Spotlight: Claire Cooke – PR & Social Account Coordinator

My name is Claire and I’m a PR & Social Account Coordinator at Agent99 PR. I recently finished up my university degree at UWS studying a Bachelor of Communications, and I’m very excited to be the newest addition to the Agent99 Team, having interned previously in my degree, before joining the team full time this October.

1. Tell us a little bit about your path into communications? What appealed to you about the industry?

Before studying communications, I was working full-time at a university in student administration. I used this time to figure out what was of interest to me, and what would offer me opportunities worldwide. I wanted to work in an industry that is universally needed around the world and is broad enough that my career can alter if I wish in the future, it was at one point that I realised that I wanted to work in a PR job.

I would be lying if I said that television didn’t lead me to believe that a PR job was a sexy industry to enter – Samantha Jones from Sex and the City was lying about some aspects of the role. Although, despite it not being a consistently sexy industry it keeps me on my toes. I feel like I am always learning something new which makes every week feel a little different.

2. You’ve recently finished up your final year at uni – what was your biggest learning during your degree?

Having just finished my degree, I have gained a bit of time to reflect on my degree. I wouldn’t say I have the biggest learning but more the best hacks. Some of these are that it always works to your advantage to be a bit of a teacher’s pet. Tutors are more willing to give you extensions or review your grades if you are kind to them and willing to give them a bit of small talk.

Setting fake due dates for yourself before the actual due date will allow you to stress a few days before it is due. This will also give you the capacity to edit the final version before you need to hand it in. This has been a learning that I have taken with me to my PR job too, especially while you’re still in the learning phase of your career you need to allow more wiggle room to edit and review your work

Finally, it is advantageous if you complete an internship or two throughout your degree. This will give you some insight into your chosen career before finishing your degree and what you are getting into. A bonus is kick-starting your career skills ahead of your peers. I was able to secure my PR job straight out of my degree with Agent99 PR through my internship with them earlier in the year.

3. Who is one person that inspires you and why?

Maya Angelou has always inspired me through her writing, she struggled through a lot in her life but always somehow had a dark moment in her life and makes it sound beautiful or insightful. One of her quotes that has always stood out to me is “do the best you can until you know better…then when you know better, do better.” This resonates with me, especially while going through changes in starting full-time in my PR job you will make errors along the way. As long as you’re doing the best you can, then you can only grow from those errors.

4. What will we always find you doing on the weekend?

For my weekends you will always find me catching up with my friends at the pub having an afternoon drink, or going to the beach in the morning for a dip. I will always find myself when I have a full day available doing my DIY activities. I love trying to be creative while working with my hands, I find it a great skill to build on. I have personalised DIY items such as a mirror, a dresser, a coffee table, and bedside tables. There is something cathartic working with my hands outside after staring at a screen inside all week.

5. If you could share one piece of advice for future communications/PR students studying at the moment, what would it be?

A PR job is very detailed oriented. Biggest advice to share is don’t be afraid to ask questions, you will only delay the task. Attempt the task solo as much as you can, but if you reach a point where you have no idea what you’re doing you will only cause issues for yourself and your team if you didn’t ask the question initially. You can’t learn without questions. It is a hard mental barrier to get past sometimes, but eventually, you will find yourself becoming more comfortable with tasks and won’t need to ask as many questions.

We are always on the hunt for amazing talented people to join our PR team! We love passionate, honest, driven people, who really care about creating an impact for our clients! To apply, please visit our careers page and drop us a line for a confidential chat!

Agent Claire