Yarohey is a communications executive at the Financial Times in London. Her role is based within the global employee communications team.
As part of her role, Yarohey supports the global employee communications team to connect across multiple platforms and through internal events, such as Speaker Series. She works closely with colleagues in APAC and the US to ensure that the right messaging is delivered to staff across regions.
Yarohey is involved in the implementation of the Financial Times’ seasonal appeal and CSR strategy. In addition, she is the Co-chair of the Financial Times’ employee-led diversity network – FT Embrace.
Before joining the FT, Yarohey worked as a communications assistant at Guardian News & Media. The role involved supporting external communications and public policy teams.
Yarohey has a BA (honours) degree in Journalism from City University, London. Prior to that, she worked in various communication roles for non-profit organisations. Yarohey speaks Wolof and English.
Describe your background in 5 words max?
Comms, media observer, East Londoner
How did you get into PR/comms?
I got into PR after taking on a 10-week intensive PR traineeship with the Taylor Bennett Foundation (TBF). TBF is a fantastic organisation that equips graduates from BME backgrounds with the necessary skills to pursue a career in communications. TBF works to promote and improve ethnic diversity in the PR and communications industry. My course was sponsored by Brunswick Group, which meant I was exposed to not only the worlds of media and PR, but business too. I learnt a great deal about communications, which helped me identify my career goals.
What do you love about your job?
I get to work with the most amazing minds! Whether it be world-class journalists or my award-winning colleagues in comms. Yes – I had to shout them out! But seriously, there’s always a great idea kicking about around the office or a fantastic opportunity to get stuck into. I love working in a fast-paced media environment with very bright, creative and passionate people. Maintaining those relationships is definitely what I love most about my job.
What are you most proud of?
Apart from making BME Pros of course…
I’m definitely most proud about making it on to the TBF traineeship, just because it was a very competitive programme. I am proud to have been selected to experience such a great opportunity. I’m also very proud of the people who came out of the programme and are successful in their own fields.
What’s been the hardest lesson to learn?
Probably how to stop saying sorry. I think as Brits we’re always so polite and always so focused on how our words come off – or maybe that’s just a PR thing? We’re always apologising for things that we should not have to. We’re sorry about the weather, sorry when asking for the bill, sorry about not texting back within the hour and sorry when it’s absolutely not our fault. Learning to cut back on the sorrys is actually quite a tough one.
Who are your favourite people in PR/comms and why?
Apart from the team I work with … It would have to be the likes of Jo-ann Robertson. I have watched her rise up the ranks at Ketchum and become its London CEO. I remember meeting her on a TBF visit when she was heading up public affairs at Ketchum. Her strong background as a political activist and background in media is something that kept me watching. She has risen up the ranks, whilst advocating for career progression and up-skilling emerging talent at Ketchum. I feel like people in leadership roles have a duty to think about those at junior level.
What is your favourite social network and why?
Twitter! Who doesn’t love being able to dip in and out of the app? It’s great for finding out what everyone’s talking about, whether it be Theresa May’s latest speech or who’s been booted off your fav ‘reality’ show. I love watching/reading my feed too. Some of the best (and worst!) personalities shine through on Twitter. It’s always one to check.
Who is your favourite journalist and why?
This is a really tough one for me! A large part of my education and professional career has been following what’s going on in the media, so I wouldn’t be able to give you my favourite. However, one of my favourite columnists is Marina Hyde. She is an amazing writer. Not only are her pieces laugh-out-loud kind of funny, but there’s always truth to them. She’s exceptionally great at what she does.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best professional advice I have been given comes from some PR professionals I met at Brunswick Group. I was told to: ‘Never assume’. Never assume anything when it comes to work-related tasks. Never assume that your audience has all the background – present them with the facts and figures. It reduces the chance of misunderstandings and of you making a mistake, as you are likely to have to go back and ask questions.
Your favourite PR campaign/stunt of 2018 so far?
My favourite campaign of 2018 so far has to be Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s Grenfell billboard campaign. The campaign popped up and helped spark conversations about justice for Grenfell Tower fire victims and survivors. We’ve heard so much about numerous pledges, but it’s been over nine months and we’re still to hear about what’s actually going to happen. In cases like this, we have to hold people to account.
Why did you apply for the BME PR Pros/PRWeek Mentoring Scheme?
I applied for the scheme because it looked like a great opportunity to get some professional guidance and support. I am at the stage of my professional life where I am seeking out a mentor, as I want to progress in my career. The only way that I’m going to do that is by learning and then ‘doing’. I’m excited to learn about ways in which I can grow.
I was shocked and excited when I heard that I got a place on the scheme. I really had not expected it. I’m truly grateful.
Finally, on the D’ word… What can the sector do to encourage diversity?
Let’s put some structures in place to make our industry more accessible. Can we get some more diverse leaders on the case? Where are our diverse leadership teams? Let’s get them to help champion the cause. Let’s build cultures that encourage creativity and celebrate difference.
Yarohey is a mentee on the BME PR Pros/PRWeek Mentoring Scheme. She will be mentored by Perveen Akhtar, Communications Consultant.