At Venatus we pride ourselves on our culture of autonomy and the importance we place on supporting young talent, especially in the current graduate market. A perfect example of one such hire is our PR and Marketing Executive, Ottilie, who joined us earlier this year.
What did you want to do when you were younger?
I wanted to be a journalist, because I liked Jane Russell’s hats in His Girl Friday, and I was for a while but I found the opportunity to work across multiple platforms more fun.
What made you decide to pursue your chosen profession?
It was a bit of an accident really. I got sick of a horrible retail job and applied to work for a startup. They tweeted saying they were getting an application every 11 seconds so I decided to submit my application in person. On the way up to their office I got in the same lift as the CEO of another start up and he offered me some marketing work experience. They were a small team and my work load kept increasing to the point where I was working full time so I insisted on being paid.
What is your career history prior to joining Venatus?
While at the start up I learnt enough skills to take part in a pitching competition at my university in which a selection of arts organisations were looking for new ways to reach young audiences. I won an internship at the Royal Opera House with a disaster scenario learning solution.
After a while there was a freelance social media opportunity available with their home media label, which I took but I needed more clients. I was lucky enough to produce content for an environmental exhibition with Shrinking Space, and for South Bank London. My favourite gig was joining the Culture team at KCL to promote the competition that had got me started, which was very special.
What training did you need?
I definitely improved as a writer through studying English Literature. Similarly an understanding of graphics, photography, video editing and coding can be useful because the capacity of marketing work changes according to the size and aims of every organisation. Sometimes you will have a whole team of social media people and sometimes it is a small component of one role.
Please describe a typical day in your role chronologically:
For Venatus I work across PR, social media, events, direct marketing and research. Any given day will involve writing blogs, press releases or awards applications, researching the industry for trends or potential partnerships, editing the website, organising email campaigns and liaising with the team to make sure I am supporting their work.
What do you like best about your role?
As an independent ad sales house we work with world-class organisations but we don’t have FANG money to waste on Venatus branded coasters or sponsorship so one of our main marketing strategies is to take the guerilla approach. For example, we didn’t attend Cannes Lions this year but we did send themed hampers with tiny yachts to twelve clients who we knew had also stayed in London.
What is the best piece of professional advice you have ever been given?
‘You are young and a woman so you are going to have a hard time convincing certain people that you are an expert at your job, so just do what you know needs to happen and make sure you can back it up when you get questioned.’
What advice would you give to anyone looking to enter your profession?
You can achieve anything through hard work and aspiration, but you have to start now.