PRCA Young Communicator of the Year Andrew Barratt on the three ways you can build your profile in the comms world when starting out

Andrew Barratt, head of Ogilvy Pride UK, is the PRCA’s Young Communicator of the Year, it was announced this week. We asked Andrew for his three top tips on what you need to do to build your profile in the industry when starting out and how awards can help raise awareness of the big issues the industry needs to address.

Be yourself

Our industry is changing as society has changed. We are living in a moment where information is everywhere and transparency is key. As the reputation of a brand or company is moving to an outcome of who you really are, it is more difficult for reputation to be a managed construct.

What big businesses and brands portray to the rest of society, is now, more often, simply an outcome of who they are. And this means they have to be themselves.

The same should be true on how people approach work and their professional life every day. Be yourself. Through embracing who you are, you will have the power of authenticity. And authenticity is one of the most important things in life to uphold, bringing happiness, success and, most importantly, friendships.

Have a story to tell

We work in an industry where storytelling is critical. We engage people around a story, a cause or an ideal to draw them in. This is a lesson that can be applied to yourself as much as the work we do for our clients. Have something authentic to say, which at its core relates to who you are. I’m a champion of diversity and inclusion in our industry. This is important for two reasons – for the culture of an agency and for the work that we do for our clients.

For the culture of an agency, if you are committed to building a creative organisation one of the first things you need to do is embrace ideas and ways of thinking that are different to your own. This means celebrating difference. Diversity and inclusion are just as important for the next phase of creativity within the industry, and to ensure effective marketing, as they are for good working relationships within a company.

And for the work that we do for our clients, today we are embracing difference – seeing the value of not everyone being and doing and looking the same – as never before. This helps to enrich society in so many ways. And for marketing organisations, this provides a huge opportunity. A challenge? To seek to understand and engage groups of consumers that have previously gone unrecognised.

Do good

It’s not good enough to simply talk – you have to make who you are and what you say into action. Be a do-er. And if this is for a higher purpose, or a force for good, then this is a powerful asset. A person who acts, rather than merely talks and thinks, can gain admiration for their toughness and courage.

Andrew graduated from Durham University in 2012 having read Anthropology and Geography. He started his marketing career at PepsiCo working in brand management on the Walkers brand. Since 2013, he has worked in PR for WPP at Hill+Knowlton and now Ogilvy as head of Ogilvy Pride UK. Ogilvy Pride, which launched earlier this year, aims to harness the consumer spending power of LGBT individuals in brand marketing and comms.
This year he joined the CIPR’s Diversity Council and was recognised by the Financial Times at number five as a future business leader.

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