career and where it could have led. And with that has come the realisation that I’m happy to be on this side of the desk.

Sarah Prigg, Senior Account Executive