Tracey McGarrigan, head of PR and communications at Green Man Gaming, Playfire and Green Man Loaded, offers her tips for landing a job in PR.
What exactly does your role entail?
I oversee our global industry/trade, corporate/financial, and publisher PR activity. My role involves sharing great stories about what we do, and managing our reputation.
What are your main responsibilities?
My main role is to generate media coverage in order to maintain and raise the company profile. I do this by identifying and developing tactics and strategies to promote our work to target audiences, opinion formers, and decision makers. My role also heavily involves drafting and circulating press releases, attending meetings, liaising with key partners, and networking at events.
How did you get your job?
A friend and peer recommended me and my work to the Green Team. I was looking for my next step in the industry just as Green Man Gaming were looking for someone with my skills to work for them.
What special skills or qualifications do you need?
A good education is always a solid foundation for any job, and high English, Maths and IT results are useful. Being skilled in communicating in a variety of styles and mediums, being able to build long-term media relationships, being logical with attention to detail, and being organised with the ability to plan under huge pressure and tight deadlines are vital to success in PR.
Describe a normal day. What do you do?
During breakfast I check emails and relevant news from overnight. My inbox typically has requests from press for quotes, comments or interviews with Green Man Gaming, or proposals of how we might work together to create unique content and/or giveaways for our audiences. Once in the office, I catch up with the commercial and corporate teams to see what activity we will be doing and I plan my campaigns and media alerts accordingly. I also monitor coverage throughout the day, I advise on and prepare for events, I work on any award applications, and I work on pitching stories. The day usually starts at 7am, and can go on late into the night depending on events, or which media outlet I am talking to in which timezone around the world.
What are the best and worst parts of your role?
The worse part is certainly the task of maintaining my press database. Roles and people change frequently in the press, and making sure I have the correct details for the correct person, and keeping in contact with everyone is important but repetitive. The best part by far is meeting new people, especially customers, and talking about games. Every day Green Man Gaming offers something new, and sharing this info and passion is what drives me.
What tips would you give to someone applying for a similar position?
Network, network, network! Learn from other people in PR, talk to people you would like to work with, be active, be visible, build relationships, and be prepared to work long hours. Be passionate and positive but never fake.Do your research into what the story is of the company you want to work for, then tell them how you are the best person to help them tell their story. Sharing that with others and seeing other people get enthused by your work is the reward.