Alydia Noble

Account Director - M&C Saatchi World Services

What is your proudest professional achievement? 

For journalists and PRs alike, there is nothing more rewarding than playing a part in the world’s biggest stories (or nailing high-stake interviews). Because M&C Saatchi World Services specialise in government and global issues, such opportunities come in spades, and every project makes my list of highlights! However, in my wider career, I’m especially proud to have negotiated a week-long guest presenting slot on national television, for a media lawyer to analyse the Prince Harry v Mirror Group Newspapers trial. Knowing it would be the biggest media law story since the Leveson Inquiry, I was determined to get involved, and had spent months knocking on doors – finally securing the slot the day before the trial. I then led all the media training – analysing the trial each day to determine what the following day’s news angles would be – and was the one to accompany the interviewee to the studios (something usually done by the in-house team). It remains a career high. 

In your view, how can PR employers better retain talent? 

This applies to every industry, but to quote Richard Branson, ‘train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don't want to’. For example, if someone demonstrates a particular passion or aptitude for a sector or skillset, ensure that the structures are in place to develop and support them. I owe my best work to incredible line managers, who noted and matched my interests and expertise to relevant accounts, encouraged me to lead colleague and client training, and if I had an idea, trusted me to run with it. Both employer and employee benefit! 

Which social media platform do you use more than others, and why? 

Twitter – although, having spent years adhering to Ofcom impartiality rules, I’m more lurker than active tweeter! The algorithm has admittedly become less tailored since Elon Musk’s takeover, but I almost exclusively follow journalists and politicians and so, both in a journalism and PR capacity, it remains my first port of call for breaking news as well as story and interview ideas. Twitter is also great for networking. I don’t pitch in the DMs, but I will introduce myself generally (to varying degrees of success…) 

What's the secret to good client/agency relationships? 

Overcommunicate, versus waiting for the client to ask about what you’re doing and what is – or isn’t – working. Secondly, don’t overpromise but do overdeliver. No point promising a BBC News interview until you have one! 

If you could change any one thing about the comms industry, what would it be? 

I do think that this is changing, and that Chief Communications Officers increasingly have the ear of the CEO, but non-comms professionals can equate ‘comms’ with pure media relations and give it less weight than it deserves. In reality, comms is inseparable from a company’s identity, visibility, stakeholder loyalty, and continued success. When a crisis hits, how you communicate to your employees, investors, and customers – in addition to journalists – is crucial.