We’re exceptionally proud of the fabulous team we have here at Zen, and thought it only right that we share a little more insight into the personalities who make our agency so special.Starting with Jen, our Relationship Manager who heads up the agency’s Professional Services division and who is approaching her seventh year with us…
- Describe your job in ten words:
News monitoring, trends, sharing ideas, drafting, media liaison, kick-arse coverage!
- When did you join Zen (and why)?
I joined the Zen team as a young whipper-snapper at 17, learning the ropes from some of the best in the biz and getting a real solid understanding of the integral parts of all things PR — from the research and prep-work of a campaign or ongoing project, through to the content drafting, approvals process, media liaison and planning. Since then, I’ve been on a whirlwind journey and have worked various roles at Zen, with the continued support of the team enabling me to progress to RM today.
- How do you think everyone else in the office would describe you (in five words)?
I would hope they’d say I’m efficient, knowledgeable, loyal, caring and supportive!
- Why did PR appeal to you as a career?
I wasn’t very academic during my teenage years (that’s not to say I did badly at school or college, I did quite well!) but I wasn’t interested in going to university, mainly because I didn’t know for sure what I wanted to do, and thought it would be a waste of time studying a subject ‘just because’. So, I got a part-time job while I saved up for driving lessons and figure out what I wanted to do, when I came across an interesting job at Zen with great future career aspirations. I’d considered the creative industries as a potential career but so many routes, including PR, didn’t (and still don’t) provide much of a helping hand to those who chose not to go to university. Luckily, the stars were aligned, and I was meant to be in PR!
- When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I distinctly remember telling people I wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up, and even though I could barely pronounce it at the time I knew it involved digging up old things (I think my mum’s obsession with ‘Time Team’ influenced that!). When I started getting older, realising that there were little fossils to be found in Yorkshire as such, my attention turned towards midwifery.
- What’s the best thing about working for Zen?
The team are a one-of-a-kind, you couldn’t replace them. Everyone has such different personalities, but underlying is the fact that we’re all genuine, honest and kind people. We’re a good bunch! Also, the obligatory birthday day off is up there.
- When I’m not at work, I can be found…
In town shopping, at home with the family, or out walking the dog somewhere.
- What’s been your career highlight so far?
Hmm, tricky one! There’s been a lot of highlights. Although a few years ago now, I really loved working on the Mullerlight Mondays newsletters, which were distributed to over 33,000 people across the UK. It involved not only drafting the content for the newsletters but also challenged me big-time as I had to secure prizes each week, which of course had to be aligned to the client’s ethos and in-line with the demographics of the readers. It also involved a cool tour of the factory in Market Drayton — Rhi and I had a great day out and got to taste the yogurts hot off the press, so to speak!
- What is your proudest moment (personally or professionally)?
My proudest achievement is the fact that I chose to make some sacrifices in my personal life in order to save up hard, and quickly, so that my husband Tom and I could buy our first house. While our friends were up the town most weekends, we settled for nights in and cheap days out, but we did it at 20, and then married at 24! So I’m just really proud that we both saw the hard work pay off. Now just the mortgage…
- Who inspires you, either professionally or personally?
Though I’m not what you’d say a big fan of her music, I do love Pink! — she’s just so ballsy, care-free, and unapologetic for what she believes in. Also Milda Mitkute is Co-Founder of Vinted, a clothes sale and swapping site that is challenging eBay, which I think has gone from the go-to selling site, to a mass-produced factory of cheap-made items, so anything preloved is hard to come by. Vinted offers a much more personal approach without ads, and I’m inspired by how Milda saw and filled the gap in the market for that.
- And finally, what three objects would you take to a desert island with you?
My tablet filled with oodles of films and documentaries, a camera that has an everlasting battery (or solar panel?) and painting materials.