As featured on Meat Business Women’s Meet our members
Tell us about how you got to where you are today? What was your career path and how did you end up in your current role?
Growing up on a mixed livestock farm in Herefordshire, I always knew that I wanted to build a career within the agricultural sector, but exactly what that looked like I wasn’t sure. To help build my knowledge of the sector, back in 2014, I headed off to Harper Adams University to study agriculture, where I really enhanced my technical understanding of the various sectors.
It was only when Helen, who five years later is now my line manager, came into one of my marketing lectures to talk about PR, that I thought this successful family run business in Herefordshire sounds like it could be the perfect place for me to start my career.
I started at Pinstone back in 2018 when there was 14 of us as an account executive and now four years later there’s 26 of us and I’ve climbed up the career ladder and am now an account manager across several clients.
I didn’t know what I’d signed up to, joining a PR agency, but I soon discovered that the diverse, fast-paced life, was right up my street.
People are the heart of Pinstone and the growth of the business has provided me with a fantastic opportunity for personal development and progression.
I’m really determined to work towards advancing further in my role, as I’m confident that the opportunities are endless, when it comes to building a successful career in this sector.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Working in a fast-paced agency, no two days are the same, but this diversity is what makes the job so exciting. In my role, I get to work alongside forward-thinking agri-food businesses and the people behind them, who at the forefront of the industry.
Many of my clients operate in the livestock and meat sector which I am really passionate about. Being involved in businesses which are making a real difference to how the industry moves forward, is a particularly enjoyable part of my role.
It’s also fantastic to have the opportunity to work so closely with technical experts in their field, as this way I’m always getting to learn something new, but the best is getting to share these new developments with producers and the wider supply chain.
To achieve this, we work closely with our clients to develop strategic communication strategies to reach outcomes that are in line with their business goals, across a broad spectrum of media channels – with a key focus on building our clients reputation.
I’ve been passionate about food production from a young age and it’s fantastic to be part of a team that has the same ambition of making a difference in the agri-food sector through communications.
What could the meat industry do to ensure we attract and retain top female talent?
Until people work in the sector, it’s not always evident the depth of the meat industry and the careers available within the food supply chain. After college or university it can be really daunting when it comes to finding your first role – so many questions go through your head. What’s on offer, am I capable of doing that role, what if I can’t do it or what if I don’t enjoy it?
And so it’s vital that as a sector we’re raising awareness of the opportunities out there in the meat sector at all stages of the career ladder. But how can do we that?
Communication! It’s key that as an industry, we’re communicating with as many people as possible to highlight the opportunities available and the fact that it’s possible to build a very successful career. Using real life case-studies to showcase other people’s experience through multiple channels, especially as the outreach of the digital landscape such as social media and SEO friendly content continues to expand, can help create a ‘drip drip’ effect. We need to position the meat sector as a great career option.
What’s the best piece of career (or personal) advice you’ve been given?
Preparation is key! Whether it’s for an interview, a quick call or an important meeting, spend time preparing. That could be doing background reading on the person you’re talking to if you don’t know them or getting up to speed on key industry topics. It will give you so much more confidence and ensure you get the most value out of the opportunity.
Could you tell us more about your experience with Meat Business Women?
I became a member of MBW over 18 months ago and while I haven’t had chance to maximise the networking opportunities fully yet, the virtual webinar programme is fantastic with some really inspirational speakers involved.
I’ve found the sessions give me a real confidence boost and I always come out of them feeling motivated to push myself out of my comfort zone and to try new things. I am really looking forward to the conference this autumn in Birmingham – be great to meet lots more of the members.
What’s your top tip for anybody starting out in the meat industry?
Take every opportunity to network with as many contacts as possible. It can be daunting, but the rewards you will get from putting yourself out there will be fantastic. To help with this, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse, by following key stakeholders on social media and keeping an eye on what’s going on in the sector to provide conversation starters.