Jessica has always enjoyed the challenge of getting a particular message across to different target audiences, as well as being organised and having good time management. This helped her choice in career path, and led her to choose to study public relations at UCLan.
Giving advice to graduates or people thinking of taking up study, Jessica says: “Go for it! My job is fast paced, varied, exciting and rewarding. For those still in education, I would recommend getting as much practical marketing and PR experience as you can, as soon as possible. This will really put you at an advantage when it comes to getting a place at University and a job later down the line.”
After graduation she joined web agency Quba New Media as a Project Assistant, progressing to a Senior Account Executive in just under three years. According to Jessica, this time allowed her to “really hone the skills acquired during my degree course such as: producing persuasive business and commercial copy for print and email campaigns; confidently present, pitch & take product demonstrations with customers and gain an excellent understanding of how SEO, PPC and social media channels are used to drive traffic to websites to increase sales”.
After working at Quba New Media, Jessica decided to pursue a more challenging role, solely focused on public relations and marketing. This led her to join Penny Hydraulics Ltd, a UK manufacturer of lifting equipment, as the Public Relations and Marketing Manager. Her role is to develop and implement Penny Hydraulics marketing strategy using techniques such as: content marketing; search engine optimisation; paid search; trade shows; social media and email marketing. Talking about the role, Jessica said: “PR & Marketing has so many transferable skills, although this was my first experience working in the manufacturing industry I was able to use the skills acquired in university and at the agency”.
In the past five years, Penny Hydraulics has won numerous industry awards, including “Family Business of the Year”. This year they managed to become finalists for the manufacturing excellence category with Family Business Awards, as well as being shortlisted for a “Business of the Year” in the Family Business United Awards. They are currently creating a submission for the Chamber of Commerce Awards for “Manufacturer of the Year” category for the region, which they are hoping to achieve.
Jessica says of her time at university: “UCLan was a fantastic place to study. It has one of the best facilities for journalism in the UK, with journalism and PR going hand in hand, this means you get some of the best tuition and access to some of the most state-of-the-art facilities available. There is always something going on in Preston, it’s such a friendly and fun place to be…I have great memories of the three years I spent there!”
When asked if her degree has impacted her current employment, Jessica said: “My degree at UCLan was vital in getting my foot on the ladder within an agency. Most agencies require a degree as standard, particularly in PR and this gave me all the practical experience required to progress further to management level in my current role at Penny Hydraulics”.