Meet the Zen Team – Relationship Director Chris

Chris is Zen’s Relationship Director and leads the technical and specialist side of the agency.  A technically trained writer and former journalist, Chris has spent 14 years in senior level roles across the PR and communications fields, including time within a Government agency and within a FTSE100.  He’s been with Zen since 2017…

  1. Describe your job in ten words:

Varied, exciting, challenging, rewarding, fulfilling, vital, new, ambitious, fun, engaging.

  1. When did you join Zen (and why)?

23 Jan 2017 – I wanted to develop agency experience, return to the corporate sector and specifically join a company that was doing things differently to everyone else

  1. How do you think everyone else in the office would describe you (in five words)?

Easy-going, affable, ambitious, creative, cynical and opinionated (in a good way!)

  1. Why did PR appeal to you as a career?

It was the missing piece in my career puzzle – having done in-house for public, private and third sectors, I wanted to add agency experience to my CV and grow my skills and experience. But it wasn’t just any agency I wanted to join – I knew Zen focused on the scientific and technical, more in-depth issues and this really appealed to me as I knew I could use past experience to get to grips quickly and hit the ground running.

  1. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A war reporter like Martin Bell

  1. What’s the best thing about working for Zen?

The culture, ethos and ‘family’ values that Zen is grounded in. It’s a really supportive working environment, and that extends to positively impact on home life, which is so valuable as an employee.

  1. When I’m not at work, I can be found…

I love walking, and especially in the Lake District, so I’ll either be high up on a fell, or at home wishing I was there!

  1. What’s been your career highlight so far?

That’s a tricky one because there’s been a few. One would have to be dealing with the fallout from a world-famous author stepping down as a charity patron in Scotland out of disapproval. Although clearly not a positive story, it really tested my crisis handling skills! On a softer note, being allowed into bereaved families’ lives to share their stories of the incredible support they received from a children’s hospice, including the creation of a hugely successful comms campaign, is something I’ll never forget.

  1. What is your proudest moment (personally or professionally)?

It would have to be my kids – so not only the usual cliché of seeing them born, but actually the intelligent, funny, and happy little people they’re growing up to be!

  1. Who inspires you, either professionally or personally?

My kids are a huge inspiration, but also anyone who does things a little differently and doesn’t just go along with things because that’s the way they’ve always been done.

  1. And finally, what three objects would you take to a desert island with you?

An iPod – I couldn’t live without music, a teasmade, and my camera.

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