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Alex Blakelock, Account Director

The author

Alex Blakelock

Account Director

Wanna be in our gang? Life in PR can vary wildly from one day to the next, calling for a team of multi-tasking, fast-moving, creative, detail-obsessed individuals. Here are the top five team members to look for...

The motivator

You could be forgiven for mistaking that, on certain days, the motivator in our team is actually chocolate, a glass of crisp white wine or Nutella. However, we also have some really positive people who keep us marching on through most situations, from working through a mammoth media sell-in list to thinking, thinking and thinking again to find the campaign that will deliver for a client. There's always room to put a positive spin on a situation (we are in PR, after all..) 

The ideas machine

These are the people who stroll into an afternoon brainstorm looking completely normal and casual, swigging nonchalantly on a can of coke, then deliver Idea of the Year 2015. Amazing ideas just work from day one, because we all know that journalists, social users - whoever it needs to win over - will get the idea instantly, just like we did. For those of us who need to oil the cogs a little more before we come up with brainstorm gold, there is lots to learn from great campaigns already out there, industry news sites and even journalist contacts who can sense check and advise on early ideas.

The realist

We might not like it when they shoot our ideas down without so much as an apologetic glance, but every team needs a bad cop (or ideally, a team where everyone questions ideas to put them through their paces). Every new idea or suggestion needs a once over from your in-house Devil’s Advocate Officer – after all, it’s better to give it a grilling before you present it to a client or journalist and they do the same.

The planner

This role comes in two forms:

1. One is looking at a new campaign, social or tactical idea and knowing just what to do next. It’s not the most fun part of the job (though we do secretly love a comprehensive, colour- coded timeline), but it does mean we can relax when the event, launch or sell-in comes along and we know that everything is covered. Before the glitzy events or headlines come planning, meetings, phone calls and the occasional team debate to iron out the finer details.

2. Second up, after the success, comes the celebrating. Anyone with a nose for a new bar or a spontaneous prosecco streak is welcome here.

The talker

Media relations is the absolute essential for PR. Press coverage and raised brand awareness rely on media visits, daily calls to journalists and (if in doubt…) generally waving the brand you are promoting in front of anyone who will listen. A talker will not only grab any excuse to hit the phone and sell-in their latest story with true enthusiasm, but they’ll also set the tone for everyone else. We make most of our calls during daily ‘power hours©’, which get everyone involved and help to avoid stage fright in the middle of a quiet open plan office.


Which qualities make a PR pro for you? Tell us by tweeting @jaywingpr