Name: Anna Zachariassen
Company: Thrive Media Services
About the company:
Thrive Media Services is a London based PR consultancy which specialises in providing support for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.
How did you get into your line of work?
I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Journalism in 1999. After a brief spell as an editorial assistant on a suite of business to business publications, I moved into media relations. Over the last ten years, I have played a major role in three government press offices including the Home Office. Working in the public sector gave me a solid grounding in core PR skills and I launched Thrive Media Services last year to support new business owners and entrepreneurs.
What do you do day-to-day?
A typical day would involve liaising with clients to update them on coverage received and plans for future activity. If I’m pitching a story to a journalist, I’ll make sure they’ve got everything they need which could range from quotes to images and statistics. I always monitor news stories that might impact on my clients so they keep up-to-date with industry developments. As I’m a small business owner myself, I still do quite a bit of networking and frequently attend events for other start-up companies and entrepreneurs. First impressions count and you never know where a conversation will take you…
What’s the most exciting part of your role?
Getting coverage for a client in one of their target publications is always exciting, particularly when you’ve had to work really hard to get it. Coming up with creative ideas and having the opportunity to run with them is also a great part of the job.
Give us an overview of what you’ll be discussing at ABiC:
The Brand Boost session, which I’m hosting with Adam Mileusnic from twentyfiveandahalf, will offer lots of practical advice on how to make your business stand out from the crowd. We’ll be discussing the benefits of having a coherent and easily identifiable brand and helping attendees find stories in their company that will appeal to the media. As it’s the last session of the day we want to make sure everyone has fun so we’ll be keeping it fast-paced and interactive.
What type of companies/individuals will find your talk relevant?
New and small business owners will find this session particularly relevant as they may not have thought about PR and branding before. Anyone operating in a crowded marketplace will also benefit, as will more established companies who are looking to review their existing communications strategies.
How will they benefit from it?
Anyone who attends our session will take away a minimum of ten top tips on how to boost their brand. We’ll also be offering lots of practical, straightforward advice and ideas that people can implement straight away.
In your field, what exciting developments will 2012 bring?
Despite the economic downturn, I’m really encouraged by the number of start-up companies and entrepreneurs who are taking a leap of faith and setting up their own businesses. There are so many good ideas out there and the more they get noticed and people talk about them, the more successful they will be.
How best can the travel industry use social media and the internet?
Speaking from personal experience, I really value the honesty that social media brings to the travel industry. I often use travel websites that include customer feedback sections and feel I’ve made more informed choices as a result. I also think it encourages travel companies and those working in hospitality to provide better service. It only takes seconds to tweet a complaint but it can take a lot longer to rebuild a reputation.
What’s your favourite travel destination?
I’d have to say Porto in Portugal. I went there for the first time last year and loved the variety of things to do, the relaxed atmosphere and the food. I was so taken with it I’ve decided to learn Portuguese so I can go back and not rely on the locals speaking English.
Where’s your favourite place in London?
Tooting Bec lido – a great place to unwind and collect your thoughts. Cold water seems to encourage good ideas too.
Sum up the capital in five words:
Vibrant, diverse, evolving, inspiring, home!