Calling all Account Managers. Join our team!

Photo by TommL/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by TommL/iStock / Getty Images

Your title: Account Manager

Your boss: Managing Director

Your pay: Approx. We’ll decide when we find the right person

 

Introduction

Welcome to Seymour PR: a boutique agency offering a leading news generation service. We’ve been punching above our weight for some time and with new clients coming on board, we need an account manager to come along for the ride.

We’re looking for someone to focus mainly on the consumer brands in our portfolio, but with a growing B2B business, interest or experience in more corporate PR would be great too.

Where the role could go? That's up to you. You’ll have the opportunity to get involved in everything: delivering on existing accounts, helping win new ones, and everything in-between.

 

The Seymour PR team all work around busy personal lives. Flexibility is something we are proud to offer the right people in return for results, passion and commitment to the job!

 

More than anything, everyone at Seymour PR cares about getting coverage for our clients -  it's what we love doing and we are really, really good at it. So come ready to create, write and pitch the stories that will make news.

 

If you think you might be up for it, give us a shout!

 

Your job

Let’s face it, what we do is not rocket science. But, only a few do it well. You’ll need to be one of the few. Here’s what you’ll be up to:

 

·       Immerse yourself in our clients’ businesses

·       Care as much as they do about getting the right results – we’re an extension of their teams

·       Create strategies that connect your client’s objectives with the news agenda

·       Do whatever you need to do to get the stories ready: information gathering, writing, creating visuals, preparing spokespeople etc

·       Check everything at least three times and then ask someone else in the team to do the same

·       Really sell those stories…even to the scariest journalists

·       Constantly look for new contacts

·       Stay within budget and get it done on time

·       If you make a mistake, own up – we’ll know you're human that way!

·       Shape the role yourself and help us grow our business

 

Your education

This is not important, mostly because it’s the year 2017 and a whole lot more matters than where you went to school or how you got on in your exams.

 

What we do care about is a demonstration of hard work, passion and ambition.

 

You

This does matter. It’s important that you:

1.       have a few years under your belt

2.       get on with just about anyone

3.       are prepared to get your hands dirty –  there are no egos here! 

4.       understand what makes the news

5.       write brilliantly

6.       get excited about coverage, whether it's in the Bath Chronicle, Facilities Management Journal or on the front page of The Daily Telegraph 

7.       love a sell-in

8.       want to do new things

 

If you think you're the one we're looking for, tell us why! Email carie@seymourpr.co.uk

 

Guest Blog - Marissa Francis

Rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty is everything I thought it would be!

Marissa Francis, Apprentice Engineer, ABM UK

I’m 24 years old, I have a four-year-old daughter, and I’m an apprentice engineer. Sometimes people are surprised that a young woman would be so passionate about a job that is traditionally quite male-dominated. But as we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week…I feel like I’m exactly where I want to be!

I’m about to complete a two-year-long course and I’ve been shortlisted for a Young Apprentice of the Year award, but my journey here has been far from smooth. Struggling to find the apprenticeship I’d always hoped for, juggling work and my daughter, and losing my mum have all been big challenges to overcome. But despite all of this, I’m excited for the next chapter.

My interest in the sector started years ago when I did an engineering course as a GSCE option and I absolutely loved it. The advice I got for the next step was to study mechanical engineering at college, because it’s a broad course that means you can get a taste of everything. Again, I just loved everything about it; the creativity of getting things to work and the science behind it all is amazing. People don’t realise how much effort goes into what looks so simple from the outside.

That’s when things got a little more difficult. After college, I wanted to get hands-on experience but there was a lot of pressure to go to Uni and it was difficult to get advice and information on apprenticeships. No one seemed to know where to start! So, I applied to university and was accepted to study electronics. I finished the first year, but it just felt wrong to be sitting in a lecture hall when I really wanted to be learning on the job. So I took a risk and left.

I signed up to Women in Engineering at a careers event and the next day I had an email saying there was an apprenticeship available at Westway Services (now part of ABM UK). And that was that! I started as an apprentice engineer soon after, and it was exactly what I wanted.

I hope that things have changed since I was looking, but finding an apprenticeship was a real challenge; and I don’t think it should be. Unless you have people around you in the industry it’s hard to know who to go to and how to get into it! I think it used to be the case that parents passed down their trade to their children, but I didn’t know where to start.

Now that I have what I wanted, and I’m nearing the end of my apprenticeship, I can reflect on the other big challenges; making sure I can give as much as possible to my course and looking after my daughter, who is four. Day to day it’s a bit of a juggle, but when she’s sick or something, it can be difficult! My mum used to help me a lot, but she recently passed away so things have got a little bit more difficult. I’m lucky that ABM UK is supportive, and it makes me even more determined to finish my course in May and start my career!

If I look back, I’d say my biggest achievement is that I’ve managed to get to the end! People weren’t sure I’d be able to handle everything because I have a child and I left Uni, but I’ve done it! I wanted to learn everyday and leave my apprenticeship having done my best.

Being shortlisted for an Apprentice of the Year award this year has made me feel proud, and shows how hard I’ve worked and how much the business has supported me. I hope I win!

When it comes to ‘what’s next’, I just want my future self to learn as much as possible, gather as much experience as I can and put myself in different scenarios. I really just want to keep building on myself.

For anyone considering an apprenticeship, I’d say the qualities you need are to be open minded and be able to listen. You also need to be confident enough to ask questions and find out why people are doing certain things, so you understand the process from end to end. I also think that you need to be very motivated and like the fact that things change quickly and you have to adapt!

When it comes to practical jobs like engineering, I think you need hands-on, onsite experience and skill. There is nothing better than learning on the job; you learn so much more quickly. I found it really hard sitting in a lecture hall trying to imagine the environment I might be in.

You are also more supported as an apprentice compared to traditional routes. You form close relationships with the people you work with and they’re there for you, whatever you need. Rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty is everything I thought it would be! Watch this space.

Calling time on your communications strategy

Watch brand TAG Heuer is opening up, and it’s getting noticed.

Communications people are storytellers. In simple terms they decide what the story should be, who to tell it to and when to tell it.  

But ‘how’ an organisation communicates can send a message that is just as strong as the content of the story. 

Often, communicators have a sense that we need to shift gear in terms of how we go about our work but it feels like there needs to be a compelling reason to make the change. It has to be more than gut feeling or professional intuition. 

Most often, it comes with a change of personnel, strategy refresh or operating environment.

Photo by Vadmary/iStock / Getty Images

New world, new approach

For the Swiss watch industry, this last point is especially relevant. Fluctuating currencies, political shifts and less-than-booming economies are all contributing to tough times that are compounded by the threat (as some see it) of the smart watch.

In a recent article on watch blog/shop Hodinkee, Louis Westphalen reports on a recent visit to a collector’s meeting at the Heuer headquarters in La Chau-de-Fond

His report contains lessons for communicators grappling with political and economic headwinds who are learning they need to find a new approach in the face of extensive uncertainty. If in doubt, open up.

Open up

TAG Heuer invited a dedicated band of hardcore followers – brand ambassadors in business speak – to an event that had been designed just for them. Making them feel ultra-special, the day was hosted by Jack Heuer himself, also starring the brand’s master watchmaker.

In between sessions there were opportunities to visit the closed-to-the-public museum – a rare treat for international enthusiasts.

They were shown technical drawings and plastic prototypes of next year’s new product. Crucially, in a first for the industry, this watch was actually deigned by Heuer customers. 

They were on a tour of the factory when they came across (although carefully planned, I’m sure) a working prototype of the new timepiece.

This is the first time anyone had seen it and it was a complete surprise to the visitors so – of course – you fetch up with the brand’s biggest fans snapping away and posting their pictures online for the world to see.

They were given another exclusive with the announcement of an additional limited-edition watch that would be produced to mark Jack Heuer’s 85th birthday.

Your audience wants transparency... 

Westphalen comments in the blog: “Transparency and insights like this from the big Swiss brands is unusual but was present throughout the whole event.”

Under the same considerable pressure that is being felt across the market, TAG has decided to open up. 

Starting with a campaign to get its customers to help design a watch was inspired. Why wouldn’t you want something that you helped create? 

They made a notable change to their communications approach, switching out of the super secret, long-build up communications approach with major announcements made only on the stages of major watch fairs. 

The risk with secrets and big reveals is a feeling of let-down and anti-climax. Better to secure success by keeping customers close to product development all the way through the process.

...and they'll pay you back double

Rewarding their biggest fans with VIP access is a great way to go about introducing your new, open and transparent communications strategy

The pay back for this special treatment comes in the form of active and excited blogging and photo posting. Now, the broader customer base also feels like they got the exclusive and can share in the excitement.

If you're really lucky, the journalists may even comment on your new plans.

Photo by Stephanie Zieber/iStock / Getty Images

Refresher

So, if you want to get noticed, think about how you communicate, not what you communicate. Reward your biggest fans with unique experiences and they will help spread the word.

Be open about what’s coming up and give detail generously. Find ways to release the details when people least expect it and capitalise on the upside of surprise. Finally, if at all possible, make your customers part of your product design process.

If you feel like your communications strategy needs a refresh but didn’t have a good enough reason to change it up, the market is doing the job for you. 

Time for a change?

Why the FT doesn't matter.

Looking at Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer, two things stand out.

Firstly, in the UK levels of trust are 17% higher for the informed public (15% of the population), than the masses (the other 85%).  Secondly, and in a complete role reversal, it’s the masses that hold all the influence.

This suggests businesses are miss-directing their efforts when it comes to building trust. Sadly, many business leaders still care more about what’s in the FT than what customers and prospects are saying about their businesses.

Trust is important because it affects a consumer’s likelihood to buy products, make recommendations or share positive opinions online. It matters because it can be the difference between commercial success and failure.

Photo by Pali Rao/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Pali Rao/iStock / Getty Images

In the (good?) old days, the informed public (the 15%) held authority and influence. These people are university educated, in the top 25% of household incomes and read the broadsheets.

Today, the model of influence has turned upside-down. Thanks largely to social media, the masses hold all the influence. Since this is a week of democratic significance, let’s celebrate this fact. It’s both good and appropriate that the majority of the population holds the majority of influence on matters of trust.

So what does this ‘correction’ in influence over trust mean for PR?

Well, one thing that hasn’t changed is that conversation matters. Conversation must always be the objective. And what drives conversation? Great stories. Memorable, repeatable, shareable stories that get the right people talking whether they are at home, work or play.

PR must make sure it gets the right people talking. It must recognise that influence has passed from the informed public. It must think about the conversations and stories that work for the masses.

Let’s be honest. The FT does matter. It just doesn’t matter in the way we think it does. It will always be interesting and important to its readers, and to the people wanting to sell to them, and influence them.

But it doesn’t matter to the masses and they are the people who dictate the trust in your brand, and the commercial success of your business.

The issue of trust is a live one as I reflect on the referendum campaign. It appears as if the informed public’s interest in economics is playing the mass-appeal issue of immigration.  Regardless of the result, I wonder if history will suggest that ‘Stronger In’ failed to leverage this inversion of influence to its advantage? As for the result, I hope we take the decision to lead Europe, note leave Europe.

My PR Playlist

Days running a PR agency are eclectic and I have a playlist to match. For the good weeks and the bad, these songs always feature on my seven-day playlist. The days of spin are behind us so I'm giving it to you raw and un-cut. 

Joy Division Oven Gloves - By Half Man Half Biscuit 
A new entry for me. I recently, and accidentally, crashed the local Ukelele society get together at my favourite Sunday night haunt… the Balham Bowls Club (a pub!) They played everything from Price Tag to Wonderwall, but this song stuck in my head. 

Frank Sinatra - One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
A great way to end the day and the guarantee of a good night's sleep. I saw the show at the Palladium recently, an amazing way to experience Ol' Blue Eyes as if he were still here. 

Blur - Coffee and TV
I was in Chicago for a friend's wedding a couple of years ago and this was the soundtrack to my summer. It also happens to by my favourite song from Cruel Intentions. Don't judge me. 

Wailing Souls - Wild Wild Life
The best song in one of the best films of all time, Cool Runnings. If you watch this movie and don't feel better for it, you have no feelings. 

Paul Simon - Call Me Al
Did he ever think this song would make for a cheesy nightclub anthem? Did I ever think I'd spend a birthday at South London Pacific listening to this song? No and no, but how well it worked!