Eve Preston

Associate Director - PLMR

What is your proudest professional achievement?

It might sound cliché, but I'm very lucky to work for organisations that are genuinely making life and the planet better for others. From clients in education, sustainability and food security, I love having the opportunity to use communications as a genuine force for good. There's always something to be inspired by, and it's nice to know you're making a difference, one communications strategy at time! Stand-out highlights include securing £2 million of Government funding to transform food waste reduction efforts in the UK supply chain, or leading the PR strategy for Marcus Rashford and the Food Foundation's campaign to encourage uptake of the Government's Holiday Activities Food Programme, helping to tackle holiday hunger amongst children during Covid. I'm also very proud to have grown and led a team of 7 talented consultants over the last four years. It is a very full circle moment, as I joined the same team as a 21 year-old intern!

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

I think a lot of it comes down to helping colleagues understand the "why" of what we're doing. Not just why a certain strategy benefits a client, or how our collective efforts contribute to the success of our agency (which does in turn provide rewards), but most importantly why it matters for them, and for the varied, rewarding career and opportunities that they can go on to achieve. Ensuring colleagues feel a sense of belonging within a supportive team is similarly vital. It's important to take time for each other, and to undergo the many challenges, learnings and triumphs of agency life together as a collective.

How are you using AI in your role at present?

I am yet to experiment too much with AI. While it does offer potential productivity benefits with administrative tasks, the relationships and personal trust we build with clients for me still feels irreplaceable. Help with completing timesheets is most welcome, however!

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

Secret to good client/agency relationships? Being a genuine extension of their team. It's also helpful to take the time to understand what makes your client tick. Professionally, this includes recognising the objectives they must meet and the broader business pressures they face, which you can help them to overcome or pre-empt. Then there's the personal. As much as the small talk at the start of a meeting can be a little predictable, where appropriate, understanding who they are outside of work can strengthen your connection and really go a long way.

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

Desired change in comms One of the best aspects of working in PR and comms is the opportunity to support a diverse range of businesses and people. The industry's workforce should therefore reflect the diversity of audiences we represent and reach. There's a lot more that can be done to lower the ladder to help people up, and ultimately to ensure that everyone feels welcome, represented and valued.

What is the motto you live by?

I'm still figuring it out, but as I approach the end of my 20s, perhaps "life begins at 30" would be my best bet?!