In my 6 months as an Account Executive at The PR Office, I could never have imagined the breadth of opportunities that I would be presented with so early on in my career. From assisting in the planning stages and execution of events and campaigns, to speaking with MPs and attending media meetings – the level of exposure that The PR Office has provided me with is truly remarkable and it has certainly been a whirlwind experience so far!

A particularly exciting project came to light a month or two ago, which involved hours of preparation, countless strategy meetings and numerous late nights in the lead up to the much-anticipated launch event. The PR Office encourages its junior team members to have a client-facing role wherever possible, which in this case meant that I was able to actively support an exciting announcement for our client and sports technology company PlayerMaker. They had scored (no pun intended) quite a coup in bringing on renowned former football manager Arsène Wenger as an operating partner and investor. The onus was now on us to decide how best to announce this news to the world and, more crucially, translate our plans into action with relatively little time on our hands. Easy right?

Wrong. Whilst I had been involved in the planning stages of an event or two for other clients of mine, my 6 months worth of expertise were tested in ways that I could not have foreseen. Hearing from one of my colleagues in a senior position to myself that ‘this could potentially be one of the biggest and most significant projects in your career’ were both thrilling and terrifying words to receive. Whilst his sentiment put the time I had spent at The PR Office so far into perspective, reminding me just how lucky I am to work at a company that presents me with such an exhaustive range of experiences, they equally reiterated the weighty responsibility that my colleagues and I were now carrying on our shoulders.

There was no room for error. All that could be done was for us to put absolutely everything into the preparation, launch day and post-event euphoria. And that is exactly what we did. From deciding what format would best suit this announcement to finding a suitable location, liaising with journalists to managing follow-up, drafting press releases to monitoring coverage. The list felt endless, yet simultaneously rewarding.

After much deliberation, it was determined that a roundtable format would be the most appropriate setting for this announcement. Held at The Landmark London Hotel on 23rd May, PlayerMaker’s executive team hosted Arsène Wenger and a number of sports journalists for a video demonstration of their technology and a Q&A style conversation, which later broke off into groups of smaller interviews. The energy and enthusiasm in the room was palpable, which was reinforced by the number of messages my colleagues and I received from journalists post-event to congratulate us on a fantastic session. If I may blow our own trumpets slightly, the event was a huge success and the time and effort that we devoted to this project certainly paid off!  But, as I have already alluded to, the work did not end there by any means…

Whilst we could surely exude a sigh of relief following the event’s triumph, the real excitement was only just beginning. The goal of the roundtable was to not only introduce the journalists in attendance to PlayerMaker and their technology, but to ensure widespread recognition of the company’s name and brand. The reach of coverage that we achieved was extraordinary, beyond even my own expectations. From print to online, TV to radio – PlayerMaker had garnered attention on an international scale and the knowledge that I, as an Account Executive, had played a role in orchestrating this was truly gratifying.

From last minute date changes to locating a TV screen on the morning of the event, it was clear that the task we had taken on was no easy feat. We had to remain calm and think on our feet at all times which is, as I can now vouch for, easier said than done!  Managing journalist invites and monitoring that embargos and briefs were adhered to was problematic at times, but by anticipating potential issues that may arise in advance, as a team we were able to problem-solve with little cause for concern.

Seeing a project through from start to finish, particularly on a scale such as this, was certainly a learning experience and a source of insightful take-aways. The lessons I learnt were copious and it is fair to say that we were faced with a number of challenges along the way. For me, the key lessons learnt are the need for all PRs to acknowledge that no obstacle, big or small, is unresolvable and that developing the necessary skills to provide actionable solutions in a level-headed manner when faced with a crisis is paramount. The PR Office’s work ethos is clear: we must all learn to regard any stumbling blocks that we encounter as an opportunity for growth, as opposed to a notion that engenders fear. Once we begin to value challenges in this way, anything is possible.

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By Deborah Eder

Account Executive

About the Author: Deborah Low