Subscribe to the daily newsletter.

My Influences: Carl Stroud, Head of Media, Smoking Gun

Carl Stroud joined Manchester PR agency Smoking Gun earlier this year.

Stroud previously spent two decades as a reporter and editor at national titles. This included a 10-year stint across both print and digital platforms at The Sun, as well as a range of consultancy and PR agency roles.

At Smoking Gun, Stroud is now driving the newsmaking and storytelling functions while leading on media strategy. The agency recently won Best Integrated Campaign and Best Tourism & Leisure Campaign at the recent Prolific North Marketing Awards with TBWA\MCR & Alton Towers Resort on Nemesis: Campaign to close a legend.

Here, he shares his top three influences…

The person that has inspired my working career the most, and why

There are countless editors and journalists that have profoundly influenced my working life. These range from rule-shredding music press renegades at the turn of the noughties to the often fearsome heavy-hitters of Fleet Street a decade later. But today it’s the comms industry’s big-thinkers that influence my professional life most. And chief among these is Stephen Waddington. His work on better defining the value of PR for the nation’s c-suite is immensely insightful.

The place that has inspired my working career the most, and why

As a former national journalist and editor, newsrooms have by some distance had the most impact on my working career. They can be brutal and unforgiving places. But, at their best, all newsrooms are united by a single purpose – to make sense of the world for readers by telling stories that inform, entertain and surprise. And now more than ever PR has a central role in unearthing, refining and sharing these stories with the media.

The thing that has inspired my working career the most, and why

Having fun. This is PR, not ER, as the saying goes. Yes, there’s a lot of pressure to deliver. Yes, expectations are high. No, none of this is easy. But there are few careers that can offer you such rich and varied experiences. In the last six months alone at Smoking Gun we’ve gone behind the scenes at the most immersive theme park dark ride in the country, had a masterclass from one of the world’s greatest tea blenders and enjoyed the astonishing creations at the World Cup of Flowers. Frankly, you can keep your nine to five.

If you’d like to get involved in future editions of My Influences please email

Related News