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News from the South West - 10 minutes with... Georgie Upton

Tell us a little about your role…

I am the director of Wild West Communications – we are a PR and social media agency based in Truro and Bristol. I head up a team of 12 brilliant comms specialists.  Media and influencer relations is what we have built our business on.  I oversee the strategic direction of our clients’ campaigns, and work closely with the teams  - whether that be developing creative platforms or troubleshooting  - ensuring we deliver the very best results and client care.

Aside from campaign work, I am also responsible for the growth of our own business.  I have an incredibly inspiring CEO, Kate Wild, and work closely with her on business development. 

Staffing is also an important part of my role; without our brilliant team we wouldn’t be the agency we are – so, along with my ‘Head of People’ and senior team colleagues, I aim to ensure we are a happy place to work. Let’s face it – working in an agency is always going to be demanding, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.  It’s about finding that balance and I strive for that  - for the team and myself.

What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the industry at the moment?

Finding great people – particularly at account manager level.  Being based in the southwest we have to work even harder at this.  A lot of really strong PRs have gone freelance – this largely happens when women want to have families – and I totally get that. With improvements in flexible working I hope we can better tackle this.

It’s also in our own interest to train up and retain our young talent to become strong media managers  - and we do invest a lot into that. 

If you had to impart one piece of advice to your team what would it be?

Be open and honest to your clients – it’s never let me down yet.

What’s your best PR moment to date?

I think becoming the director of the business was a huge achievement for me personally.  In terms of campaigns, there are so many, but seeing a campaign go live and landing the big spreads across the nationals gets everyone excited: Kelly’s Ice Cream and it’s Cone-ish Pasty, Forthglade Natural Pet Food and our ‘Dump the Junk’ and ‘Clean Eating for Dogs’ campaigns, Ginsters and our brand repositioning activity, launching Bristol Harbour Hotel, announcing Another Place: The Lakes – and that’s just a few.

Has pursuing a career in PR lived up to your expectations? Why?

It’s been more than I ever thought it would be. It can be pretty bonkers but I thrive off it.  I adore my team and spending a day with them always makes me feel great.  They are never short of ideas and enthusiasm.

If you could work for any brand, which would you chose? Why?

I’d be really interested in something totally different to what I do now – one of the internet giants perhaps - Google, Amazon, Facebook.  They’re often seen as the bad boys, but they have transformed the way we behave and operate in the world.  I have young children and so have a strong interest in child safeguarding online and would like to explore that with them.

We all love the South West but what do you consider the key benefits of working in this region?

A slightly smug feeling that in an evening or weekend, I can be on the beach in 20 minutes…

What’s your PR secret?

Always strive to be the best you can be, giving the best advice to your team and clients.