"A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was"

Investigating that touch further into both the sports and marine sectors... 

David Row, a recent graduate from the PR course at Bournemouth University, has completed experience across a few different sectors. As the former President of the BU Snowriders, David now hopes to work in Sports and Sponsorship.  

I started my ‘career’ in PR at a sport sponsorship agency called Generate Sponsorship where I completed a month’s internship working on clients such as British Superbikes and England Rugby. Following this I was required to complete a 40 week work placement as part of my PR degree, which I undertook at a Poole based, marine specialist PR agency Saltwater Communications. 

Why PR?
I went into PR as I love talking to people! I find it very easy to communicate effectively with anyone in any given situation, which I’ve found is a great skill to have in PR. Another thing that attracted me to a career in PR was that no day seems to be the same. PR’s have to react to the here and now, one day they could be in the office writing a newsletter and the next they could be running a launch event in central London.

And why Bournemouth?
I chose the PR degree at Bournemouth over other well-known courses such as Leeds MET and Gloucestershire as it had the most impressive reputation and included a placement year. I think the placement year is vital as it gives you a portfolio or work with which to continue after University and makes you much more attractive to employers. Work aside I wanted to go to Bournemouth for the vibrant nightlife, the beach and the close-knit community of students.

Where you did you complete your placement?Saltwater Communications, Poole.                               5 out of 5
A marine specialist PR and advertising agency - I worked on marine brands such as Fairline Boats, Goldfish Boats, Discovery Yachts, Barton Marine and Zodiac Marine & Pool. Saltwater was a brilliant agency to work for because as, once they trusted you to do an effective job they would give you more and more responsibility. Unlike other placements I’ve heard of, I was writing press releases, developing PR plans, taking control of entire projects and becoming the point of contact for journalists. Working at the Southampton and London Boat Shows were a particular highlight, as not only was it a lot of fun but it also gave me invaluable experience.
It was a fantastic experience made all the easier by the Saltwater staff!

How is Marine PR is different to other sectors?
Marine PR, especially when dealing with boats and yachts, very much focuses around the boat shows as this is the best time for a brands new product to be seen by both the press and the public. The target audience for marine companies is largely the older generations as they are the ones who can afford to own or charter boats, therefore the industry is behind the rest in terms of utilizing social media. Boat owners still go to magazine news and reviews to get opinions on new boats and are unlikely to look at blogs or twitter to get the info they want, hence why Marine PR is only just staring to delve into new media.

Where you see your career in next five years?
I would love to be working for a huge sports PR and sponsorship agency, running my own accounts on top sporting brands or sponsors. Ultimately I would like to own my own PR agency and be so successful that I get asked back by Bournemouth University as a guest lecturer…but obviously that is a long way away yet!

Although the majority of my experience has been in the marine sector I am leaning more towards a career in the sports PR industry as it is the area that I am most passionate about, and it is so much easier to talk or write about something if you feel passionately about it! So at the moment I am applying for jobs within the sports PR, marketing and sponsorship industry so looking to see where that takes me. I’m also toying with the idea of doing a ski season as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

What is your favourite campaign?
It was talked about in the press a lot and hailed ‘the best PR campaign of all time’ by some sources, but it 
really is a fantastic example of getting world-wide coverage on a minimal budget.

The campaign was by Australian agency Nitro for Tourism Queensland and involved an advertisement for the ‘Best job in the World’, where members of the public applied to be caretaker of a luxury island with a salary of £73,000, duties including feeding turtles, watching whales and picking up the islands post. Tourism Queensland claim that the campaign generated more than £49 million of advertising equivalent coverage!
It says a lot about that this campaign that following its success numerous brands and PR agencies have tried to replicate and copy it. I love this campaign as its simple, creative and hugely successful!

Advice for students:
  • I cannot stress enough how important it is to get work experience!!!! There are always places to get work experience, get as much as you can and be as varied as you can…
  • It’s not what you know but who you know – very cliché saying but SO true in PR, always take the chance to network and make contacts as you never know when that contact will become useful.
  • Get your CV in order early - If you are doing the placement year, get on the placement hunt as early as possible!
  • Make full use of social media – twitter, blogs, even your own website, these are the sorts of things that employers are looking for more and more as it shows that you are media savvy, and can be the difference when applying for a PR job.
So why is David on the list? Well, I can safely say that running a sports club at University and attempting a degree is not easy, I can only imagine how much worse it was for him in final year. With a range of experience, and a firm goal in mind, I wish David the absolute best in his career in Sports PR - I only know what I saw from the AFCB press office and I've never known a phone to ring so much...  I hope you find the job you want David!  
You can follow David on twitter @davidtrow 

Jessica North

Author & Editor

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