The role of an account executive at a PR firm sounds pretty swanky, right? But do you actually know what they do day to day No, we didn’t either, so we hooked up with James Delamare to find out what his job entails.
So James, what exactly do you do?
I work at a PR agency as an Account Executive, representing a number of large consumer brands
What exactly does your day entail?
Day-to-day, I liaise and speak with all types of media across newspapers, magazines and online titles. Networking and building long-term relationships that will benefit my clients and to secure and deliver quality coverage for their particular brand or campaign. None of my days are ever the same!
How did you get started?
I started out in PR back in 2012, when I came across a PR agency in Manchester. I always thought I knew what PR was – but I soon learnt it was a very demanding and creative industry, which required quick learning and great time keeping. As time went on, I realised the job itself was a lot different from what I had studied at university but it still came with a creative edge.
Were you an overnight success or did you have a lot of obstacles?
It was never easy getting to where I am today! Once I finished in Manchester, I moved to London intending to get a job in PR within 12 months. I was lucky and got a job offer after five months. Then I met a friend who worked at the agency I am at now. He recommended me to join the agency’s internship programme, which I knew would be a great opportunity for me to work hard and get to where I wanted to be. But because i wasn’t being paid much i had to work two jobs.
What did you before this job?
I studied Performing Arts in London, and travelled after I graduated, working as a singer and dancer in hotels across Europe. After a number of years working through Cyprus, Portugal, Egypt and beyond, it soon dawned on me that my love for performing wasn’t what I wanted for the long term – it didn’t pay too well and I never knew where my next wage was going to come from, it was a struggle! When I discovered PR, I moved back to London and knew I needed to get the first job I could find! I became a reservationist at a restaurant and at the same time worked for the City of London council to cover the cost of my internship. It was very long hours but knew it wouldn’t be forever.
What had you studied at school?
I went to a school in Kirkby, Liverpool. Like most people I studied a lot of subjects, but eventually decided to take options in Art, Drama and Science – all of which I really, really loved. I chose these subjects thinking I either wanted to be an actor or perhaps a graphic designer – again something that demanded imagination and creativity.
Was there support at school for your dream job?
My school was never known for a high academic pass rate. I guess for those who where very hard working and received high grades, teachers had a lot of time for and looked out for them compared to those who bunked off and avoided going to class. I worked hard and succeeded in the subjects I loved – so I feel I gained a lot of respect from my teachers and they in turn took extra time for me to do well.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
I can’t honestly pinpoint one particular thing that is difficult about my job. I haven’t been in PR all that long, so I am continuously learning every day from my peers who are extremely talented in their professions. The job role requires your mind to be constantly interchangeable from client to client, and you need to be able to know the status of every account as you could be pulled in to update or act upon it. Whilst working with large consumer brands – it requires you to deliver the best results that your clients expect. They rely on you to know the media well and to share results that is right for them and their brand.
What makes it so fulfilling?
The number one thing I Iove in my job is seeing coverage land, especially when it has longevity to it, and you’ve gone through a long journey and process for it to be in front of you in a national newspaper. Although print is dying in the industry, securing print coverage for your client is still like gold. Aside from that, the people I work with make the job. I work with so many brilliant people who are truly amazing at what they do. I learn a lot from them day in and day out.
What advice would you give to others?
Never give up a dream if it is something you want to do. There will always be down days where you feel you are not good enough to succeed, but with determination and drive – you will get there. Life is never easy, but the end rewards makes it truly worth it! Cringe or what!?