Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
Helping businesses to communicate effectively with their audiences is at the heart of what I do. With clients in the automotive, environment and energy, technology, corporate, logistics and consumer sectors, I am responsible for all client services across the Prova portfolio.
Leading business strategy and developing the Prova group also forms a key part of my day to day activities. I manage the 20-strong PR team and am also responsible for the operational and financial management of the business.
No two days are ever the same and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What is it the company does?
Prova PR is one of Europe’s leading PR, marketing and communications consultancies.
With a reputation for creating extremely powerful campaigns, Prova delivers commercial advantage and drives business growth for organisations in key markets.
The award-winning agency employs 20 people and immerses itself in clients’ businesses. We work hard to understand what their objectives are and then deliver profound commercial opportunities through thought leadership positioning, media relations, brand management, digital marketing, design, event activation and social media.
Prova also has specialist partner PR firms across Europe and the rest of the world. We act as the central hub for a campaign, working alongside international partners to position clients in specific global markets.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I started as an Account Executive at Kinetic Communications back in January 2007. The role gave me an excellent grounding in agency life and allowed me to develop my PR, marketing and communication skills. I soon progressed to Account Manager and discovered the art of juggling numerous accounts and managing campaigns.
During this time, I also sat on Birmingham Future’s Community Development Committee as deputy chair.
As part of my natural career progression, and ready for a new challenge, I moved to Warwick-based Prova PR in December 2010. Its integrated approach to powerful PR really appealed and I haven’t looked back. My roles at Prova have included Account Manager, Account Director, Associate Director and now Management Director.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
The ability to listen to, absorb, reflect, and act upon feedback and ideas from the whole team. No-one is indispensable and there is no-one out there who can claim they know everything. Constantly learning is the key to success.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Embracing opportunities in a market that presents so many risks is challenging.
In the past few years especially, the sector has evolved at rapid speed and a change of skill set has been required. Some agencies have been afraid of this change but it has never been as important to embrace it.
Taking risks is key to success; finding the right people and capitalising on the many available opportunities is the way to building brilliant brands.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
At Prova, we pride ourselves on a number of initiatives designed to alleviate the daily stresses that come with the job.
Walking meetings were recently introduced to the working day. Rather than sitting in a stuffy board room, colleagues are encouraged to take their meetings outdoors. As well as offering physical activity, the environment inspires new ideas and leaves the team energised and alert.
We also offer a regular Pilates class and this is something that I take great advantage of. A professional teacher comes into the office to hold the weekly sessions. It’s a welcome break from my desk and regular practise helps to improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility, as well as relieving stress and tension.
Every month, the Prova book club meets; it provides a positive social event for the team. Keeping up to speed with the different books is a great escape and means I have to switch off from emails in the evening to ensure I find time to read.
I also have a 6.30am personal training session once a week; it sets me up for the day and leaves me full of energy and raring to go by the time I arrive at my desk!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A big cat keeper in a zoo; I still daydream about the role!
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?
It disappoints me when people do not respond to emails in a timely manner. Maintaining high standards in business communication is a sign of professionalism and above all courtesy. Responding to an email within four hours is good etiquette but responding sooner is even better; it assures clients that their needs are attended to. I always try to lead by example and be a good role model for the team.
Where do you see the company in five years time?
We are in an incredibly exciting place right now and really looking to the future. Investing in the team, growing our international footprint and embracing opportunities to work with an even more diverse portfolio are all key objectives for the next five years.
We want to continue achieving great results for clients, making a tangible difference and doing so while having fun.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet! If you don’t dip your toe in the water (or jump in feet first) you never know what you will miss.