Becoming Conscious – learning and discovering from a distance

Debra Fisher, PR and Marketing Manager
  • UK media still has the classic features I know and love
  • Local publications are important news outlets
  • Becoming a virtual member of the team is easy

It’s been three months since I was welcomed to the Conscious Communications team with socially distanced arms and it’s been three months of learning, remembering old knowledge and discovering what it’s like to become a member of the team from a distance.

Before I joined Conscious Communications, I was based in Melbourne, Australia for three years and, after over two years in the strategic branding and design industry, I’ve found myself remembering a number of things about the PR industry that were buried deep in the back of my mind. One thing that has come back to the front of my memory is that a good understanding of media goes a long way. Surprisingly, and thankfully for me, the media opportunities in the UK have remained relatively the same over the past few years. I’ve found myself considering opportunities for clients, and when going into the deepest depths of my memory I’ve remembered many features, news outlets and opportunities with the UK media that upon research still remain. Getting back into the swing of things has been a lot easier than anticipated, something I am very much grateful for. It’s comforting to know that The Times still has its annual education supplement and I can enjoy a Saturday morning coffee reading the Blind Date feature in the Guardian.

In the last three months I have also definitely learnt a few new things. One of the main things I’ve discovered is the power and importance of local media. Prior to my move aboard three years ago I had never delt much with regional press, which seemed to be dwindling on a daily basis at the time of my departure. On my return the loss of these titles seemed to have slowed, prior to the impact of the pandemic, and many more than I had anticipated were publishing which is nothing but a good thing. In the last few months, I’ve discovered that regional media brings the local community together. It is a vital source of news sharing for communities that can be read by all despite the differences of pre-set demographics, which on social media or through target digital adverts could mean being missed through an oversight of not being including a certain age range in a promotion setting. Local media is the backbone of information sharing in regional locations and I’m looking forward to working with regional press more in my future.

One of the biggest things that has happened since joining Conscious Communications is national lockdown (two to be accurate). This is the first time I’ve been in a position where my joining a company has been during a pandemic and I’ve been required to form relationships with colleagues and clients virtually. Thankfully for me I have been able to get to know everyone at Conscious Communications without having met everyone in person, and from two metres away if it was in person. It was a nerve-racking thing, joining a company without physical interaction but thanks to Slack, Zoom, Google Meet and the classic trustworthy email, it’s been possible. A few WhatsApps here, and a morning coffee on Google Meet there, I’ve got to know this team so well and been able to have the organic kitchen chats to get to know everyone without physically being in the same room. Which is such a relief. I truly feel like a fully-fledged member of the team, thank Slack for that.