017 – Kill the PR Girl: Amy Sutton shares why diversity is key to powerful Public Relations

Amy Sutton, founder of Enjoy PR, takes us on her journey from law to PR. She shares why diversity is key to powerful Public Relations. We also explore the importance of relationships in PR and communications, and how to set expectations in client-agency relationships.
Amy recently published an article on LinkedIn titled “Kill the PR Girl,” in which she challenges the stereotype of “the PR Girl” and why that stereotype hurts both public relations professionals and their agencies, in part because of the reinforcement of glass ceilings. We explore the importance of diversity in public relations planning, specifically how diverse perspectives drive creativity and effective problem-solving.
Kill the PR Girl
Kill the (idea of the) PR Girl

Key Points:

Amy named her PR consultancy Enjoy, because, “Communications and PR should be a fun place to work.
Amy offers unique advice to those just starting their careers:
  • Have confidence in your abilities; know your skills and how you can apply them.
  • Always seek to learn new skills.
  • Remember to do the mundane things; this demonstrates commitment and it will pay off!
  • Invest in yourself and in your job.
  • Be proactive with every opportunity.

On starting your own business: “It’s scary, but anybody who has a vision, who has a dream for how they want to work, should grab the moment and go for it!”

On bait-and-switch pitching:  “What I don’t think is fair is to send in the bigwigs to the pitch, make a lot of promises that a less-experienced team will need to deliver, and they haven’t had any say in what they think will work.”

On building relationships with clients: 

  • “Being yourself is really important.” 
  • “You really need to get to know the people, because they are the ones who will bring you the interesting stories, tell you what life is really like at your clients and how you need to shore up for the future, and they are the ones who really understand the world they’re in and that you can get the messages from.”

On her article “Kill the PR Girl”:

  • 91% of PR practitioners in the UK are white.
  • 83% are British.
  • 64% are women.
  • There continues to be a gender pay gap of £9,000.
  • Only 2% of practitioners are disabled.
  • This doesn’t reflect the society we live in.
  • How do we, as communication professionals, speak to a diverse society when we are not reflecting that in our professional community?
  • What practical changes can we make in how we run our businesses to combat that?

On gender issues in the public relations profession:

  • In Episode 3, Professor Dustin Supa of Boston University discussed gender imbalance in the public relations profession.
  • The majority of practitioners are women, but the majority of agency heads and communications leaders are older men.
  • In Episode 9, Deb Radman would advise her younger self to shut up and listen.

Diversity and creativity go hand in hand

  • Bringing together people with diverse experiences and perspectives creates better results in brainstorming and planning.
  • “The sense of freedom that comes from being around a table with a lot of different people with different views is really empowering for everybody around that table, because you’re not all coming up with different versions of the same ideas, you’re really coming up with different ideas that really push people’s way of thinking.”
  • Pay attention to media (newspapers, blogs, etc.) that are outside your comfort zone.

“Millennials want to work for businesses that do good.”

What doesn’t work:

  • Letting clients think that a story that isn’t really newsworthy will get coverage; you have to be honest with clients.
  • Rolling out a new, genuine product on April Fool’s day; a useful product doesn’t need a gimmicky hook to be newsworthy.

Resources from this episode:

Evernote for jotting notes and scanning business cards on the go. (Note:  If you register for Evernote, I’ll get a credit.)

Facebook Groups to network, identify contacts, and generate business leads.  “Find discreet groups on Facebook that are very niche, maybe with a couple hundred people, but are really active.”

LinkedIn

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race” by Reni Eddo-Lodge.

Lynda.com 


Contact Amy!

Amy Sutton, founder of Enjoy
Amy Sutton, founder of Enjoy PR

Enjoy logo

Her company:  Enjoy PR

Email:  amy@enjoypr.co.uk

Call:  +44 (0) 7983 416 890

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AmyatEnjoy  –  @AmyatEnjoy

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-sutton/

Coming full circle, check out Amy’s post on the power of podcasts:  From Page to Podcast: Amplify Content and Build Relationships.”

 


Organizations mentioned in this episode:

EDF Energy‘s 2012 Olympic campaign that reflected the mood of the nation, as measured by Tweets.  Articles include:

Samsung

Dell

LaCie

F-Secure 

Starbucks 


What did you think of this episode?  What’s your biggest challenge with PR?  Send me a note!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend. Here’s the link: https://apple.co/2OLPETa


Warning:  Dad Joke ahead!

How do you get a Kleenex to dance? Put a little boogie in it.

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