Colin Byrne, who I’m really honoured to be interviewing in the last #4PRQs this year, joined Weber Shandwick in 1995. He is now CEO of the agency’s UK & EMEA network and a senior member of the global management team. In 2015, Colin was awarded with an Individual Achievement Award at the EMEA SABRE awards for his dedication to the industry. He is also Visiting Fellow at The Reuters School of Journalism at Oxford University and a Trustee of ActionAid.
MK: What was your way to the industry?
CB: I loved music and wanted to be a journalist. Hey presto I settled on music journalism. I got one of the first interviews with The Cure in their early days for example. But I never figured out how to get paid.
What piece of advice, regarding career, would you give your 20-year-old-self?
Two pieces – firstly, don’t leave things to chance, have a plan and evaluate your progress against it. Secondly, get a mentor. I did early on, more by luck than good judgement, and it was transformational.
Don’t leave things to chance, have a plan and evaluate your progress against it.
How can PR graduates take advantage of the social and digital platforms, in order to gain attention of the agencies and other potential employers?
Thanks to mobile devices and social media platforms, this has never been easier. Create engaging content and make sure potential employers see it. The biggest challenge for PR employers is creative talent that “gets” and lives “engagement”.
Create engaging content and make sure potential employers see it.
What is the most undiscovered area in the industry that could be used as a dissertation topic?
Gen Z and how they will differ from Millennials as customers and employees. Should be easy as most PR students ARE Gen Z.
Would you like to give me a feedback or feature in the series? Drop me a line to kl.marcel [at] gmail.com or tweet me @marcelkl. Thanks for stopping by!