Author Archives: Cheryl O'garro

Administrator in the Hot Seat: Anna Slevin

If you could write ‘THE book’ on something, the definitive how-to guide on any subject, which topic would you choose?

This is also my one true fact to share but I wrote 6,000 words about cinnamon instead of a dissertation for my degree! It wasn’t definitive so I’d quite like to go back and do that someday. (It was a choice between cinnamon or coffee at the time but I didn’t want to end up hating coffee!)

What three books changed your life?

First Test by Tamora Pierce

Where a girl didn’t have to pretend to be a boy to do what she wanted! (Tamora Pierce started in the eighties and is having a revival at the moment) It didn’t so much change my life as shape it from the start because my mum read it to me when I was about six I think.

The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell

(Slightly cheating I know but I only picked it up because it was so thick!) This autobiography melded fact and storytelling the point where I went off and wrote about cinnamon and studied Creative Nonfiction later. It’s been adapted into several television productions each different from the last. It showed me that real life can be as interesting as fiction and imagination can be applied to everything. Even slugs.

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

I often give people the impression that I only read longer books or sprawling series, this isn’t entirely true because of this book. The amount of foreign literature in translation on British shelves is minimal – this is criminal. Kitchen is two novellas by a Japanese author that were somehow mainstream enough to be in English at my local library. Novellas are often underrated or undervalued, unfortunately they cost almost the same as much lengthier paperbacks. But some stories should be a certain length. Some stories need a certain style, a certain pace. Some stories are specific and individual and particular. But resonate. I now actively look for shorter fiction and translations.

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?

 Walking between worlds. It’s something of a theme in Diana Wynne Jones from her nine-lived enchanters with the title Chrestomanci to Howl of the Moving Castle fame (the film is very different! In the book he’s actually Howell Jenkins from Wales in our world) and in Homeward Bounders while in The Merlin Conspiracy there is confusion with multiple Earths…

The way it can mean so many different things even to one author strikes me as something special. It normally makes the character appreciate the world they come from or find one they prefer! I like the idea of seeing how different societies function and being able to choose for myself, much like a good book…

Bonus Question

Who would you invite (and why) to your fantasy literary dinner party?

There’s a saying: “never meet your heroes” and a lot of the best characters can be very obnoxious… I’m actually reading The Immortal Dinner at the moment with Keats and Wordsworth in appearance but Wordsworth sounds like a very difficult guest at times!

Do you invite characters or authors? What would they eat? Does Bob Dylan count, having won the Nobel Prize? If this is a fantasy literary dinner party I would invite my dad and Bob Dylan to talk to each other because my dad would love that, and William Morris; I would invite my mum and Margaret Drabble because she introduced me to her, and Eric Hobsbawm; and I would quietly slip out the back door and ask my parents about it later as an after-party. I don’t know who would be making the food. My parents introduced me to literature for which I can never thank them enough so I think I’d rather they get the opportunity and I know I would have no regrets, facilitation being the better part of valour.

 

 

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SYP Panel Help Aspiring Publishers to Kick-Start Their Career

In September, SYP London kindly hosted ‘Kick-Start Your Career: How to Succeed with your Job Search this Autumn’ for aspiring and entry level publishing candidates hoping to gain some career and work experience from established members of the industry. Speakers included our very own Associate Director Helen Speedy, who all brought their experiences and insights on how to build a successful career in publishing.

Did you miss the event? Perhaps you would like a recap! Helen Speedy shares her publishing career advice and experiences.

Explain your role and how you got there (approx. 5 mins each).

I am the Associate Director at Atwood Tate, a specialist publishing recruitment company based in Central London and Oxford. My job is to manage the Permanent team day-to day, who consist of seven consultants and an administrator, and make sure everybody is hitting their targets, having smooth relations with both clients and candidates and generally feeling happy. I am also the contact for senior publishing roles across the country, so a day can be talking through pipelines and business development with my team, or taking briefs from clients and sourcing appropriate candidates for the recruitment process.

I got my first job through talking to one of the speakers at the Oxford Brookes Careers Day towards the end of my MA, who gave me the contact details of someone looking for an Office Junior.

How do I get my first job in publishing?

There are a number of ways to get your first publishing job, and it’s worth trying a few to give yourself the best possible chance.

  • MA (plus work experience and networking)
  • Work experience placements that could lead to your first job
  • Through an agency – temping can lead to perm or to getting that work experience you needed but being paid properly along the way (also perm)
  • Networking events are a great way to build up your contacts and make a good impression before you’ve even made an application!
  • Proactive volunteering/personal work are also worth considering to boost your CV and stand out from the crowd. It is a lot easier to prove your interest in children’s illustrated fiction if your social media, blogging or volunteering backs you up!

What advice would you give your younger self, when you were just starting out?

Be more confident and don’t always assume that there are people better qualified than you.

What do you regret doing in your career?

I don’t have any regrets really. That may sound a bit complacent, but I have the philosophy that you make the right decision at the time and there is no point looking back. There are various points in my career when I could have taken a different path and I have turned down jobs and also taken roles that didn’t quite turn out to be what I thought. I remind myself that I made those decisions and they felt like the right choice at the time.  As long as you feel in control  and you are happy with your decision at that time, you should not have any regrets.  The only lasting regret I have is not calling out a bully, but I was young and in the junior position, so I forgive myself and it has given me the strength to help others confront difficult situations and not be scared to do so myself.

Associate Director Helen Speedy (second from left) after speaking on the panel

What’s the best career advice you’ve heard?

  • In terms of CV advice, make sure it shows the difference you made and the impact you’ve had, not just a list of your duties
  • If you’ve got lots of voluntary experience, internships and temp roles, try categorising rather than listing chronologically – tell a story and make sure the facts support the narrative.

How do you know if you should go for a role or not?

  • Can you tick 70-80% of the boxes (usually nobody has it all!)
  • Is it located in a sensible place for you to commute to?
  • Does picturing yourself in the role make you feel excited?
  • Do you think it would give you opportunities to learn?
  • What do you know about the company culture and how that would suit you?
  • If you’re not sure, try to have a conversation (with recruiter or name on advert)

Is it off-putting for employers if you apply for lots of different positions at the same company?

It depends on the size of company. It can be off-putting if it looks you are applying for anything and there is no real effort on any of the applications.  HR will begin to wonder how can  you be truly that interested in so many different roles with different skillsets! If there are different roles that catch your eye, find out if they will refer you if their role isn’t suitable. In a small company,you may get referred internally (I did for my first job and ended up with a better job than the one I applied for!)

Want to hear more about the SYP?

The Society of Young Publishers is a membership body for aspiring publishers and current candidates in the first ten years of their career. With branches in London, Oxford, South-West, North, Ireland and Scotland; the SYP is the biggest membership organisation in the publishing industry. For more details and to sign up, go to https://thesyp.org.uk/membership-signup.

 

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Industry Spotlight: Marketing and Publicity

Welcome to Atwood Tate’s industry spotlight series, where we go behind the scenes of each of our recruitment desks to give you the scoop on working with Atwood Tate. This week, Olivia returns, focusing on Marketing and Publicity roles.

marketing strategy image

Marketing

What do Marketers in publishing do?

Marketers are responsible for promoting a publisher’s products or services to their target audience, whether that be to individual consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B). Marketing can broadly be split into traditional (e.g. print advertisements, newsletters, flyers, brochures) and digital (e.g. social media, email, websites, paid search, SEO). The majority of marketing roles in publishing combine the two or are digital focused, so it’s advisable to keep your digital skills up to date.

Marketers have many different channels and techniques at their disposal and roles will vary depending on the nature of the product or service and target audience. For example, if you are marketing books to teachers you are likely to produce a lot of visually appealing marketing collateral and do a lot of direct mail campaigns. On the other hand, if you are marketing a medical journal to doctors you will likely target them with intellectually stimulating email campaigns.

Do you need a marketing qualification to work in marketing?

Absolutely not. It’s something employers might find desirable but a lot of people start out in an entry level role and build up from there. Some people choose a qualification once they’ve built up some experience and decided on an area to specialise in. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) both provide qualifications which can be studied for alongside a full-time job. Your employer may even cover the cost of the course.

Where can a marketing job take me?

Marketing is great in that the skills and knowledge you develop are very transferable and will be useful for so many employers and different industries. There are a wealth of marketing roles in publishing. Some people choose to stay in one area of publishing for most of their career while others move around different sectors, which is possible to do, especially if you have particular skills or a specialism which is in high demand.

As there are so many marketing roles there are lots of opportunities for career progression and chances to move into management positions or very specialised roles.

publicist author interview

Publicity/PR

What do Publicists in publishing do?

Publicists are responsible for managing relationships with authors and dealing with their agents. Their job is to secure press coverage for books in the print, broadcast and online media so they are expected to build strong press relationships. They are also responsible for organising and attending events with authors, such as book launches and signings, interviews, author tours and appearances at literary festivals. Publicists need to stay informed about new trends and developments in their area of publishing and they often attend editorial meetings and contribute to pitches for new acquisitions.

Is PR all about parties and schmoozing with authors?

Yes, you might get the chance to work with high-profile and celebrity authors. You may also work with new and debut authors, which can be just as exciting and rewarding. Regardless of author list, there’s a lot of hard work and relationship building which goes into making any campaign successful.

Do you need a big network of media contacts?

Initially no. In junior roles you will be assisting PR Managers with their campaigns and general admin. As time goes on, you will start to build up a network of contacts. If you are working on particular titles, this may become quite specialised. For example, if you’re working with cookery authors, you will build up contacts with cookery magazines and food bloggers.

What skills do you need to succeed in marketing and publicity?

Marketing and publicity roles are closely linked and require similar skill sets. Anyone who wants to succeed in one of these roles needs superb communication and relationship building skills. They are busy jobs so excellent organisation skills are also essential. Creativity is also important. Some publishers work with small budgets, so you have to be innovative and resourceful to come up with new and inventive ideas. Keeping up to date with trends in the market is also key.

Marketers in particular often need to have strong copywriting skills and a good eye for detail. Photoshop and InDesign experience is a plus, especially if working in a collateral heavy role. Software skills are important as there are marketing programs you will be expected to use, such as CRM, email, social media, marketing automation software and analytics tools. There are a wealth of programs which do different things so it’s good if you can pick them up quickly. Video and audio content creation skills are increasingly desired in publishing, especially when working with online products.

If you are looking for a job in Marketing or Publicity, get in touch with Olivia at Olivia@atwoodtate.co.uk.

 

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Atwood Tate Book Club: Back to School

 

Have you ever wondered what a team of publishing recruitment specialists like to read in their down time? Curious about our favourite books growing up? Welcome to the Atwood Tate Book Club, where we reveal what books have a special place on our shelves! For this entry, we go back to school with our favourite reads from our educational careers.

Julie Irigaray, Trainee Recruitment Consultant

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The first book I read after having passed the French equivalent of the GCSE (around the age of 15). I was moving to another school and to a higher level, so I suppose I needed to read a book about the changes taking place when one becomes a teenager. This novel deals with dark themes like suicide, sex and obsessional love in such a delicate way and with such a rich language that I couldn’t resist. The mystery surrounding both the main characters and the narrator makes it even more mesmerising.

 

Anna Slevin, Temps & Freelancers Administrator

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard.

I read the play for fun around the time I was sixteen and bored at school. The way time merges together and the interplay of language between characters really captures the imagination. I’m still wondering if it would be anywhere near as good on stage!

 

Claire Law, Managing Director

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 

 

I did a course at Uni on Canadian Women’s literature and this and her other books had a great impact on my reading both for study and pleasure purposes from that point. I also decided to make a literary nod to her name when I set up Atwood Tate!

 

Helen Speedy, Associate Director

Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis (The Caucasian Chalk Circle) by Bertolt Brecht

I can’t remember whether Bertolt Brecht’s Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis (The Caucasion Chalk Circle) was one of my A-level set texts or an add on, but it remains one of the most influential plays that I have read. Our literature focus for German was Die Gerechtigkeit und das Gesetz, which translates as Justice and the Law.  When I got into trouble at school it was usually a rebellion in the face of injustice, so Brecht, who explores the concept of justice and the tendency for corruption to manipulate the law and even favour the criminal over the innocent, was appealing to me.  I recently re-read my other set text by Duerrenmatt, Der Richter und sein Henker (The Judge and his Hangman), and would recommend this as a quick and accessible read.  It’s a thriller (verging on noir) which delves into this issue of justice and (or versus) the law and I hope you can find it in translation somewhere if you don’t read German.

 

Charlotte Tope, Trainee Recruitment Consultant

Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman

I couldn’t put these books down – they delivered a great message, in a thoughtful way, to a young audience. Such an effortless read!

 

Faye Jones, Trainee Recruitment Consultant

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald 

I studied The Great Gatsby for A Level English and become completely immersed in the characters and history behind 1920’s America. Even though the first chapter of the book is difficult to get through, I always recommend The Great Gatsby to anyone who’s looking for a short read and the film is great as well!

 

Cheryl O’garro, Administrator and Social Media Coordinator 

The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan 

This 18th century satire from Irish playwright Brinsley Sheridan was one of my AS level set texts and I have been in love with it ever since.  The play follows Lady Sneerwell and her band of gossips and the hypocrisy of their behaviour. The two plots are amazing: Sir Peter Teazle and his new, much younger wife and their marital troubles (half of which stems from society rumours)  and Sir Oliver Surface who, wanting to write his will, sets out in various character disguises to test if brothers Peter and Charles Surface are as respectively good and bad as society claims. I picked up a leather bound 1903 third edition copy from an antique book shop in Dublin (where he was born) and I was so happy I nearly hyperventilated!

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Charlotte Tope

What three books changed your life?

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
This is a good starting point for anyone who wants to explore the idea of higher consciousness without heavy, hard thinking text. I think you’ll either love it or hate it, but it was definitely a significant book for me.

02. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
Granted, you have to take this book with a pinch of salt – don’t expect to show a little gratitude and ‘will’ all your hopes and aspirations into fruition by next month. For me, this book was a powerful read in terms of showing how our mental attitude and belief can really effect the direction your life will take. The law of attraction is a powerful thing!

03. The Working Woman’s Handbook by Phoebe Lovatt
I just love everything about this book, from its design to the typography and most importantly it’s content. If you need a push, or a little advice on your creative projects – this is the one.

If you could have written any book that exists now, which would it be?

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. In fact if I were a book, this is what I would be.

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?

I would want to have Avatar Aang’s powers, from The Last Airbender. Putting it really simply, depending on what nation you are from, (based on the 4 elements of earth, air, fire and water) some individuals have the power to control and manipulate their nations element i.e people from the fire nation could control fire. Avatar Aang however, was able to control all 4 – would have worked a treat in this recent heatwave!

If you could write ‘THE book’ on something, the definitive how-to guide on any subject, which topic would you choose?

Christmas (in London), of course! What to read, where to go, the best window displays! Am I the only one ready for Christmas?

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Industry Spotlight: Regional Publishing (Oxford Office)

Welcome to Atwood Tate’s industry spotlight series, where we go behind the scenes of each of our recruitment desks to give you the scoop on working with Atwood Tate. This week’s entry is with Claire Carrington-Smith and Faye Jones, who work across all locations excluding London,the Home Counties and East Anglia. They cover all sectors except B2B.

Introduction

Welcome to the Oxford desk, which is looked after by Claire Carrington-Smith, Senior Publishing Recruitment Consultant and Faye Jones, Trainee Publishing Recruitment Consultant. We cover all roles in all sectors outside London, Home Counties and East Anglia (except B2B) so we are a busy desk over in our small office in lovely Summertown in Oxford.

Today we are going to focus in on regional publishing and give you some insight into what sectors we cover and the kind of roles that are available outside of London.

Are there publishing jobs outside of London and Oxford?

Yes! There are publishers working outside of London and Oxford in all areas of publishing around the UK and Internationally.

We have work with publishers based in areas that you would not necessarily associate with publishing and we are currently working on roles based in Northamptonshire, Wales and Sweden.

Most UK trade publishers are based in London and many candidates who want to start their career in publishers move there and do not necessarily think of Oxford or other areas of the UK. Many Educational and Academic publishers are in Oxford so if you want to get into either of those sectors Oxford is the place to be.

We do have some roles that are homeworking and this can be a big help for candidates with a long commute.

What areas of Publishing do you cover on the Oxford desk?

We cover a wide range of publishing sectors but in Oxford we mainly work on roles within educational, academic and professional publishing, however we do get the occasional role within Trade publishing but these roles do not come up very often.

We have worked on STM, Charity and production services roles and do get work with publishers within these sectors regularly as well.

What kinds of roles do you cover?

In Oxford, we cover everything, and we can be working on an editorial, production and marketing role at the same time in different areas of Oxford and the UK as a whole, so we are quite diverse in the roles that we cover.

We work with many smaller independent publishers who have between 15 and 25 members of staff. We do not get many publicity roles because we do not work with that many trade publishers.

Who do you work with?

We cover all roles and in all sectors outside London, Home Counties and East Anglia. We regularly work with Educational and academic publishers in and out of Oxford and we often visit our regular clients to talk about candidates and any future roles coming up.

We do work with some publishers on international roles and are looking forward to working on more roles outside the UK in future.

How does the Oxford desk differ from London?

The Oxford desk is not specialised in one specific area of publishing, meaning that we get to work on all roles with a variety of different publishers. In some ways, our job is more difficult as we are often searching for candidates that are not interested in moving outside of London or having a long commute into work, which is completely understandable. In other ways, our job is really enjoyable because we get to expand our knowledge on the publishing industry as a whole and look at developments within all publishing roles and sectors.

Do you have any advice for candidates looking to move out of London?

If you’re looking to work in publishing outside of London you need to be flexible with the sector that you want to go into as well as the location. Some of the publishers that we work with are not based in the south east of England and if you want to secure a job in publishing outside of Oxford or London you will need to think about relocating.

Being flexible on the location, job sector and sometimes the salary can be beneficial when looking for a job outside of London, the more flexible you are the better!

If you have any questions about publishing outside of London get in contact with the consultants in Oxford, Claire Carrington-Smith and Faye Jones.

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Julie Irigaray

 

If you could write ‘THE Book’ on something, the definitive how-to-guide on any subject, which topic would you choose?

After living in four different countries, I’d love to write a book on living abroad and learning a new language. I’ve learned a lot from these experiences as we often don’t realise how our vision of the world is limited by our culture.

What three books changed your life?

Le coeur cousu (translated as The Threads of the Heart) by Carole Martinez. I offered this book to at least ten people because the story and the language are mesmerizing. Set in 19th century Andalusia, this novel is about a family of women with supernatural powers who struggle to remain free in an oppressive environment. The language is so superior to any book I’ve read that it discouraged me from writing in French! During my studies, I chose to translate a very difficult passage into English and I told the author at the Paris Book Fair that she was a nightmare to translate. She apologised and signed my copy: “Thank you for giving flesh to my paper characters in English”!

East Wind, West Wind by Pearl Buck. My mum tried to make me read this author for years so I reluctantly started. I ended up reading it in seven hours non-stop. The narrator is a woman in early 20th century China whose brother marries an American woman and whose husband rejects Chinese traditions. This novel deals with a country which struggles to keep its traditions at the time of great political changes. The theme of cultural differences could only appeal to me!

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri. The author describes her obsession for the Italian language and culture and her journey to become not only fluent in Italian, but to write too. Reading this book was a very disturbing experience as she raised important points which echoed my life: why is someone fascinated by a specific language and culture? Why do some writers choose to abandon their mother tongue? Are they rejecting their own culture by doing so? I still haven’t found answers to these questions.

What has been the highlights of the year?

Graduating and leaving Ireland, moving back to Paris (without finding a job) before arriving in London (where I have found a job)! I always wanted to come back to the UK, so I attended The London Book Fair and seized the opportunity to meet the Atwood Tate team. The rest is history…

If you were the embodiment of a publishing business model what animal would you be and why?

Despite their bad reputation, I’ve always admired foxes (all the more since two of them are wandering around my place every night)! I think every business needs cunning to succeed. I like long-term plans, anticipating the next five years and developing strategies. I also love informing myself about what competitors do (that’s for the crafty part!)

Who would you invite (and why) to your fantasy literary dinner?

Without any surprise I’d do a remake of “the Dead Poets Society” by inviting:

  • Arthur Rimbaud – because he made me want to become a poet
  • Federico Garcia Lorca – because of his humanism, his melancholic tone and the gorgeous imagery of his poems
  • John Keats – for his rich and sensual language
  • Sylvia Plath – for the distinctive voice and rhythm of her poems, the fact that she mastered her craft so well and her complex symbolism.

On a more cheerful tone, all my favourite novelists are alive, and I even had the chance to meet some of them! I’d invite Elif Shafak, Carole Martinez, Jeffrey Eugenides, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt and Zadie Smith – I saw her in a restaurant but didn’t dare interrupting her dinner…

Bonus question: Give us one random fact about yourself. 

After living in an attic in Paris and a micro-studio in London, I moved (for cheaper!) to a Renaissance palazzo in Bologna. The wheel of fortune may turn again…

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Team Update: Welcome to the team Faye!

We are delighted to announce we have an amazing new trainee consultant, Faye Jones! Faye has joined our Oxford office where she is learning the ropes before becoming a fully fledged Publishing Recruitment Consultant. Faye is supporting Claire-Carrington Smith on all roles in all sectors, in all UK locations outside of London, Home Counties and East Anglia.

 

Faye Jones

Faye graduated from university with a degree in English Literature and started working in administrative roles after graduating. Faye has always had an interest in Publishing and reading from a young age, she recently read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and it has become a firm favourite of hers along with Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne. In her spare time Faye attends regular Lindyhop classes and dance socials and loves dancing with new people and encouraging them to try out Swing dancing. Faye joined Atwood Tate in July 2018 as a trainee recruitment consultant assisting with all roles in all sectors, in all UK locations outside of London, Home Counties and East Anglia.

fayejones@atwoodtate.co.uk

01865 339 520

See our Meet the Team page for more information and contact details for all our consultants.

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Consultant in the Hot Seat: Clare Chan

 

What three books changed your life?

There is definitely one book that changed my life – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People I read when I was 14.  It was quite a mature read then, but it changed my perspective on my daily life and focus.  I read this book in Chinese, probably time to read the English version now.

What has been the highlight/s of the past year?

A lot of things happened in 2017 – got my first publishing job in the UK, meet different book buyers in the UK, travelled to Croatia and camped on the beach for the first time, flew back to Hong Kong twice…  It was a fab year!

What are you most looking forward to in the second half of 2018?

I have just joined a gym for the first time in my life; I used to swim a lot in public pools but never signed up for a gym membership.  They even have a rock climbing wall there – will see how it go!

What is on your Birthday wish list?

Time flies – my birthday is coming in less than a month.  My first wish is I will have that magic door from Doraemon (a Japanese comic character) that allows me to travel between two places just through a door so I can always see my family in Hong Kong.  My second wish is I will finally learn how to drive.

If you were the living embodiment of a publishing business model what animal would you be and why?

I would happily be a robin bird.  First, it is my favourite bird, and I love to sing too!  Secondly, they are very observant and adaptable.  I enjoy talking to different people and learn what’s new in the publishing world.  I also love to learn new skills because there is always something around the corner!

True fact:

I probably got this from my dad, but I love watching car racing.  I used to go to Macau every year to watch Grand Prix with my dad.

 

To find out more about the roles each of our consultants covers, go to the “Meet the Team” page: http://www.atwoodtatepublishingjobs.co.uk/Atwood/meet-the-team.asp

 

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PPA Festival: CEOs Discuss Employee Potential

In May, Karine and Julie attended the PPA Festival, the leading business media and publishing event of the year. More than 700 professionals gathered to network and attend panels throughout the day.

THE X FACTOR discussion, chaired by Kathleen Saxton (founder of The Lighthouse Company), was one of the highlights of the day. The theme of this panel was how to find talent and nurture employee potential.

The guest speakers were:

Kevin Costello, CEO, Haymarket Media Group
Amanda Barnes, CEO, Faversham House Group
Jonathon Whiteley, CEO, Incisive Media

 

The three panellistsinsightful advice is relevant for graduates and experienced professionals alike. When asked to share their vision of leadership, they highlighted the importance of creating a good culture within the company. In order for employees to be successful, leaders need to provide a supportive and stimulating environment to be successful. A motivated team, which shares the company’s values, is more a guarantee of success than a good leader.

The panel had to answer the common questions about how to break into the industry. The CEOs replied they were generally open to a wide range of profiles as long as candidates match their culture.

Some smaller businesses like Incisive Media do not have apprenticeships, but others like Haymarket Media offer training programs where graduates learn a set of relevant skills to enter the industry. The CEO stated that 75% of their trainees were subsequently hired. For Faversham House, being based in Sussex can be an impediment to attracting talent. As a result, the company tends to hire entry level or fairly junior staff and focus on its employees’ strengths, helping them to develop their career according to their skills and personality.

All the speakers agreed that school and university leavers wishing to enter the industry should focus  on soft skills, as it is attitude which makes a candidate outstanding. Good communication skills and self-confidence are highly valued by employers, as well as taking initiative and seeking feedback to continually improve oneself.

The digital revolution has also had an impact on the kind of skills employers are looking for. With their constant development, data and technology are the two big areas where roles have changed drastically. The people working in B2B publishing have changed too: they need be more agile and develop their adaptability. The CEO of Haymarket pointed out that it has become harder to find talent for the digital sector as there is a real shortage of candidates. To solve this issue Haymarket is trying to develop and build their own talent pool via apprenticeships.

If you are a motivated candidate with great communication skills who wants to work in digital publishing, this is a good time for you!

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