Theresa Bischof

Senior Media & Communications Adviser - Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

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

The PR world can be one of intensive pressure and high stakes. That can take a real toll on your wellbeing, your health. So, you have to look after your talent, engaging with colleagues and truly listening to how they can be supported. As Co-Chair of the CBI's Health, Neurodiversity and Disability Network, I facilitate those conversations with senior leadership. But creating that space is only the first step. The next is acting on what you're being told. We've seen several companies in high-pressure industries going further than most to support their staff. Like city law firms offering extensive cover - in some cases even including testing for neurological conditions - to help staff navigate health challenges. Those are just a few examples of many, and one size may not fit all. But take the time to understand your talents' pressure points, and what you can do to make things a bit easier. Your talent will notice your efforts. And many will be more keen to stick around. 

What is your proudest professional achievement? 

Working to effect an expansion in the Government's childcare provisions last year to support working parents and providing counsel to CEOs and leaders at a time of crisis are certainly some of the bigger feats I look back on. But I think beneath it all, I'm proudest of the resilience I've developed. It's meant that I've been able to deliver on the day job while supporting colleagues in difficult times. That has also brought about some really meaningful relationships that I'm grateful for to this day. 

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

I'd say LinkedIn actually. It's a really valuable tool to understand and build your network. Not to mention, you get to see how other PRs are putting their messages on the map, keep tabs on new formats, and use the platform itself to reach your audience. But don't take everything you see at face value. Use your critical thinking skills to discern the bits of information useful to you, and try not to spend too much time on the rest. 

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

Ruthless honesty. Clearly communicating your expectations and asking questions when there is uncertainty are key if you want to hit the ground running. 

What is the motto you live by? 

You either win or you learn. Or both, if you're lucky.