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Stephanie Conway

Stephanie came back to Cumbria to pursue a career in marketing after eight years in Los Angeles

Published on: Thursday 20th December 2018
Categorised under: Live, Work, Play , Cockermouth, Cumbria, Return

Where are you from?

I’m from Cockermouth originally. At eighteen, I moved to Los Angeles and lived there for eight years. Then I spent a year living and working in Indonesia before returning home to Cumbria three months ago. I came back with a hilarious Cumbrian-American twang, but thankfully my voice is mostly back to Cumbrian again.

Where do you live now?

I’m back home in Brigham for now!

Where do you work?

I either work out of the One Little Bird offices on Station Street in Cockermouth or otherwise you can find me on-site at our wonderful clients’ businesses throughout Cumbria and the North West.

How long have you done this job?

I started at One Little Bird three months ago, but I have worked in brand marketing and PR for six years.

Prior to One Little Bird, I worked for an agency called PMK:BNC in Los Angeles and New York for brands including Samsung, T-Mobile and Audi. I also worked in brand marketing for a hotel group in Indonesia, where I oversaw influencer partnerships, digital marketing and social media strategy.

Take us through a typical day: The beauty of working in PR and marketing is that no two days are ever really the same. One day, I might be drafting press releases and attempting to stay away from the office’s varied selection of biscuits. Another day, I might be doing a walk-through of the fabulous businesses that our agency is blessed to represent, gathering as much information as I can for our PR and marketing strategy. On another day, I might be project managing a photoshoot, running around holding a reflector so the photographer has the right lighting. But on most days, I’m trying not to eat the biscuits.

What do you like most about the job?

The clients! At One Little Bird, we get to represent brands with heart. There’s a lot of passion and hard graft that has gone into these businesses, so it really makes you fall in love with the work that you’re doing. When you succeed, they succeed.

What do you like least? Giving in to temptation and eating too many biscuits.

Why did you want to do this job? I wanted to work in PR and marketing because I knew it would give me the opportunity to get creative and think outside of the box. I love that we get to tell the human story behind businesses and brands, and really connect with people. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to work with businesses across a variety of different sectors and find myself learning something new every day.

What jobs have you done previously?

In Cumbria, I always had a Saturday job. I was a waitress, washed dishes and served customers. I was an intern at a talent agency throughout Uni, then I worked for a company that produced branded film festival events at Sundance, Cannes, TIFF, the BAFTA’s and during awards season in the US. I got to travel a lot and managed high profile events, press junkets and private dinners for A-list celebrities in beautiful venues across Europe and the US. Then I worked at PMK:BNC on events like New York fashion week, Comic Con, and Coachella. Finally, I spent the past year living and working in Bali and Lombok, Indonesia managing PR outreach and brand marketing for a hotel group. I was in Lombok when the massive earthquakes were happening and saw first-hand the damage that had been done to people’s lives. It really put things into perspective for me about what is most important in life, so I came home to be closer to my family.

What qualifications or experience do you need?

To do PR and brand marketing, it helps to have a degree in marketing, though that isn’t essential at One Little Bird. To help get your first job, it is useful to have some form of work experience such as a marketing internship to make your CV stand out above the competition. But I genuinely think what’s more important than ticking off the CV boxes is having some creativity, an ability to think critically, the confidence to move forward with your ideas – but most importantly, you need a sense of humour. It really helps you get through the more intense moments if you can find the little joys.

What is a typical salary for this job?

This is completely dependent upon where you live, position and experience. If you’re in a big city like London the salary can range from thirty thousand pounds and above.

Any advice for people wanting to get into your profession?

The PR and marketing landscape is always changing with the trends of technology and progression of digital and social media. If you’re creative and think that you might be interested in marketing – learn everything you can about the subject. How do you receive information about your favourite brands? How do you usually decide you want to purchase something? Is it from seeing your favourite influencer wearing a certain brand or is it from their trending advertisement that you’ve seen pop up on Instagram? Do you still read magazines, or have you gone completely digital to read your favourite articles? Remember that you are a key demographic to someone. Once you learn the psychology behind a marketing strategy, you’ll never look at branding the same way again.

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