Prospect presents Jo Preston

Posted by Prospect‘s UK Team

Jo is Director at Teamspirit Public Relations. We find out more about her and the agency.

Prospect Presents Jo Preston – Director at Teamspirit Public Relations

What do you enjoy the most about working at Teamspirit?

I love the energy and enthusiasm that the team has, and the constant drive for new ideas and insight. Everyone in the company believes that our clients deserve excellence in everything we do for them, and its pretty inspiring to watch people at all levels deliver.

What’s the office vibe at Teamspirit?

Relaxed but hard working. The banter flows and we love to bounce ideas off others, so there is always a buzz in the office, but people also get their heads down and deliver when it matters.

How closely does the PR team work with the content team?

We are lucky to be part of an integrated marketing and communications agency, which allows us to offer our clients more rounded solutions to fit their needs.  So the answer is, very closely!

You work on some really great consumer campaigns for financial and professional services clients – can you give us an example of one?

Yes we are lucky to work across the spectrum, on consumer, corporate, and B2B campaigns for a really diverse range of clients. One award winning campaign which stands out for me is the Silver RPI that we created for Age UK Enterprises. We created a re-weighted basket of goods, looking at those which affected the over 55s, and used that to calculate a more accurate inflation index for older people. The results have been phenomenal, not only in media terms, with over 400 pieces of coverage for the first wave, but also in business terms, where the Silver RPI contributed to a 4x rise in call centre volumes.

What do you love the most about PR?

The chance to influence the strategic direction that a company takes by advising them to take a step back and consider why they exist, as well as simply what they are selling.

Any PR bug bears?

People who do the job badly and give the rest of us a bad name! I also have a pet hate for campaigns that are all fluff, and do nothing to help companies achieve their business goals.

Everyone has an awkward/embarrassing PR story – care to share one of yours?

I once took a respected business journalist (who shall remain nameless) to Paris to interview an extremely senior executive. His whole weekend in Paris had been paid for by this company, and yet when he showed up to the interview he didn’t ask a single question, and sat there in near silence. Excruciating – the client still referred to it years later!

What’s your daily go-to blog or website?

Apart from the Daily Mail sidebar of shame?? I am always interested in new ideas, so the TED website is key, and you can find me on most national newspaper websites at some point during the day researching story ideas.

What do you look for in candidates?

We look for drive, creativity and enthusiasm. Someone that isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and will accept nothing less than the best in any client work, be that in the creation of written materials or surpassing coverage expectations on a campaign.

What’s interview faux pas drive you mad?

People that haven’t researched the company and don’t really know what they are applying for.

Finally, what advice would you give to those just starting out in PR?

Do your research and get to know the type of PR that interests you. Consider your strengths so you can really sell yourself. Apply for as many internships as you can to gain experience – most agencies now pay their interns so this is becoming easier for those just starting out. And good luck, it’s not an easy market out there.