In this episode, we speak to Laura Brooks, PR Director at Tessian. Laura discusses her current role at Tessian, how she chooses PR agencies, and the impact that Covid-19 has had on the industry.
Laura is a PR professional specialising in B2B and technology, with strong skills in strategic planning and account management. Since graduating from the University of Birmingham in 2012, her career has gone from strength to strength, leading her to her current role at global technology company Tessian.
How Covid-19 has impacted Tessian
“All our plans had to change as a result of what happened”
Laura is PR Director at cybersecurity firm Tessian, a company which, like many others, has had to adapt quickly due to the effects of the pandemic. “All our plans had to change as a result of what happened. All our events were cancelled, moved to a digital platform. So, you suddenly have to pivot, and change your strategy very quickly.”
From a PR perspective, Laura recognised the need to publish stories explaining the cybersecurity risks associated with homeworking. “We had to be really mindful that the stories that we were telling were useful, and providing advice and guidance to these people, rather than looking like an ambulance chaser.”
Selecting an agency to work with
“Big ideas are great, but you need to see how they can be realistically pulled off”
Laura works with PR agencies in both the UK and US and is experienced in selecting the best fitting agencies to work with. “I think a lot of agencies create these beautiful pitch decks and presentations, with these huge ideas but sometimes it can feel a bit smoke and mirrors. You know, big ideas are great, but you need to see how they can be realistically pulled off within the budget we have, and sometimes a simple presentation might make it a bit easier for me, or the person you’re pitching, to see exactly what they’re going to get.”
Getting along well with those who work in the agency is also of paramount importance to Laura. “When you’re the only person in the organization doing PR, you rely on these people as an extension of your team, and you’ve got to make sure you enjoy working with them.”
Controlling emotions in stressful situations
“I solve problems better when I talk to people about them”
PR is a fast-paced and stressful industry, which can negatively impact emotions. Laura uses communication as a technique to combat this. “I solve problems better when I talk to people about them. So, I’ll tend to bring one or two of my closest colleagues together, and we’ll just brainstorm together how we’re going to resolve this problem. I think the best thing for me to do when I’ve had a frustrating meeting is get out of that stressful environment.”
Laura discusses in more detail how Tessian is helping businesses and individuals protect themselves from scams during the health crisis, as well as how the company is focusing on the maintenance of mental well-being for its employees whilst working remotely.