My first ever (!!!) Work in PRogress guest is the wonderful Marina Plummer. I first met Marina when we were both working together last year, and we quickly became close friends. Marina is one of those special friends that you can talk to for hours on end, and she’s constantly pushing me to do better and ~live my best life~. She’s one of my greatest cheerleaders in my life and I always feel so creatively inspired and fulfilled after spending time with her.
Anyway. Gushy intro done and onto the cold, hard facts. Marina is a digital PR manager at Kaizen in London, and as a History nerd, loves to share how storytelling is the ultimate way to gain links in the world of digital PR.
Welcome, Marina!! First question to break the ice…
What is your ultimate shower song? (The song you can give a 10/10 Grammy-worthy performance on in your shower on a Saturday morning).
My ultimate shower song has to be Yesterday, by The Beatles, for the sole reason it’s a song that I can actually pretend I’m decent at. There is no pretending with an Ariana Grande song – trust me, I’ve tried.
I’ve crafted Yesterday to a tee, and even got some harmonies down, which I forced my boyfriend to do once in Farringdon in the early hours of the morning, after one too many drinks.
We sounded great, by the way.
Now that’s out of the way, on to the more serious stuff. Which formats or types of digital PR campaigns are you loving at the moment? Are there any specific examples of campaigns that you’ve seen and loved recently?
I’ve always been a fan of the recreated poster campaigns, with my personal favourite being albums recreated in an 80s retro style – one of the most recent campaigns similar to this is Holiday Cottages No Place Like The UK, featured in Content Curated.
I admire the art of these campaigns and the reason I know I love them, is because they are some of the campaigns I share with my friends and family the most because of their ‘wow’ factor.
As PR evolves, another style I have really embraced over the past few months is being more than just a Digital PR, and working to find time in my day to squeeze in those all important reactive opportunities, opening my mind to different kinds of campaigns – not just digital graphics. Being a true PR is jumping on the news that’s around and I have a huge amount of admiration for the likes of Pret and McDonald’s at the moment, who are offering free food to NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic – it’s not about generating links, it’s about reacting to what’s going on, doing your bit as a business, and letting others know about it.
Give us your ultimate digital PR tip that you would give to a newbie starting out in the industry.
My ultimate top tip for outreach is if you can summarise your story/hook in a subject line, then you’re onto a winner.
Finding the most newsworthy story and conveying it as quickly as possible to your audience is a PR 101 basic skill to master. Journalists care about the story and it’s our job as PRs to suss out the most newsworthy hook in a campaign, and pitch it in a way that grabs their attention straight away.
For newbies, whether you are ideating or pitching, it is really important to think about what the story is, and from there, summarise it in as few words as possible.
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
I don’t think anything can beat the feeling of getting a link. It is without doubt one of the biggest motivations that Digital PRs across all levels feel.
The second best thing is when you’ve come up with an idea that you’re REALLY excited about – the kind of excited that you feel when you see a knock out campaign and share it with all your friends and family.
Finally, what does being a ‘work in progress’ mean to you, both professionally, and personally?
A big question!
For me, being a work in progress at work is always trying to push myself, reach my personal career goals, broaden my knowledge, but reminding myself that I’m doing it all at my own pace. I will never know everything, and with this relatively new industry changing and developing so rapidly,
“it can often feel like you have to be the Digital PR, the Traditional PR, the Visualiser, the Marketer, the PPC person, the technical SEO guru, the Data God, and the Influencer savvy, all at the same time”
So for me, each day, my aim is to expand my knowledge in all of these areas in my own way, and use this information to provide new ways of doing what I do, help others and push forward.
In my personal life, I also have a huge desire to learn and it’s something that ruled every step I took a few years ago. From learning a language, to going to yoga twice a week, these were things that made me feel like I was progressing. Today, I’m learning to tune in to what feels right for me and when, rather than doing things because I feel like I should. I’m learning to be comfortable in my own lane and create my own routines and habits that put me in the best place to take on the next hour, day, week, month, decade and eternity.
My personal work in progress will always change, but for now it is doing what is right and creating an environment where I am content.
Thanks so much to this wonderful gal for being my first Work in PRogress and you can follow Marina and appreciate her pleasingly frequent use of Twitter here.
To catch up on previous issues of Work in PRogress click here, or read previous interviews here.
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