“We’re finally starting to see a change”

With a Base Award and nine Edinburgh Fringe festivals under her belt, this International Women’s Day we speak to one of our own inspirational women, PR Account Director, Charlotte Prentice, on who inspires her, getting to where she is now and her advice to fresh starters in the industry.

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

It’s an important celebration of women from all walks of life and from all around the world. It’s a really brilliant way to recognise how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go in the modern-day struggles towards equal rights for men and women.

How will you be celebrating?

My friend has just asked me to go to a Women’s Day event to celebrate women in the creative industries, which I’m really looking forward to. Plus, it’s in Hackney so a) close to where I live and b) cool enough to Instagram about it.

What’s the best bit of advice you have ever been given?

Believe in your own hype! Know how good you are and back yourself! It’s so easy to be self-deprecating and not be confident in yourself, your ideas, your work. My best friend tells me I should wear a t-shirt that says ‘I’M THE BEST AT WHAT I DO’ – is that a bit much? Not sure.

Which women in the industry inspire you?

We work with a number of truly talented and inspiring comedians such as Sara Pascoe, Luisa Omielan, Ellie Taylor, Rachel Parris, Lucy Pearman, Lauren Pattison, Ashley Storrie..so many to mention! I have so much respect for anyone who can stand up on stage and make a room full of people laugh. Particularly in comedy where the opportunities haven’t been the same for men and women for so long. We’re finally starting to see a change.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing women your age today?

Having the confidence to break through stereotypes, being taken seriously, speaking up even about the most subtle forms of traditional sexism. I think we all struggle in society with certain prejudices and walls that we are trying to break down – whether you are a man or a woman. I like to think that, we as women, are really breaking through and it’s important for us all to stand together, no matter what gender.

I would definitely say one issue is the gender pay gap – it’s really sad that this still goes on, we should definitely all be paid the same wage for the same job!! It’s not about being against men, it’s not men vs women, it’s just equality. Equal opportunities, equal pay, mutual respect.

What has been the biggest hurdle you have faced during your career?

Running my own department and opening our doors to live entertainment events, comedy and theatre. It doesn’t feel like a hurdle now but when I look back I’m so proud of what we’ve done.

What inspired you to start a career in entertainment PR?

I sort of fell into it when I worked in the press office for a comedy club whilst I was at university, I wanted to be a journalist originally. It was the industry that inspired me, I just knew I loved it and wanted to be a part of it in the best way I could.

What has been your career highlight so far?

I have so many! I’ve been so lucky to work in music, comedy, mad inflatable events and the odd glittery magic show thrown in. I feel very lucky to have this job, work with incredible people and have such a brilliant team. Maybe taking Michael Palin to do an interview on Radio 2 last week and getting to chat to him for 45 minutes – that is currently at the top. He is the best at what he does!

What do you think are the main attributes to being a successful publicist?

Be easy to work with, be accommodating but measured. Manage expectations and know your worth, be as organised as you possibly can and care about your clients. But most importantly make sure they know that you care about them. It’s all about people. If you can read people well and have the ability to build trusted relationships, your career will grow, people will continue to want to work with you and will also recommend you to others.  

What advice would you give to young women looking to start a career in PR?

Find a sector you care about so that you can stay passionate about your projects. Save every contact you speak to and read the news!! The more you digest the media, the more you’ll understand PR and become good at it – that is really step 1 in PR.

At Zero Degrees West, we’re surrounded by inspiring women, absolutely smashing it in their fields. Thanks to Charlotte for taking the time to give us some serious girl power on International Women’s Day, and for continuing to champion progress in the industry. #PressForProgress