Stephanie Stafford is a PR Account Director at Fuzion Communications, an award-winning, fully integrated agency based in Dublin and Cork. Stephanie studied Business, Public Relations, Marketing and French in the University of Limerick.
In 2013, Stephanie joined Newbridge Silverware as a Marketing and PR Executive.
In 2014, Stephanie joined the Radisson Blu hotel as a Senior Marketing & PR Executive. From 2017 to 2021, Stephanie worked as an ad hoc PR Account Manager, Senior Accounts Manager at Harris PR, and Associate Director for Bannerton. After spending some time as a freelance PR Consultant, Stephanie joined Fuzion PR as a PR Account Director in 2022.
Why did you decide to follow a career in PR?
From a young age, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in public relations. At the time, the world of PR was very different, everything was printed and filed in a clippings book and online coverage wasn't a big thing. Oh, how things have changed for the better. The notion of creating a story and issuing it to the media reminded me of 1920s Hollywood, where brand and celebrity news would be hot off the press and devoured by the public.
I would have loved to grow up in that era with all the magic and sparkle, but PR is much more sophisticated now. We can provide tangible results around campaign reach and engagement which is invaluable to our clients.
Specifically, tell us about your route into working in the PR industry?
During my time at university, I gave English Grinds on the side to both students in Secondary and Higher Level Education. I also worked in brand promotions for alcohol brands which taught me how to follow a brief and lead a team from a young age. My first job in the industry was in-house for a well known Irish brand. During my time there, I really developed a love for Irish Heritage brands and the unique and captivating stories they treasure.
I moved to London to strengthen my PR contacts and I have been working in PR Agencies at home and abroad ever since. PR Agencies appeal to me as you can work on a plethora of different brands at once. I have been fortunate enough to have worked for leading domestic and international brands on award-winning campaigns.
What is your favourite thing about working in PR?
I have to say my favourite thing about working in PR is the people. Client and team retention is a huge priority for me and I really enjoy checking in with people every day. Working together on a project that garners national and sometimes international coverage is very special.
Both the client and PR team are on a journey together and it is very rewarding when hard work pays off and ideas come to fruition.
If you could make a lasting change in the PR industry, what would it be?
I would love to see more PR Agencies developing a campaign with a purpose that directly impacts the consumer and makes a difference, not just developing a story for the sake of some news. I love how Fuzion constantly enables myself and the team to push the boundaries when it comes to creating 'wow factor' campaigns for clients.
During the pandemic, I developed a series of different brand stories which I named 'Campaigns with Meaning'. The engagement levels were huge on each campaign and I would love to see more of this in the industry.
Name one person who has influenced your career and tell us why.
This is very easy for me to answer, 100% my mother. I have yet to meet a more driven and hard working woman and her positivity and work ethic continuously inspires me to think big when it comes to my career. She always put my brother and I first making sure we had the best education and tools to excel in our careers. I will be forever grateful to her for that.
Name one communications tool you couldn't live without.
Media monitoring. I love receiving the daily emails with client coverage and the service is hugely beneficial when compiling campaign results.
Tell us about a campaign or piece of work that you’ve worked on that you are proud of.
During the pandemic, I worked on a campaign named Champion Green. The campaign was a national movement to shop local and support economic recovery by investing in small businesses throughout Ireland. It was a breath of fresh air for the public during a very difficult time and each touchpoint of the campaign had a huge impact on local businesses nationwide.
Finish this sentence. “The best way to connect your story to your audience is by…”
strong and unique visual assets.
What is your favourite hobby?
I love sea swimming, even during winter! Nothing beats the feeling of going to your favourite beach spot and going for a refreshing dip.
What is the best book that you have read in the last year?
As I read all day every day at my job, I love to read light and fun books in my spare time. This year I have been loving the Mad series by Chloe Esposito. I'm also in the process of writing my own book which takes up a big chunk of my time.
What is your binge watch recommendation?
Sex and The City. An iconic series that I return to time and time again.
Name three trends that you think will be important in the PR industry in the next five years.
- 360 campaigns including digital, social media and content creation.
- Brand building for businesses post pandemic.
- Larger focus on core values and social responsibility.
Which social media site is the most important to you and why?
Instagram is still the most important platform for me as many of my clients need to focus on the visual aspect of their business to relate to their target market.
Name one staple of the PR industry that you think will die out in the next five years.
Large scale influencer activation. I feel micro influencers represent brands in a more authentic and genuine way.
More about Stephanie
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