When inviting celebrities to a 40th birthday event for a very well-known kids’ brand, my boss told me not to mention that media would be attending. As the A-list celeb guests arrived to a sea of flashlights and microphones, you can imagine the furore that unfolded. I managed to keep most of them from walking out, but I swore I would never find myself in that position again.
Those early days taught me that honesty and integrity, particularly in an industry known for its lack of scruples, were key traits for a successful PR career. As I moved on, I learned from leaders who placed importance on understanding people.
Agencies such as Band & Brown, where I worked my way up from account manager to board director, proved that looking after people was at the heart of a successful company. They were great at spotting talent and encouraging entrepreneurship.
It’s not just about big salaries and high-profile clients. Agency life can be tough. A good leader supports their team.
After my first child, I went on to run consumer PR shop Brando, which became global agency Citizen. Following the birth of my second child, I went it alone with the launch of Tin Man.
At Tin Man, finding ‘heart’ in everything we do is so central to our belief, we named our agency after it. My philosophy is pretty simple. Look after those around you – both staff and clients – and the rewards will speak for themselves.