Today we say farewell to Toby Bradshaw who has been interning with us for the last two months. It’s been great having him on our pod, whilst his dress sense is questionable, his energy and work ethic has been fantastic. Toby offered up some insights into why PR appeals to him, his experience with Speed and the plans for his future, well, as planned as you can be whilst on the brink of the three best years of your life…Uni
You’re on your year out between A-Levels and University, why did you choose to get PR experience?
I have always known that I didn’t want a mundane job. I knew I wanted variety in my work and for it to be focused around problem solving so PR fits the criteria.
What was your understanding of PR before joining Speed?
I think I had associated it far too much with Advertising, where in reality even their premises are quite distant. In PR you aren’t bludgeoning consumers with your client’s opinion of your client, instead you bring them or their product into the forum and ask people to discuss it. I’ve found it surprisingly meritocratic.
Have any campaigns grabbed your attention in recent history?
Not a campaign as such, but my favourite example of a product’s interaction with their consumers is probably Jägermeister. It was a really niche German digestif in 2003 which sold fewer than 70,000 bottles a year in the UK. Seasonaires in German resorts then took the obscure local drink, ‘bombed’ it with Red Bull and brought the phenomenon back to the UK. In 2009 Jägermeister sales were 700,000 bottles a year. By being brought into the wider public domain with the Jägerbomb gimmick a drink which had existed since 1935 increased its sales tenfold in six years. I think it is a brilliant example of how popular culture can create a brand. The brand is everywhere now. If you were able to replicate that as a PR then you would have a very happy client.
What do you think of Speed?
What I like most is that it’s a really dynamic environment. You often work with several different clients in different fields all in a day which keeps you active and creative
What was your favourite moment?
The overall highlight was being asked to a client meeting last week. It was the first one I have been invited to and was with an important client so I was quite nervous beforehand; but being told I had handled it well afterwards put me on a massive high and was my best moment so far
Did you enjoying working with the team?
Yeah I think the consumer team definitely have the most fun on their accounts. It seems to include a lot of sport, food and luxury products.
Who is your favourite member of the consumer team?
I’m in a good position to answer this question because I hop from desk to desk depending on who is in the office, so I have been able to sample a few neighbours. Sarah Apps is my favourite at the moment – we had a lot of banter the week I was her neighbour.
What did you learn in your two months with Speed?
I have learnt a lot about independent work. You can’t always pester your line-manager for an answer so often it’s better to work out what the right course of action is and come to them with a solution not a problem
Which member of the consumer team is PR personified?
It is the duo of Ciaran and Harriet Courage. If as a client I were employing a PR, I would look for someone who if in a situation they said “Don’t worry, I’ll sort it” I would believe them.
If you could work for any brand who would it be and why?
I would love to work for Red Bull. The Felix Baumgartner space jump and all their interaction with extreme sport have made them a really likable brand.
Can you see yourself pursuing a career in PR after University?
I need to spend a lot more time in the industry before I could make a firm decision but I could certainly see it as one of a few career paths.
How many more ‘Gap Years’ are you going to take?
The ‘Gap Life’ is an appealing concept but I think I will have to grow up soon, possibly after University, possibly later.
Thanks for everything, Toby. We wish you all the best in the future.