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My 10 years in PR – how it started

November, 2023

Account Director Erica Jones looks back at her unexpected leap from newspaper sub-editor into the world of public relations.

Around 11 years ago, my housemate encouraged me to join a social media platform called Twitter. I’m a chatty person and they’d decided they might get some peace if I directed my chatter elsewhere.

I can’t comment about how successful the outcome was for my housemate, but for me it was to change my life.

So why am I telling you this as I sit at my desk, surrounded by balloons on the tenth anniversary of my time at Maxim? Because one of the many ways my life changed was that I somehow got chatting to the company, sharing a love of tea, cake, a TV programme, and who can remember what else.


Maxim was an organisation I’d known about for years. Working as a sub-editor in local newspapers, I was used to hearing the name in the newsroom. In particular, I was used to reading their press releases and feeling the information was coming from an organisation with good spelling, punctuation and grammar, and whose facts I could trust.

Which means that several months later when Maxim started advertising a vacancy I was keen to share it with all my friends. I even personally encouraged a few people to apply (for reasons I can’t comprehend but am grateful for, they didn’t). Then, towards what must’ve been the end of the application period, I suddenly realised that maybe I should apply for the job myself.


As a sub-editor I couldn’t provide much evidence of my ability to write when faced with a blank page, but it was easy to demonstrate my attention to detail and knowledge of the written word. I also felt that if I could get myself into an interview, I’d be able to prove my capability where there were gaps on my CV. And I’ll be honest, after 12 years in newspapers and magazines, there were quite a few gaps.

Which is why my covering letter was a little different. Instead of highlighting my experience and contacts (I did a little of both), I wrote about biscuits – and why I wouldn’t run out of the chocolate ones. It was a light-hearted introduction to me, written to emphasise my knowledge of the behind-the-scenes activities involved in public relations despite a lack of demonstrable experience. And it worked.

A week or so later I was invited to an interview. A month or so – and a second, six-hour interview – later I was starting a new career. There was definitely some training involved at the start (and ongoing because we should never stop learning), but by looking at my own capabilities and limitations, and emphasising the former, my own personal mini PR campaign paid off. It’s a lesson that set me in good stead for the last – and next – ten years.

Erica Jones, Andrew Metcalf, Philip Jones and Rachel Knight toast Erica's ten years at Maxim.

Erica Jones - Account Director

Erica Jones

Maxim / Account Director

posted in: maxim/client news,

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