In this interview, I’m talking to Catherine Warrilow from Seriously PR, based in Oxfordshire. Seriously PR is a travel, tourism and leisure agency and I was so drawn in by their bright, quirky and fun website I wanted to find out more about them!
Why did you first decide to start Seriously PR?
“Personally, I worked for a few agencies and also in house and thought there was a better way of doing it! It seemed expensive for very little return and there also seemed to be too many barriers between good creative ideas, the client and the end result. I wanted to do it differently.”
How did SeriouslyPR come about? What stood out about the travel, tourism and leisure sector?
“I freelanced initially to gauge the market and then set up the business once I’d found another good local PR to work with so that we could grow and take on bigger clients. Now we are a team of six. We fell into travel when we were asked to pitch for a large holiday rentals company. We asked them to give us a chance based on our approach, creativity and different style to most agencies rather than our travel expertise and they did. They remain our longest standing client.”
What do you look for in an intern/ job candidate? Is a degree necessary?
“We don’t look for qualifications but for something other than a junior role or internship we do like a basic understanding of the profession or some experience. However it’s the personality that’s most important – someone who is willing to get stuck in, learn, work hard and enjoy the role. We have created a supportive, fun and friendly working environment that people want to be a part of. If people enjoy being here, they get good results and do a good job.”
What has been the highlight of your PR career so far?
“Oh goodness – we’ve worked on some amazing campaigns and had national TV coverage on things like Good Morning Britain which is a great success. I interviewed the PM which was a real buzz and Eveleen has worked closely with Donal MacIntyre. We arranged a garden party with Jessie Pavelka which was lovely for the ladies and he’s a very nice guy too! I get a buzz out of creative PR – where we’re out and about doing funny stuff in town centres for example, it’s good to cause a stir!! We had some amazing coverage for a really off the wall client in Heat just before Christmas which we all really enjoyed putting together too.”
Can you share some tips and advice for aspiring PR professionals?
“Read as many newspapers, websites, blogs and publications as you can. Write or host your own video blog on the industry and carve out a niche that you’re passionate about. Find a more creative way of pitching yourself than just having a CV. Ask questions, take it all in and see everything in terms of a PR campaign.”
Thank you, Catherine! I particularly loved the advice at the end – PR is all about showing how creative you are and how you stand out from every other PR gal!
So far through this PR Professional Interview blog series, I’ve loved seeing how each agency has their own unique and imaginative spin on PR – it just shows how diverse the PR world is. Stay tuned for the next one! 🙂