Elinor Tyler, our Head of Consumer, has recently celebrated her 15th Storm anniversary. We wanted to know more about her path, insights into the industry and how things have changed…
1. How has the industry changed since you started in PR?
It is almost unrecognisable: the technology, the media, the tactics we use to generate cut-through for our clients have all substantially evolved. When I started in PR 20 years ago, most journalists didn’t have email addresses, so the fax and phone were how you reached them, and days were spent relentlessly doing ‘call rounds’ to secure coverage. You developed a thick skin very quickly after being told to “go away” by the 30th journalist in a day. Today, journalists are only part of the PR game, and content, influencers and social media are the framework for our campaigns. The job is now far more diverse, fast moving and exciting, but I miss the buzz of a big national call round, where you actually got to speak to journalists rather than relying on email, which is too passive a medium for me.
2. What have been the highlights of your time at Storm?
It’s always the clients that I’m initially not that buoyed up about that surprise me and have been most memorable. Working on the 50th anniversary of Watford Gap didn’t sound career defining on paper, but we delivered a multi-faceted campaign that had mass appeal to all age groups and resulted in coverage across nearly all national news programmes, in all national newspapers, a BBC Musical dedicated to it, and even a name-check on Have I Got News For You. And we did it all in five weeks and on a very tight budget.
Beyond that, on a far less professional note, the Storm Christmas parties are always pretty special – the ski trips to Morzine were particularly epic!
3. What does a typical day look like?
A strong coffee when I get to the office at 8.30am is the only constant in each day. As head of consumer my role is varied, but most days revolve around writing proposals for prospective clients, pitching for business, crisis management, collaborating with the team on campaigns for existing clients, identifying new trends and tactics that will help shape future client plans, as well as HR – staff reviews, mentoring sessions, troubleshooting etc. I try to leave the office by 5.30/6pm and carry on working on my mammoth 2hr15 commute home.
4. What advice would you give your younger self if today was your first day?
Focus solely on the outcome, not the process – no one, not least the client, will care how much time you spent doing something if it doesn’t deliver the required results.
5. If you weren’t working in PR what would your plan-B career be?
I was lucky that at 16 a teacher pointed out that PR would be the ideal career for my skill set and personality, and I was pretty single-minded in making that a reality. I’ve never had a serious plan-B, but in another life, I would have been quite happy raising a whole football team of children and giving the professional world a miss completely!