SPOTLIGHT ON: MAVIS AMANKWAH, FOUNDER, RICH VISIONS

Name: Mavis Amankwah
Company: Rich Visions
Job title: Founder

Twitter: @mavisamankwah
LinkedIn: Mavis Amankwah
Website: mavisamankwah.com

Did you go to university?
No I didn’t go to university but did a diploma and sat several exams in IT, after studying I landed a job in IT and worked in that field for many years. In 2002 I left my job as an ICT Manager before I took the brave step to start my own business, an integrated communications agency, whilst running a business I decided to do a degree long distance and will graduate this year, I am studying communications.

What was your first job in PR?
The agency Rich Visions was set up around 2002 which was officially my first job in PR, but for many years I had worked within the marketing and PR arena. This included organising events, writing press releases, and inviting the media to numerous programmes and projects I used to run in my local African-Carribbean community.

How did you get from there to your current role?
By being passionate. I identified a huge niche in the market; marketers and communicators in the UK were not effectively reaching diverse and ethnic communities – our agency was set up to bridge that gap. I made it my mission to connect corporations to diverse and ethnic communities and our agency has now grown into an award-winning agency.

it really does vary, which admittedly can be hectic, but I wouldn’t change it for anything

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
It really varies, no day is the same, which I love – it keeps me on my toes. Most of my days include meetings, either internal or with clients in my office in Canary Wharf. I spent my last Friday on set in a mansion for a photo shoot for a health and lifestyle magazine which was really fun (I can’t say much about it at the moment but you’ll be seeing it soon). I also recently gave a talk about the power of Diversity & Inclusion at the Lloyds Bank. So as you can see it really does vary, which admittedly can be hectic, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

I love the fact that within this field there is so much to offer

What do you like most about working in PR?
The variety it offers, I’m someone who likes to have their hands in a lots of different pots and I love the fact that within this field there is so much to offer, different things to do everyday and so much to excel in.

I have had doors shut in my face because of my gender or ethnic background

What’s the hardest thing about working in PR?
It’s not the most diverse arena to be in which can be challenging at times, I know I have had doors shut in my face because of my gender or ethnic background, but I rise above it and love seeing others do the same also.   To add to this, what we do is very niche – many marketers we approach are not interested and feel that the targeting everyone with one broad brush is good enough so there is no need to target specific audiences and tailor make campaigns to reach and engage with them.

Who is your PR inspiration?
That’s a hard one; I would say Richard Branson. Though I know he is not necessarily in PR I really admire his entrepreneurial flair, how strong and consistent his marketing and PR is. I also like that he puts himself out there which inspires people to fulfill their dreams or desires against all odds.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
‘The possibilities are endless.’ My first mentor told me that and it has really helped to shape my career into what it is today and what it will be. I don’t let what could be perceived as obstacles stop me.

Which PR blogs, news sites and websites do you read?
I’m a big fan of PR Week

What are your tips for aspiring PRs?
Be prepared to be relentless no matter what you are faced with don’t give up. Doors might slam in your face and it might seem like you can’t open them but don’t relent – you can do it!

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