Jess Durrington, Sunday Riley’s Senior PR Manager

“Know what you need to do and go after it wholeheartedly.”

Have you ever stalked somebody on LinkedIn and puzzled how on earth they managed to land that wildly spectacular job? While the web and social media may need us consider that our preferrred job is a mere pipe dream, the people who’ve these jobs have been, consider it or not, in the identical place as soon as, fantasising over another person’s seemingly unattainable job.
But behind the awe-inspiring titles and the flamboyant work occasions lies a heck of loads of onerous work. So what classes have been learnt and what abilities have proved invaluable in getting them from daydreaming about success to really being on the prime of their trade?

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Welcome to How I Got Here, the place we discuss to girls who’re killing it of their respective fields about how they landed their awe-inspiring jobs, exploring the peaks and pits, the failures and the wins, and most significantly the information, recommendation and sensible ideas they’ve gleaned alongside the best way.
This week we chat to Jess Durrington, Sunday Riley’s Senior PR and Influencer Marketing Manager for Asia-Pacific. While many people struggled with formative profession resolution making, Jess recognized her skilled trajectory as early as highschool. Striking a cautious steadiness between information and expertise, she landed her first job as a PR Assistant quickly after commencement.
Working her method up the PR company ladder for over eight years, Jess not too long ago moved to an in-house function with the trendy skincare model, Sunday Riley. An extended-time magnificence lover with an formidable, artistic thoughts, Jess’ dedication, enthusiasm and social abilities (crucial) have taken her to some fairly unimaginable locations. Here’s what she’s learnt alongside the best way.
What do you do and what’s your official job title?
My official job title is ‘Senior Manager, PR and Influencer Marketing Asia-Pacific’ at Sunday Riley Modern Skincare. No in the future is identical however briefly, I handle the press and influencer technique from conceptualisation to execution throughout the Asia-Pacific area. Aside from managing and supporting our wonderful group members throughout APAC, this consists of technique improvement, media relations, occasions, natural and paid influencer planning, outreach, retailer relationships and way more.
Take us again to whenever you have been first beginning out. Did you research to get into your chosen area, or did you begin out with an internship/entry-level function and climb the ladder? Tell us the story.
To be trustworthy, I had a really clear profession trajectory from as early as highschool. I believe it’s essential to play to your strengths in life; I recognized early on I used to be robust at English and nice at socialising. Put these two issues collectively and also you principally have a recipe for a publicist.
In all seriousness, I appreciated writing and I used to be good at it, so I naturally gravitated in direction of a profession in journalism. I additionally liked the thought of occasion administration – PR is the proper synergy between the 2. I went straight to school after highschool and studied a Bachelor of Communication main in Public Relations. It was a three-year course and through that point I studied, labored part-time and interned so much (greater than what was required to finish my diploma).
Hands-on expertise is so essential – for each a robust understanding of the trade and to ensure it’s the profession path you need to pursue. I’m an enormous believer in ‘information is energy’ and ‘training is essential’. University teaches you construction, how you can work to deadlines, writing and modifying abilities, consideration to element, communication abilities, teamwork and presentation; all abilities that are tremendous beneficial in any job, however notably in PR.
In saying that, a big chunk of the job is predicated on expertise, contacts, networking and having a robust understanding of the media and digital panorama. These can solely be learnt on the job, so a mixture of each sensible and principle was the perfect strategy to get me into the job I needed.
Soon after college, I landed my very first job at a PR company as a PR Assistant. I remained agency-side for nearly eight years, working my method up the ladder at a number of completely different PR companies specialising in magnificence. Working for an company is certainly a grind but it surely exposes you to so many alternative manufacturers, initiatives, experiences and methods of working. It helps you perceive each magnificence and the PR trade exponentially and builds your contact base quick.
I used to be usually managing as much as seven purchasers at anyone time, so it actually gave me the publicity and expertise I wanted to develop right into a well-rounded publicist. I then jumped ship this 12 months to an in-house function with Sunday Riley. It was all the time my ambition to go in-house for a magnificence model I like, so this got here on the good time.
What challenges/hurdles have you ever confronted attending to the place you at the moment are? Can you inform us about one particularly?
There are loads of completely different sides and expectations in a PR function and juggling all of that may be difficult at occasions. We have a time period in PR technique, “all the time on”. It principally means fixed exercise to generate steady press outcomes – however as publicists, we actually are “all the time on”. We’re continuously networking and on the lookout for alternatives – even a calming scroll via Instagram can in a short time change into work.
This may be overwhelming at occasions, notably whenever you’re agency-side and dealing with completely different manufacturers and purchasers on a number of initiatives without delay. In the previous, there have usually been occasions the place I’ve labored on 5 occasions in seven days, so making time to decelerate and change off has undoubtedly been difficult.
What would you like individuals to find out about your trade/your function?
It’s not as glamorous because it appears to be like on the surface. It takes a really robust work ethic to make it in PR and the hours are very lengthy. While you usually get to have fairly unimaginable experiences the typical job doesn’t present, the work behind the scenes is arduous. You have to actually adore it. Honestly, seeing the outcomes on the finish of a marketing campaign you’ve labored so onerous to convey to life actually make it worthwhile.
What’s the perfect half about your function?
Can I sum it up with this TikTook? In all honesty, there are such a lot of elements to my function that I like! I like seeing a marketing campaign come to life from idea to execution. I like the outcomes it will possibly obtain for a model you’re really captivated with. I’m obsessive about skincare and the science behind it, so working for Sunday Riley is a dream function for me.
It’s a woman-led firm that capabilities in a really fashionable and constructive method. We’re handled as entrepreneurs in our personal market. One of the perfect elements is absolutely having the ability to personal the function, train out-of-the-box artistic pondering, check and be taught. It all the time helps to work for a model you genuinely love and whose values align with your individual.
I’ve met a great deal of inspiring model founders and ambassadors and labored with extra magnificence manufacturers than I can keep in mind. But finally, the perfect half is the groups I get to work with alongside the best way. In PR, an enormous a part of the job is networking and relationships. I really feel fortunate to have the ability to work with so many extremely gifted individuals day-after-day – together with magnificence editors, influencers, entrepreneurs, suppliers, occasion groups and extra. I get to convey to life some fairly wonderful campaigns with individuals I name my associates, so it feels unusual to name it a ‘job’ typically.
I’ve additionally been fortunate sufficient to have some unimaginable experiences through the years working in PR. Some of my favourites embody launching and managing the PR and occasions for Fenty Beauty and Rihanna’s private look in Sydney, various influencer journeys (one the place we shot a business on an plane), a helicopter trip over NYC and 24 hours on the One&Only Wolgan Valley.
What would shock individuals about your function?
Probably the quantity of labor that goes on behind the scenes. To ship that press interview, influencer publish or launch occasion usually requires months of technique, negotiations, planning, late nights, early mornings and presentation re-works. It’s an enormous course of to make sure every part we put out is true to our model DNA and values. It’s much more than only a enjoyable occasion… though that’s usually an enormous a part of it.

What abilities have served you effectively in your trade?
Taking each alternative because it comes. Attention to element and dedication. Unwavering confidence, even at occasions of uncertainty. Being adaptable and agile in all elements of the job – like balancing the workload, juggling a number of initiatives without delay and studying to pivot with the trade because it grew to become extra digital-led throughout COVID.
Plus, making certain I apply technique and clear ROI to every part I do. Not each lovely occasion yields the strongest end result. There’s undoubtedly a recipe to an efficient marketing campaign and this differs from model to model and launch to launch. It’s usually a ability to know the levers for an efficient marketing campaign.
What recommendation would you give to somebody who needs to be in a job like yours in the future?
Know what you need to do and go after it wholeheartedly. Be constructive and have a can-do angle – pleasure and starvation is an enormous plus in PR and can probably get you chosen over one other candidate. Go above and past, provide a lot in your function or internship your employers couldn’t presumably think about letting you go.
In certainly one of my first internships at a PR company, I ended up staying with them for longer than the three months required, taking up extra days if I might match it in my uni schedule. They ended up paying me for the times I labored to maintain me round – this gave me an awesome head begin within the trade.
Also, working for an company whenever you’re first beginning out is an effective way to kick begin your profession and be taught very quick. It offers you visibility and expertise in so many alternative areas of the trade.
What a couple of sensible tip?
Relationships are key on this trade, so make a very good impression on everybody you meet. Experience and a very good angle are important. Don’t count on to do a level and discover a job immediately – put your self on the market, meet individuals, do internships and make an impression.
Finally, write every part down! When being briefed by a senior or anybody for that matter, get down as many notes as potential, ask questions and know the temporary/undertaking effectively. This was one thing I learnt very early on and ut could make an enormous impression.
Read the remainder of the How I Got Here collection right here.
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About the Author: Amanda