This time it is Oisin Prendergast, who joined Clarity in July. Here he shares how his perceptions about PR have changed, why his dream client would be a renewable energy company and the tale of his karaoke nightmare.
How did you end up in PR?
I’ve loved current affairs since my uni days – so I think it was a quite a natural extension of that, where you not just have the opportunity to keep up with the news agenda but it’s actually your job to. As I delve into it more and more I’m becoming increasingly fascinated by the branding aspect to it though. Particularly the way that companies like to position themselves within their industries. From someone who originally thought that PR was 100% crisis comms (I’m now very glad it isn’t!) this has been one of the best takeaways.
And how did you end up at Clarity?
I think there’s a great chance to get stuck in at a place like Clarity, and assume a wider range of responsibilities you might not get exposure to in a lot of agencies. I didn’t want to be somewhere I’d be siloed into performing a rigid set of duties. So getting a wider range of responsibilities and having a greater chance to develop was certainly an attraction. I also liked the idea of working with start-ups and being brought onboard with clients right from the beginning of their journey.
What excites you most about tech PR?
On the risk of sounding a little cliché, you get to work in industry that changing literally day-by-day. Some of the biggest names in tech today will fall by the wayside in twenty years if they do not manage to keep up with the latest innovations in AI, as an example. So being able to be in an industry that is constantly adapting – and in need of innovating – is definitely a big draw.
And what do you think will be the industry’s biggest challenge in the future?
I’d like to see it broaden from purely a media perspective and branch out towards having a public affairs component. We often talk about all the influence that can be delivered through effective PR, but I think social campaigning in front of public office is certainly a means to progress further.
Who would be your dream client?
A renewable energy start-up, or an energy company using technology to help improve its overall offering to consumers. It’s an area I spent a lot of time studying in my uni days from a policy perspective and even eventually went on to write my thesis about renewables. I think many would also agree it’s a sector that is in need of disruption. So the opportunity to represent a company making strides to that end would be ideal.
What would be your last ever meal?
Books or films? Make a choice and namecheck a few of your faves
Books. I’m pretty guilty for an autobiography done well. Mr Nice by Howard Marks and Chasing Black Gold by Robert Stone (which I would recommend to anyone) are the two that left a particularly strong impression. Both characters have a incredible entrepreneurial streaks, and land themselves in some ridiculous situations.
What do you like best about London? And what is the worst thing about it?
I really only see London as a collection of villages that just happen to be next to one another. So being able to hop in and out and different places with their own distinctive characters is definitely the best aspect for me. The air pollution I could probably do without.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
Being booed off karaoke for rapping ‘Eminem – Lose Yourself’. Took me two minutes to realise the mic wasn’t even turned on. Awful.