Name: Orla Clancy
Lives: Near Clonakilty in West Cork
Job title: Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Communications Consultant
Education background: I hold qualifications from the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Accounting from the University of Limerick (UL).
Hobbies: Walking the beaches in West Cork and GAA.
Describe your job in five words: Interesting, varied, fulfilling, challenging, engaging.
Describe yourself in five words: Creative, versatile, collaborative, strategist, writer.
Personality needed for this kind of work? You need to be commercially astute, interested in different sectors, good at establishing business relationships, a multitasker who is level-headed and a strong communicator with an ability to think and plan ahead.
How long are you doing this job? I’ve been working in public relations and communications for around 12 years.
How did you get this job? I have worked in both agencies and in-house for over a decade. The agency side affords me the opportunity to work for different clients in different sectors while the in-house roles gave me the opportunity to gain a more in-depth knowledge of companies and particular industries.
In April, 2020, I started a new business called Strategic Communications and Publications.
The business is twofold and includes communications consulting and magazine publishing.
As a communications and strategy consultant, I represent businesses across different industries.
As founder and editor-in-chief of Strategic Magazine, I manage an international business communications magazine that is published quarterly online at www.strategicmagazines.com
Back in March, 2020, when businesses started to feel the effects of Covid-19, I spent a lot of time liaising with industry colleagues in Ireland and further afield to establish best practices. I identified an opening for all of that expertise to be shared in one place, resulting in Strategic Magazine. As communications has elevated globally as a result of the pandemic, there is now more demand for it, which I am seeing from my own experience and from speaking with industry leaders and colleagues.
Do you need particular qualifications or experience? While a qualification is not necessarily a prerequisite for public relations, I would recommend a professional qualification to give a solid foundation to any professional working in the industry. The qualifications, industry knowledge and connections that are made by undertaking a course are fundamental to excelling in this career.
Describe a day at work: My day starts at Inchydoney beach. I plan my day during my morning walk. I often find that I have my best ideas for work when I’m away from my desk.
By the time I’m at my desk, I have a structure for the day, but one that is subject to change.
There are always tasks that have to be completed by a certain time or deadlines that have to be met, then there are moving parts that have a degree of flexibility. My day is always about prioritising.
Every day is a mixture of virtual meetings, phone calls, emails, instant messages and social media.
Then, there’s developing strategies — both for Strategic and clients — and identifying the best approaches to different situations.
Interviewing and writing is a big part of my work. I regularly ghostwrite for clients and there’s a lot of writing and editing for the magazine.
As, due to Covid, we’re all on the same playing field when it comes to accessibility, I do a lot of virtual interviews with industry leaders in different parts of the world. This involves being aware of different time zones and being flexible to and accommodating different schedules.
How many hours do you work a week? I work around 40 hours per week. In general, I believe in working within working hours, where possible, and living life outside of work.
What do you wear to work? Remote working has changed my work wardrobe. But, I still have meetings and while they are virtual it’s just as important to be presented professionally. My workwear is a mixture of officewear and smart casual.
Is your industry male or female dominated? About two-thirds of public relations professionals globally are female.
Does this affect you in any particular way? It doesn’t affect me — I work equally as well with male and female professionals. I believe in equality and collaborating for a purpose — usually to meet company objectives. I don’t believe one person is more or less competent than another based on gender.
Is your job stressful? How? Rate it on a scale of 1-10: Earlier in the year, I thought that business development might be difficult, but Covid-19 has put a renewed focus on the importance of communications for businesses.
Working with the Strategic Magazine team, interviewing industry leaders and producing something of value gives me great satisfaction.
As a communications consultant, I enjoy working with different clients and there’s great variety as what I do for each company differs.
What I love the most about my job is that I am always learning about new industries, perspectives and experiences. Everyone has a story to tell and I’m lucky that my job often involves not only hearing those stories, but bringing them to life through writing.
Do you work with others or on your own? Officially, I work on my own, but I rarely actually work on my own. When it comes to Strategic Magazine, I work with the designer, sub-editor and contributors. On the consulting side, I work closely with CEOs and their teams. The nature of communications is that I work as an extension of a company’s team.
When do you plan to retire or give up working? I don’t plan on retiring entirely; my plan is to spend time in Paris and write. Equally, I can do that in West Cork too.
Best bits: Creating an idea, planning and rolling out a strategy and experiencing it succeed.
Worst bits: Communications is not always understood as a strategic management function.
Advice to those who want your job? Always be open to learning, read and self-educate, be inquisitive, ask questions and seek to understand, identify mentors or admirable leaders, listen, be accountable and make every conversation count.
firstname.lastname@example.org | M: +353 (0)87 9388882 | W: www.orlaclancy.com | www.strategicmagazines.com