Victoria McNish

Director - DGA

What is your proudest professional achievement? 

I have been pleased to be part of many social good campaigns where our team has delivered really meaningful legislative change. A particular one worth mentioning is the #notalaughingmatter campaign I led to secure the UK's beauty and wellbeing industry the recognition it deserved during the pandemic. From being ignored in the Gov's initial 2020 reopening plan, and laughed at by Boris Johnson in PMQs, by early 2021, the industry was reopened first alongside hospitality with its own sector team set up in the Department for Business. Plus taking the helm as Chair of the Women in Public Affairs Network‚ the largest professional network in the PA sector!  

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

As Chair of the Women in Public Affairs Network (WiPA), I hear that transparency of pay and progression is crucial for women‚ as it will be for men. WiPA's annual survey of members found that almost half believe their pay has been influenced by their gender, race or age, and 83% would be deterred from applying for a job with a lack of pay transparency. We all want to feel we are treated fairly, recognised for our work, and that there is a clear process for progressing our careers. If employers can instil a sense of fairness and transparency in their businesses, I believe they would reap the benefits of that. 

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

LinkedIn! From an agency perspective, it's the best social platform through which we can promote our good work and communicate with new prospects. And with my WiPA hat on, it's an important way to connect with our members and engage employers in our work. Although as a public affairs professional, I of course keep an eye on twitter for the latest political gossip.

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

Good client management is as important a part of a consultant's job as the actual advice they give. If you can build a personal relationship of trust, beyond the day-to-day client work, it will go a long way. There's nothing wrong with a client becoming a friend.

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

I have to come back to transparency of pay and progression here. Things have improved in recent years, however WiPA's survey found that only a quarter of public affairs employers publish salary bands. Yet this isn't really a problem specific to comms, and it is potentially an area where Government will need to intervene to drive real change. For example, in Europe, the EU Pay Transparency Directive will require not just gender pay reporting, but also set requirements on pay transparency in job ads and ban pay secrecy/confidentiality clauses. Although we can't solely focus on gender pay discrepancies and must look more broadly at other diversity pay gaps which are as important.