Spotlight: Meriha Beaton – Senior Account Executive

Hello! Meriha here. 😊

I’m the newest Senior Account Executive at Agent99, arriving from Canada in early October.

I have a background in journalism and previously worked as a segment producer on a Vancouver-based morning show before applying my media experience to the world of Public Relations. I’ve spent most of my PR career agency-side working with lifestyle brands, helping them build their public narratives through strategic media relations and creative campaign development.

After moving to Sydney nearly two months ago, I was fortunate to join the team at Agent99 and kick off the Australian leg of my career working with their talented group of PR pros. I’ve taken over a handful of entertainment and hospitality accounts and am thrilled to continue to do what I love by telling brand stories in the lifestyle space.

1. You have just moved out to Australia from Canada – what was this like? Was it a big culture shock?

Well, learning all the new terms for coffee orders has been interesting!

In all seriousness, it’s only been a couple months and I keep waiting to feel that crazy culture shock moment, but it really hasn’t happened yet. Don’t get me wrong, moving across the world is a massive undertaking and can be overwhelming at times, but my partner is Australian, and I’ve spent a lot of time over the past five years with his friends and family, so it all feels familiar to me.

From a PR perspective, it’s been interesting to get acquainted with an entirely new media landscape. I knew the Canadian media world like the back of my hand, so it’s been a shock to feel a little like Bambi getting my footing in the Aussie media relations game. Fortunately, studying media and how different countries and outlets cover stories is endlessly fascinating to me, so I am up for the challenge!

2. How did you fall into PR and communications?

My entire life I’ve been obsessed with the art of storytelling. Writing, reading, or dramatically orating, I just really love stories and think they make the world go round. This passion naturally led me to a career in journalism and media. 

I studied journalism for two years with the goal to work as a producer or magazine editor, but after I graduated, I felt that the options were limited in Canada – even more so in Vancouver — to work in lifestyle journalism. The opportunities in lifestyle PR, however, felt way more abundant. I took some freelancing PR gigs for a few years, which allowed me to test the waters, while also keeping me open to producing opportunities. In 2018 I got my first full time PR job at an agency and never looked back.

3. As a former TV executive producer, what was the most fun news story you ever got to work on?

I was always drawn to covering arts, entertainment, and lifestyle stories rather than hard news. So, when I first started working in journalism, I was given the chance to interview my favourite musician, Dallas Green, for a profile piece. I was so excited and nervous; you could hear my voice shaking when I played back the interview tape.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that when I worked on the morning show we regularly coordinated puppy fashion show segments (think: dog Halloween costumes, rainy-day dog wear etc). Those were always a ridiculous joy to produce!

4. What are your golden rules for creating a newsworthy press release?

First off, always think like a journalist when you are crafting your release. What are media covering right now and how are they covering it? Then craft the release as if you are writing the release from their perspective.

Secondly, come up with a strong and succinct headline that encapsulates the heart of the release. I’ve learned over the years that the headline doesn’t always have to be wildly creative and puny, but it does have to be direct and captivating. It will make or break whether the rest of the release is read.

Lastly, I am a sucker for an engaging and authentic pull quote. I love being able to quote a client in a release because it adds colour and sentimentality that you otherwise can’t include in the rest of the copy. It’s important to make sure the quote sounds unique to the client, and isn’t a general, blanket statement, so media will understand what the client is all about and repurpose the quote in their stories.

5. What is the one thing you’re most looking forward to about living in Australia?

Sunshine!! Vancouver is beautiful, but it rains for about 10 months of the year. I am also excited just to travel around Australia and meet new people.

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 Meriha