Custy’s early jobs were the stuff of young people everywhere who are studying: retail, followed by retail management.
But, says Custy, she still looks back at these early work experiences with fondness. She adds: "I feel they taught me vital communication skills."
Custy studied for a degree in business communications and, initially, thought about a career in sales and marketing.
But as her studies progressed, the lure of PR beckoned her into the industry.
She says: "I realised as soon as I joined a busy press office that this was the place for me."
Her PR and comms career began at Bentley Motors’ global headquarters in Crewe as the company’s royal and VIP relations coordinator - and its main point of contact with celebrities.
Among her tasks, was dealing with the personalisation requests of VIPs, the details of which are, sadly, under wraps, although she reveals that one celebrity wanted to match the car’s colour to that of the sequins on her favourite dress.
To be part of such an iconic brand was something I was, and still am, very proud of. It was a valuable and fascinating experience.Vickie Custy, press officer at Greater Manchester Police
Custy says of her time there: "To be part of such an iconic brand was something I was, and still am, very proud of. It was a valuable and fascinating experience."
After two years with Bentley, Custy decided it was important to see comms from a public sector perspective in addition to her private sector experience and she spotted the perfect opportunity with a job as press officer for Greater Manchester Police.
Custy says: "The role of a police force was in itself an allure for me. I have always admired and respected the work carried out by the police and it may sound clichéd but I feel we contribute towards making a positive difference to the region every day."
She says the emphasis on social media as a news source means the police force has, to some extent, taken on the role of a de facto broadcaster with its accounts.
It soon became very clear that private and public sector communications have very different priorities. Time pressure is one of the main differences between the two.Vickie Custy, press officer at Greater Manchester Police