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How I Became: Tayla Davie, Digital PR Consultant, NORTH

Tayla Davie

Tayla Davie joined content performance and digital PR agency NORTH in July last year.

The Newcastle-based agency recently marked its second birthday with a string of client wins and team promotions, which included signing its eighth retainer with recipe box company HelloFresh to support the company’s expansion into Ireland.

Tayla graduated with a degree in Journalism in 2019 and worked in a number of PR account management roles before joining NORTH.

She shared her career journey, tips and advice…


How did you first get into your industry?

I graduated with a degree in Journalism in 2019 and went straight into a PR role, inspired by a PR and comms module in my third year and work experience at an agency in Sheffield. I’ve always had a passion for writing but PR encompassed all the elements of journalism I loved with strategy, marketing and so much more. I started off as a PR assistant in a traditional B2B agency and worked my way up to a PR account manager role at another agency.

Last year I made the transition into digital PR, joining NORTH as a digital PR consultant and I am now working on a range of consumer accounts, with a hybrid approach to digital and traditional PR.

What do you love about your job?

I love the fast-paced nature of PR and working in an agency. It’s a cliche but no two days are the same and I get the opportunity to lead on a number of exciting consumer brands in different industries worldwide. From creating and implementing PR strategies, to writing reactive PR pitches and new business proposals – it’s a whirlwind! The team at NORTH is also one of a kind and I’m truly working alongside some of the best digi PR and SEO professionals in the business.

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

I take inspiration from all the people closest to me, I’m surrounded by hard workers and my biggest cheerleaders which I’m so grateful for. I’ve had some wonderful managers over the years who have really helped me grow in self confidence and ultimately got me to where I am today. I’d like to give a special shout out to my current manager Mary Hickey and associate director of NORTH Beth Durham, super inspiring women.

Twitter, albeit sometimes toxic, is a great place for inspiration and what inspired me to take the plunge into digital PR in the first place. It gives you a real insight into the industry, people share their highs and lows, tips and tricks and it’s a great place to learn and network.

What are the biggest challenges about your job?

Working in an agency you’re often balancing many plates, with multi-service clients across a number of different industries and in my case, countries. It can be difficult to balance those priorities and manage my time effectively when working against tight deadlines with a number of key stakeholders. In PR there’s the notion of being ‘always on’ and it can be difficult to switch off. We are always consuming the news to jump on any relevant reactive opportunities and over the last couple of years it has been quite negative, so it’s important to take that time to fully switch off.

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

Communication, enthusiasm and resilience. Most technical skills can be taught and you learn on the job, but being an effective communicator and hungry to learn is vital for success.

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

My first salary was £18,000 as a PR Assistant and now I’d expect it to be around the £18-20K mark, but could be down to a number of varying factors such as location etc.

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

I am a firm believer in learning through experience and I think that work experience in an agency was vital in landing my first PR role. As part of my degree I was required to do three weeks work experience and I worked at a local newspaper, an online magazine and a PR agency.

Although my degree initially inspired me to pursue a career in PR, I don’t think I really understood what it meant until my placement at that agency. It gave me a great base level understanding and exposed me to the fast-paced nature of PR. I found my degree super useful in honing my communication skills, working to tight deadlines and ultimately building my confidence but the majority of the skills I use day-to-day I learned on the job.

Five years ago I felt as though a degree was a non-negotiable if I wanted a career in marketing, and while I loved every minute of uni I don’t think it’s the be all and end all if you want to succeed in the industry. There’s a number of different routes now from apprenticeships and internships to entry-level roles.

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

My best piece of advice would be to take every opportunity presented to you, even if it means stepping outside of your comfort zone – often that’s where the magic happens. As an industry digital PR is constantly evolving so it’s important to always remain curious and ask questions.

Now, there’s so many free resources online to immerse yourself in the world of digital PR, from webinars and podcasts to blogs and newsletters. I would recommend signing up for The Weekly PR and The Grapevine as a starting point to get an idea of the industry and the type of campaigns we work on day to day. There’s also a number of online communities such as Girls in Marketing and Talk Twenties, which I would recommend getting involved with at any stage of your career journey!

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