Inside the Circle: Kirsty Plank

Over the last couple of months, we’ve been taking you “Inside the Circle” to meet the team behind Full Circle.  This month the spotlight falls on our account manager, Kirsty Plank;

Kirsty, how and why did you get into PR?

KP: I feel like I fell into PR.  I had been working for a large UK general insurer for 5 years, starting life in the claims team as an admin assistant and quickly moving on to be the executive assistant to the directors of the business. Although I enjoyed my role, I wanted more.  I was asked if I would consider a secondment into the company’s marketing team, I’d be looking after its social media accounts, supporting the development of awards entries, writing press releases and general marketing “stuff”. It sounded like a great opportunity, but I was hesitant, I had no marketing qualifications, what if I crashed and burned taking the company’s reputation down with me?!  Luckily that didn’t happen, soon after my secondment began, we brought our press office in-house and, having taken to the press and social media side of the role quickly, I moved into a permanent PR role.

Now, 6 years later it seems mad that I’d never considered it before, I’ve always loved writing, meeting new people and telling stories – and now I’m making a career out of those things! 

What has been your best experience in your career so far?

KP: There have been a few highlights, the first time I was quoted in a trade publication was a proud moment for me.  I shared my insights on the importance of a strong social media strategy with Insurance Post for a feature on social media, it was the first time I realised I was actually making a living talking about Twitter!

More recently, I got my first opportunity to travel abroad for work, supporting a client’s global conference in Asia; running their social media accounts for the duration of the event, writing and distributing press releases, liaising with journalists and conducting interviews of my own with some of their key figures.  It was hard work but incredibly satisfying to get excellent client feedback on the work I’d produced following the event.

What does PR+ mean to you?

KP: PR is about more than press releases and traditional press engagement. Those still have an incredibly important place in any communication strategy but there is a myriad of ways a business can tell its story.  Social media is a powerful amplifier of any activity and enables a company to talk directly to its audience, but it’s vital to get the strategy right and use a tailored approach to each platform; understanding where your audience sits and how they consume information are also important.  Videos, podcasts, blogs, infographics and thought leadership are all ways in which a company can tell its story and own and control the message, for me PR+ is all of these things, a multi-strand approach to communications that empowers businesses to tell their own story, their way.

Can you describe the ideal consultant/client relationship?

KP: The ideal relationship between consultant and client is one in which you can openly share ideas and work closely to achieve the best possible outcomes. That might mean being prepared to challenge accepted wisdom and being trusted that we have their best interests at the heart of what we do. We have years of experience in building and protecting brands.

For me personally, working with a client must feel like a genuine partnership, I like to think that I act as an extension to their business, providing valuable support, guidance and ideas to help them to maximise their communications.

If you’d like to find out more about the Full Circle team and how we can help you to get the most out of your communication activity, get in touch;