I think it’s safe to say I’m one of the only specialist reviews managers out there. I’m not your average PR. You won’t find me writing press releases or reams of strategy; you’re more likely to find me on the phone either checking the latest software upgrade with the client or selling in the hottest gadgets. It’s constant, because that’s the only way to do it well – just ask Apple. Sending out a product and waiting for a month before you call to follow-up just doesn’t cut it in the competitive tech landscape.
I’ve been doing this role for the last 15 years so my little black book of contacts isn’t so little any more. I’ve built close relationships over the years, I’m always respectful and convivial to whoever I’m working with – today’s staff writer is often tomorrow’s editor.
It’s really helpful to know who I’m talking to. Like anyone else, people in the media have likes/dislikes and some established opinions on certain brands or products. If I understand what those are it can help me to navigate potential issues and get the best reviews possible by highlighting the right sweet spots.
In every job there are always highs and lows, I loved leading the VIP programme for some of the very first iPhones with Vodafone, and felt a real sense of achievement when I got Jodie Kidd holding a Pentax camera on the front cover of the Daily Mail’s LIVE magazine. It’s not always plain sailing though, we get some very niche products, like Power Ethernet. The all-in-one Ethernet enabled power socket required specialist knowledge and a targeted media approach, and I did have to work really closely with my contacts to get it featured in the FT’s How to Spend It!!
Working with different people every day is a massive highlight for me and with the support of the rest of the Harvard team I’m always ready for the next big thing. Tech is an exciting business to be in; you never know quite what you’re going to get next…