TOM BRUNKARD, account director of The Keogh Partnership, and chief rocker in Mods and Rockers digital agency. He has been working in communications in various forms for over a decade for brands as diverse as Toshiba, Lastminute.com and organisations such as the EU Commission Dublin mission. His role covers some gold ol’ fashioned PR with a focus in handling technology clients while also managing digital marketing, web design and social media for all types of clients.
Not only is Tom a talented PR pro but he is also the lead guitarist in Delorean – Europe’s greatest 80s tribute band.
He has recently returned to blogging at his site www.brunkard.com
1) Why did you choose a career in Advertising/Marketing/PR/Media?
I’m a comms idealist – i.e. I believe that 90% of everything that goes wrong between humans is caused by a communications failure. Really!
I got interested about communications and how the internet works in the broadcasting of ideas from running a record label and helping out with electoral campaigns. The media and how people engage with it in all its forms is fascinating to me.
2) How did you get into your chosen career?
After a degree in philosophy I did my diploma and literally started working. I built websites, wrote communications plans and a whole heap of communications work for various good causes. I kept a blog, built a network and I pitched for work where it came available. Pretty soon I was pro.
3) Tell LovePR? About your average day?
I don’t really have an average day. Every day is radically different and can involve anything from liaising with journalists and meeting clients to writing a piece on kitchen designs and developing a Facebook app. To be honest anything can happen!
4) What has been the high point of your career to date?
There have been some successful pitches and some big wins in terms of getting results but there’s no way I could call a high point yet this early in the game.
5) Any advice for new graduates in your field?
PR is not like any other profession. You don’t just get your papers and walk in the door of an agency into your career. You need to be very flexible and be the ultimate “can do” type of person. Here’s a few points for starters:
- Write. Your copy writing skills are incredibly important. A good vocabulary, an understanding of style and good use; of’ punctuation: all make you very good at your job! Write a blog, keep a diary, write for the college newspaper. You will be writing about anything and everything as a PR professional so hone your craft.
- Get smart with the Internet – it’s not good enough to use Facebook like a sycophantic narcissist. Learn about how internet marketing works, write a blog, follow blogs and maybe even try build your own website replete with a Facebook Page. It’s a cliché but one that hasn’t turned into the norm with aspiring PRs. Digital is now not tomorrow.
- Get out there. Every opportunity to network should be clasped with both hands. Keep an eye out for events and don’t be afraid to go straight up to a stranger and find out what they’re about and make sure they know what you can do.
- Read the news – all the news. Really! And pay attention to who is writing about what!
- Work on your handshake. Really. A rubbish handshake can stifle your introduction to a new contact.
- Never play leap frog with a unicorn