My first month in UK PR: Insights from an Australian
As my IG feed starts to become overwhelmed with Aussie heat and London sinks towards winter chills, I’ve started to reflect on my recent decision to flip over my timezone – and my life. Read on to discover what I’ve learnt so far.
Just over a month ago, I joined the age-old group of restless twenty-something Aussies who venture abroad to experience life from a fresh perspective. Whether you consider it a strategic career move, journey of self-discovery, quarter-life crisis, or perhaps a combination of all three, I’ve recently come to find myself in this exciting life phase.
As part of my relocation adventure, I’ve had the absolutely massive privilege (you reading this Nick/Zoe?? 🙂) of becoming the latest addition to the Sunny Side Up team, offering me the opportunity to apply and expand upon the PR skills I developed in Australia as I dive into the UK PR scene.
For those who might be considering a similar leap, I wanted to share five key insights from my whirlwind of a first month.
- Navigating the crowd
Both Australia and the UK have diverse media landscapes, but the UK has a larger and more competitive media industry with several national newspapers, broadcast channels, and online news outlets. To stay on top of the game, I’ve been constantly consuming media, participating in online webinars and attending industry events to understand the types of publications that exist, what stories they’re covering and who is reporting on them.
- Building bridges
Networking is universally recognised as a key skill for communications professionals, but when you’re navigating London’s bustling media landscape, standing out is a constant challenge for PR’s. It’s quickly become a large and crucial part of my daily routine to build and nurture meaningful connections, not just with journalists, but also influencers, industry experts and fellow PR professionals. As daunting as it can be to put yourself out there, this is something I’ve really enjoyed as a newbie keen to meet people in the city.
- Harnessing social media
One of the initial thoughts I had as I started work in the UK was the way social media is used to support a PR’s daily tasks, including brainstorming angles, identifying key media contacts, and pitching. For instance, there’s a widely used hashtag, #journalistrequest, on X, which journalists employ when seeking PR assistance. It’s also more common to pitch via Instagram or LinkedIn in the UK, whereas from my experience, Aussies would typically opt for a text message approach.
- Understanding PR speak from across the pond
If you work in PR, you’ll know what I mean when I say there’s enough industry jargon to make office chat sound like a completely different language. I thought I had it handled, until I moved to the UK and realised Brits do the same thing – only using different terms for the same words (argh!). Nonetheless, my colleagues and I are chucking away with the linguistic exchange and learning from each other’s unique lexicons. You might catch me talking about “selling into a red top” (hint: it’s not about pens), while my colleagues casually share AOIs (articles of interest) and divvy (divide) up the media list.
- Going the extra mile
When I started my career in PR, I discovered a vibrant community of passionate people who were deeply committed to their craft and success. It’s an industry that has never-ending opportunities for those that want them. Jumping into a new role in a new city has given me the fresh energy I needed to push myself the extra mile and continue being curious, proactive and self-motivated to achieve my professional goals.
As I continue to become more acquainted with my new working life, I’m looking forward to further immersing myself in the industry and embracing both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. To any of my twenty-something who are considering moving across cities, I say just do it. What do you have to lose anyway, right?