Paige is a Disney loving, tea drinking, book hoarder with an itch to travel.
She graduated from De Montfort University in 2016 with a degree in Creative Writing and Journalism but was left stuck with no career goals or even a sense of what she wanted a career in. So with that, she turned to retail where she worked at two football clubs and then went on to open a fashion brand’s first ever flagship store.
Being the driven and never settling for less individual that she is, she stayed in retail for a short time, while she figured out her career, and alas when she did, she moved on to a role as a trainee at the Taylor Bennett Foundation in association with Brunswick. After the foundation, Paige received her first break into the industry where she secured a role as an intern at Ketchum London and to date, has spent nearly two years across the river in the South of London at this agency, where she has been involved in award winning consumer campaigns.
When Paige is not at work, you’ll most likely find her creating content for her Disney
inspired social media accounts and blog site. But when she’s not being considered a Disney fanatic, you can find her enjoying crime novels, documentaries or heading out to the London Aquatics Centre for a swimming class. (When the Government guidelines announce swimming pools can re-open…)
Describe yourself/your background in 5 words max?
London Twin with Caribbean Spin
How did you get into PR/communications?
Whilst I was working in retail, a friend from university reached out to me and told me about a fantastic programme called the Taylor Bennett Foundation which helps BAME graduates enter the comms industry via an intensive 10-week PR programme. I decided to apply for the role and was shortlisted for an interview where I received the most rigorous vetting to date. An hour after the interview, I received a call to say that I had been accepted onto the programme. During the programme, I visited a variety of in-house and creative agencies whilst attending workshops and networking events. Through networking, I managed to secure interviews at different PR agencies, but I decided it was best for my career to pursue an internship at Ketchum and grow within the business.
What do you love about your job?
It’s the small things that make me love my job. When I deliver an outstanding piece of coverage and the client is over the moon, there’s no better satisfaction than that. It’s also great to have my small bubble of friends/colleagues be my cheerleaders when something great happens at work.
What are you most proud of?
By far, being accepted on the Taylor Bennett Foundation’s 10-week PR training programme has filled me with the greatest pride. This intense programme tested every emotion I could possibly have; it led me into facing my all weaknesses and insecurities but resulted in me constantly challenging self-doubt that will often rear its ugly head.
What’s been the hardest lesson to learn?
It’s PR not ER.
Whilst I would love to be considered part of the Marvel franchise, I need to remember I am not superhuman. I always strive for everything to be perfect with no hiccups, but as soon as the smallest thing doesn’t go to plan, I need to remember it’s not as bad as I think. We all make mistakes, but was anyone put in danger from the mistake I made? No!
Note to self: I will learn from it, move on and do better next time.
Who are your favourite people in PR/comms and why?
Bob Iger. Did that feel as weird to you as it did to me, saying an old American white guy is my favourite person in Comms? But it’s the truth. He started in comms as the host of his college television show, then as a weatherman in Ithaca and prior to February 2020 he was the CEO of the most iconic company of all time, The Walt Disney Company. So yes, a bit of a cheat answer as he is no longer in comms but his drive, creative leadership and passion got him to be, who I consider, one of the most successful people in the world.
What skill do you think every PR/comms person has to nail?
How to PR themselves.
What is your favourite social network and why?
Instagram. It’s visual, a great source for promotion and to be totally honest, it’s my platform for my personal interest plus I feel a real sense of community on Instagram.
What’s your favourite podcast and why?
I’m more of a visual person, so I have never really taken to podcasts. I have had an experience listening to an audio book whilst commuting, since then, I have never gone back. I was listening to an audio book called Queenie by Candice
Carty-Williams, to be precise. It’s the only audio book I have listened to and to cut a long story short, let’s just say, I became so heavily involved in listening to it, I tripped over (causing severe embarrassment) as I clearly could not multitask. From that point, listening to anything other than music on the ‘go’ doesn’t have the same appeal.
Who is your favourite journalist and why?
My favourite journalist would currently have to be Candice Carty-Williams. She is not only open, brutally honest, relatable and unafraid to speak her mind in her articles but she also uses social media as a platform to do this too. To add to her accolades, she has just recently become the first black woman to win the book of the year prize at the British Book Awards.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advice I have been given is ‘Keep Moving Forward’ which is taken from the Walt Disney quote: We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Keep Moving Forward means to me that I need to keep moving, even in the face of great difficulties and I shall not let the calamities of my personal or work life break me. This piece of advice sticks with me everyday as I wear a bracelet with the quote on it as part of my daily staple accessory.
How would you describe 2020 in one word?
Who is your coronavirus comms hero and why?
Edward Kobina Enninful OBE, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue has to be my coronavirus comms hero to date. Vogue created the most iconic covers of all time where it finally celebrated the unsung heroes of the coronavirus pandemic. Not only did he think about the sacrifices that our healthcare services were making for this country, he also told the stories of some of those who we may not have thought about. He brought the nation to think about our local coronavirus heroes; the bus drivers, retail staff, train drivers, teachers as well as those who have been delivering our parcels whilst we online shopped in the midst of a pandemic. The covers were truly inspirational and showcased the courage of these frontline workers.
Finally… Which brand impressed you with their response to Black Lives Matter and why?
Undoubtedly, as always, Fenty (Fashion and Beauty) impressed me with their response to Black Lives Matter. Rihanna’s brands consistently shared resources and awareness for anti-racism and Black Lives Matter. They stopped operating on Blackout Tuesday in a statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, they donated to the cause and they continue to share and give a voice and platform for Black creators. Not only that, it was fantastic to see Rhianna’s speech from earlier this year at the NAACP Image Awards resurface. She said: “How many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions? Show of hands? They want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem too. So when we’re marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown Jrs and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up.” Think about that.