How I built a successful PR career in the Midlands

After graduating from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Journalism Studies, I found myself in 2016 looking for the opportunity to kick-start my career. 

I had always planned to work in the media, but in the months leading up to graduation I had decided that I would prefer to work on the other side of the media landscape – in PR and communications. 

When the opportunity arose to join Advent Communications in Coventry, an agency staffed by journalists and grounded news driven PR, I knew I had to take it. 

In the first few months with Advent I was given opportunities to sample all areas of the business, but that didn’t mean taking a backseat and observing. 

My role as a Graduate Account Executive was hands-on and gave me a chance to really show what I could do. I joined a team full of experienced professionals, who were there to support me as I took my first steps into the PR industry. 

The bread and butter of working at Advent is being able to produce succinct, informative, and well-written copy which can then be used by local and national media. I already had the basic skills from my degree to do this, but constructive feedback from my colleagues helped me further hone my writing to fit the ‘Advent style’. 

This wasn’t just a desk job, within my first month I had already been out interviewing businesses, attending networking events and capturing events on film. There were also opportunities to develop social media content and shadow colleagues on various pieces of work. 

Advent has fantastic links in the Coventry, Warwickshire, and the wider Midlands business community, and it was clear immediately how important it was to build my own relationships with these businesses through networking. 

Six years on from joining the firm, I still see the benefits of this initial networking and being given a chance to work across the Advent client base. 

I was given responsibility straight away and the opportunity to manage the PR of a major nightclub in the city. Before long, I had been given larger projects to manage – including a major 10k race in the region, the region’s largest agricultural show, and supporting the launch of Wasps Netball. I was also asked to support the media management as Coventry was announced as UK City of Culture live on the BBC One Show! 

The work with Wasps Netball continued for three seasons, supporting the club as its media manager, and it was a fantastic project to be able to lead-on.  

All of this time, due to the nature of Advent as a smaller teamed agency, I was given day-to-day guidance by people with decades of experience in the industry.  

There were of course bumps along the road, but it was reiterated to me that the importance is to learn from those mistakes and move forward. 

My responsibilities have continued to grow year-on-year and I have been entrusted to manage some the businesses’ larger clients – be that the region’s largest college group, a well-known Warwickshire accountancy firm, or a construction firm that was the businesses’ first ever client. 

Advent has been a fantastic place to grow and develop as a professional – I’ve progressed to Account Manager and the pathway is there to progress further. 

The opportunities for development have only increased since we became part of PLMR Group. It’s an exciting time to be working as part of a leading Midlands-based agency whilst being part of the wider PLMR-Group that works across the UK and World. 

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PLMR’s crisis communications experience is second to none, and includes pre-emptive and reactive work across traditional and social media channels. We work with a range of organisations to offer critical communication support when they are faced with difficult and challenging scenarios.