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How I Became: Tamara Samuel, Senior Digital PR Executive, Rise at Seven

Tamara Samuel

Tamara Samuel is a senior digital PR executive at Rise at Seven.

Based out of the creative agency’s Sheffield office, she joined as a digital PR executive in 2021 before being promoted to her current role last year.

Previous roles include interning at Channel 4 and working at Jennie Holland PR as a PR & social media account executive.

She shares her career journey and tips for aspiring digital PRs.

 

How did you first get into your industry?

I knew that it was difficult to get into PR, so worked during my free time and holidays to gain experience. I started my career at 16 with a marketing internship at Channel 4. I then moved to an in-house PR internship and digital marketing internship while studying for my A-Levels and during university. I absolutely loved how strong PR could help benefit brands and was keen to explore that further.

So in my final year of university, I called up local traditional PR agencies in search of more experience and landed an internship at a boutique PR agency. After just my first week there, I was offered a full-time role as a PR account executive with the role starting once I graduated. I have since moved into digital PR at my current agency where I was promoted to senior digital PR executive. I work on the reactive and PR campaign strategy for several household consumer brands.

What do you love about your job?

It’s a cliche but I love how versatile and fast-paced my role is – every day is different. I work within the reactive PR team, which involves acting quickly to position my clients in the heart of conversations around relevant trending topics in the news. This means that one morning I could be writing comments on trending beauty and fashion looks at the Met Gala for global fashion and beauty brands, and then by the afternoon I’m analysing data to spot a new story for my clients or working on an exciting new business pitch.

Who – or what – has inspired you in your career?

I’m so lucky to have met several amazing people throughout my career who have helped to uplift and inspire me. In particular, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be mentored by Dominique Gardiner and Victoria Usher who are women I look up to and who dominate in their respective PR fields of fashion and tech PR. They have given me invaluable advice that I will carry with me throughout my career. I’m also inspired by colleagues – every day I get to work alongside some of the best PR and SEO brains in the industry.

What are the biggest challenges about your job?

No job comes without its challenges but I’d say in PR, you’ll find that your ‘to-do’ list is never completely finished. There will always be new tasks being added as things pop up throughout the day. You need to master the art of plate spinning and prioritisation to stay productive. It’s one of the things I love most about PR as it keeps my days interesting, but it’s important to seek balance and switch off too.

What skills have been the most crucial to you succeeding in your career so far?

Curiosity and proactivity. Being curious has allowed me to learn so much more, whether that be asking questions about how something works, testing new strategies, or reading about new topics outside of PR that may be relevant to the industry. Proactivity is a must for PR, getting out ahead of trends can be extremely beneficial to your clients, as well as being proactive within your own role. Whether that’s by improving processes for your day-to-day tasks or anticipating what someone within your team may need and lending a hand.

What was your first salary and what could someone getting into the industry expect to earn nowadays?

My first salary was £17,000 after undertaking several unpaid internships during my studies. For someone looking to get into PR, you can expect to earn between £18,000 – £24,000 for an entry-level role depending on location.

What education or training would be most useful for someone looking to follow your career path?

I studied Media Communications at university, which I feel helped me to hone my communication skills – both verbal and written. My biggest tip would be to set aside two hours each week for learning and development. During this time, I read newsletters, listen to podcasts, and watch conference talks to sharpen my skills and stay on top of what’s happening in the industry as the PR landscape changes frequently.

What advice would you have for someone looking to follow your path?

Since graduating, I’ve done a several alumni talks about my career to final year media students at my university. One of the main pieces of advice that I give is to seek out real-life experience via internships or even try it out for yourself by volunteering for a local business. Don’t be afraid to reach out for guidance or mentorship. I have joined mentorship programmes and networking groups, which have allowed me to meet and connect with people in roles that I aspire to and offer advice to others.

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