Name: Nishal Ratanji
Job title: Manager
Did you go to university?
I studied International Business at The University of East London.
What was your first job in PR? My first full time job was with Spark Communications, an B2B technology firm based on Oxford Street.
many agencies I spoke with lacked the balance I was looking for
How did you get from there to your current role? Admittedly, it was difficult to leave Spark because they had the balance of a challenging work environment, as well as a unique family culture, down to a T. After 4 years at the place, I really did fancy a change, but found many agencies I spoke with lacked the balance I was looking for. Fortunately, I came across Golin, which did. What’s even better is they offered me a job (after a few interviews, of course).
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
As I’m sure you’ve heard it many times before, but in public relations no two days are the same. You’ll find yourself doing everything from writing, to media relations, to reporting, and research; in no particular order. However there are certain things that I do as part of my daily routine, which I think is somewhat good best practice for any PR bod. For example, I listen to ‘Wake up to Money’ as I’m getting up and cooking my breakfast; read the FT on the train to work, set out my to-do list for the day when I first get into the office. By now you’ve probably figured out that I’m a morning person.
It’s fast-paced, challenging and constantly requires you to think creatively and learn new things in order to get results for your clients.
What do you like most about working in PR?
It’s fast-paced, challenging and constantly requires you to think creatively and learn new things in order to get results for your clients. I like the strategic element too, which is in a nutshell, helping businesses develop a compelling narrative that will help it to grow.
What’s the hardest thing about working in PR?
Demonstrating the value of PR still has to be one of the toughest tasks for the PR industry as a whole, even in this day and age. Specifically regarding the day-to-day, the hardest thing about working agency-side is managing your workday; it resembles a bit of a juggling act, having to deal with multiple clients, accounts and projects. But there is a knack to it that can be picked up by aspiring PR’s very quickly.
Who is your PR inspiration?
Slightly unorthodox choice but I would have to say Warren Buffett.
He once said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently”.
If the richest man in the world understands the value of reputation management, that says it all really.
make as many solid industry contacts as possible
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was starting out it was all about working hard, taking advice and not being afraid to ask questions. By far the most valuable advice I received was being told to make as many solid industry contacts as possible, be they other PR professionals, journalists or analysts. There will come a time where your phonebook comes in handy.
Which PR blogs, news sites and websites do you read?
I listen to ‘Wake up to Money’, the FT and BBC News Online, on a daily basis. The Economist also get’s flicked through each week. Occasionally Private Eye too, for a laugh. When I get time, I look through PR Week for industry specific updates. It’s a great source of inspiration and to see how the world of PR is evolving.
What are your tips for aspiring PRs?
I’ll repeat the advice I was given – make as many solid industry contacts as possible.