My Work in PRogress this week is the brilliant Will Hobson, PR Director at Rise at Seven.
Will is someone I’ve admired since starting out in the industry, and I remember regularly checking his Twitter for tips, tricks and incredible memes, right from my early days in digital PR. Will is in absolute PR pro, and I always look forward to soaking up his wisdom in his Rise at Seven blog posts, and Twitter top tips.
In this issue, we chatted about Will’s favourite ever campaigns and how to switch off in an industry that is always on.
What is your ultimate shower song? (The song you can give a 10/10 Grammy-worthy performance of in your shower on a Saturday morning).
So I go through quite a few to be honest, at the moment I would have to say it’s Lady GaGa and Ariana Grande ” Rain on Me” but if I was going for all time ever it would have to be Anastasia, ” Left Outside Alone”.
What are your top three favourite campaigns that you’ve ever worked on?
Oooh this is a tricky one, I’d probably say my three favourite campaigns I’ve worked on ever are:
1. Most recently this piece we did with Baga Chipz- mainly because I LOVE Drag Race so it was so much fun to organise and generate news for.
2. I also loved this piece I worked on about a year ago for Bloom and Wild- we reimagined what some of the most colourful places in the world would look like if bees were to become extinct. It was pretty dramatic but a really fun one to work on, and we achieved pick up in Stylist, Ideal Home and House Beautiful which were key publications for the client’s audience.
3. Finally, one of my favourite campaigns was one that I did a few years ago. It was such a simple campaign but we landed links on gov.uk and ac.uk sites, by looking at which cities were the best to start a business in. The data we used was open data and the execution was a blog post. Sometimes simple really is just as good.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in the industry?
My biggest piece of advice would be to do your research – identify a few influencers/high profile people in a particular industry (either traditional PR or digital PR), or several agencies and brands that are doing amazing work.
“I think Digital PR and SEO as a whole are such great industries for sharing learnings, both successes and failures”
Follow their campaigns and learn from their work, it really helps you to get to grips with the trends and different types of campaigns in the industry, and how you might implement this within your own work.
The industry we work in is so quick paced, and the whole nature of the job as a PR is to be quick to react and think on your toes. Do you find it hard to switch off sometimes?
So I think this is probably one of my biggest issues still: learning when to switch off. I’ve been trying not to be on my phone from about 9-10pm at night, and with annual leave I do a big handover to my team before I leave and just be really strict with myself while I’m not working, and make sure I mute all WhatsApp groups.
I think my biggest tip would be to trust your team, they will have your back and cover any issues/work that needs to be done in your absence.
“If you’re still struggling to switch off, get yourself a spa treatment then you literally CAN’T be on your phone”
When it comes to ideation though, I actually think it’s easier and better to ideate with a clear head, as sometimes if I try to do a brainstorm in the middle of the day I’m just thinking about a million and one things and can’t get a clear head. I’ll tend to go for a walk in the park and do a bit of a walking brainstorm myself. Another place where I also like to ideate is the tube (well, before coronavirus), as I take inspiration from all the different tube ads which sparks all sorts of different ideas.
Finally, what does being a work in progress mean to you?
I think to me being a work in progress in your personal and professional life is really similar, it’s about knowing who you are and what motivates and interests you, something I think I’ve spent the last six years learning and exploring.
You’re never done learning or developing but knowing what excites you helps you reach the next step in your life. Have fun and don’t be too hard on yourself would be something I try to remember.
You can keep up with the wonderful Will on Twitter here.