From a young age, I have enjoyed creative writing. Poems, plays, stories – I loved developing worlds and narratives which resonated with people. This is an interest I continued to hold throughout my subsequent interest in debating, in politics, and eventually, in public relations.
When I first joined Portland more than two years ago, I was not quite sure what to expect from the six-month graduate scheme for which I had applied. Not only was it my first job after leaving university, but it was my first insight into the world of PR. My background had previously been in party politics, and I was more used to clipboards and canvassing than press releases and pitching.
While I was initially intimidated by this new world, I quickly found that many of the skills developed from my past political experience, as well as my time on a student newspaper, transferred well to Portland. PR, like politics and journalism, is about story-telling. It’s about crafting compelling narratives that capture the attention and imagination of the right audiences.
This is a principle which is at the heart at what Portland does. This includes the drafting of op-eds, editorials and messaging, but also extends further to all the work which we do. Every briefing and monitoring report forms part of a wider strategy tailored to each client, based on an individual story and narrative which fits their specific aims and ambitions.
While our strategies and approaches are data-driven and research-based, this does not mean that they are not creative. Creativity is a key principle valued across Portland, and from the first day this is something you are encouraged to remember and integrate into your work. We are not afraid to innovate, imagine, and invent, and these are the skills we look for in those looking to join us.
The backgrounds of those at Portland are incredibly diverse, including leaders from the worlds of business, politics, and journalism, but we are united by this shared passion for storytelling. It is not enough to have the right information, or to have identified the right stakeholder, or to know which is the right platform to use. There is a difference between being right and being persuasive, and that difference is what story you decide to tell.