Name: Sally Todd
Job role: Freelance PR Consultant
Employer: Sally Todd Creative Communications
Find Sally on Twitter @SallyToddPR.
How did I get started in my career?
I left school with average GCSEs and two unsuccessful years studying A-Levels with no clear direction. I spent years and years of serial job hopping, never really finding my thing. That said, I gained valuable skills and knowledge about myself, what I was good at and what I enjoyed. It was only after I had children and they became old enough for me to return to a career that I took the opportunity to train in a career where I could use all my natural social abilities and love of writing. I looked for a professional qualification, the CIPR Foundation Award in Public Relations, passed with distinction and set up my on communications business.
What do I do?
My role is extremely varied and I offer a number of services that encompass communications. One day I might put together a strategic plan for a new client, the next might be a social media communications plan. Some clients require me to write regular blog posts or website copy. Obviously I carry out more traditional PR activities such as securing press coverage for clients, arranging events and writing press releases. All of these activities involve getting key messages across to the clients stakeholders. I work with a broad spectrum of professionals on a daily basis, journalists, web developers, designers, photographers, clients and other PR colleagues.
What motivates me in this job?
The variety of activities – no two days are the same. The buzz of seeing a client's products and services in print. The flexibility of working in an industry that has many disciplines to specalise in. Using my skills and learning new ones, being creative with words.
What skills do I need?
The ability to communicate efficiently and effectively in numerous ways, both written and verbal. A certain amount of self-confidence, and a strong personality, enabling me to communicate with all types of people. Being able to think logically and strategically is essential. When handling multiple accounts like I do, being extremely organised is a must!
What did I gain from my CIPR qualification?
It definitely confirmed I had chosen the right career path and embedded the knowledge I had already gained. It gave me huge confidence in launching my business and motivated me to go for it! I found the course inspirational and the tutor had me captivated for the entire time. I thoroughly enjoyed it and reignited a passion for learning.
Where do I go next?
I have spent the last nine months building up my client base and developing and using the skills I have gained so far. I am really keen to take the next step with my qualifications and take the CIPR Advanced Certificate in Public Relations. I think it will enable me to develop my skills and knowledge further.
What advice do I have for someone starting out in Public Relations?
Get as much experience as you can either through work experience or shadowing someone in the industry. Network, network, network! It has helped me invaluably not only in gaining clients but also finding like minded professionals who I can go to for advice or bounce ideas off. Without a doubt, invest in yourself and get some qualifications, it's the best thing I ever did!