Name: Diana MacCarthy
Job title: Director
Employer: Judge & Howard
Find Diana on Twitter: @DiMacC.
How did I get started in PR?
I studied English and Philosophy in Wales then Journalism in Preston. I worked as a reporter for a weekly newspaper and a North West press agency before moving into PR more than a decade ago, where I specialised in housing and construction, providing public relations support and undertaking public consultation. I've recently switched sectors and joined Judge and Howard, crowned the UK's Outstanding Small Consultancy at this year's CIPR Excellence Awards, as a Director.
What do I do?
Working with the agency's two founders, I will be helping to grow the business, whose clients include five plcs and award-winning SMEs. My role is hands-on too, I manage client accounts, campaigns and projects and have a passion for social media.
What motivates me about my job?
I switched sectors when I moved from my previous PR agency to Judge and Howard, moving into B2B/B2C. The move has brought a host of new and exciting challenges. I've acquired new skill sets and a whole new working vocabulary. The sector change has been invigorating.
What skills do I need to do my job?
Strategic planning and being able to anticipate the pinch points are two valuable skills I've built up over my years in PR. Strong writing skills are crucial, I need to be able to turn complex information into plain language and swiftly, my journalism background has always been a great boost here. I've always found that problems arise from information vacuums, keeping everyone involved in a project informed at all stages, from client to supplier, is a key skill.
What did I gain from my CIPR qualification?
As a former journalist, I had no PR theory. My experience was purely from a practical perspective. The CIPR Diploma gave my work theoretical underpinning and very much enriched my approach. My personal research project used Grunig's excellence theory. That, and stakeholder theory in particular, has stayed with me since I completed the course. I also made some good professional contacts along the way.
What do I want to do next?
Grow in my new role as a Director.
What advice do I have for someone considering a career in PR?
Have attention to detail. Be clear about your briefs, ensure your work answers that brief, then triple check your copy. Precise, typo free work will get you noticed. Don't be afraid to ask questions.