26 July

Influencer Rob Kenny: "From press conferences with Naomi Campbell, to photoshoots with the Irish Rugby Team, to flying a Jetpack man down the River Liffey, I have made some pretty unique career memories already at the age of 25"

Rob Kenny, Brand Communications Manager of Publicis Dublin, part of the worldwide Publicis Groupe, is one of our recent Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations with Arranged Work Experience graduates. Always busy with a number of key responsibilities, including Head of PR & Head of Influencer Marketing, Rob took some time out of his eventful schedule to talk about his route to career success.

Rob, you are currently in a very exciting PR job. How does your work day look like? What do you enjoy most about work?

As is the exciting nature of a PR career, my day-to-day job never looks quite the same. Of course there is always the regularity of returning back to my desk and powering through emails, campaign planning, organisation, etc. However, one of the notable elements of a PR career that I love is that you are out of the office a lot. I think I need that active and ever-changing ingredient to my day-to-day life. It keeps me interested!

Whenever a campaign is live, you are out-and-about managing everything. Whether that be a media day touring media houses, running a large PR event or an intimate media dinner, an on-street activation or special build, an editorial photoshoot, a social media video filming, etc. There is something new and exciting every week.

Listing off the various activities above that are a part of my job, immediately evoke some amazing memories. From press conferences with Naomi Campbell, to photoshoots with the Irish Rugby Team (one of my favourite days) to flying a Jetpack man down the River Liffey, I have made some pretty unique career memories already at the age of 25. 

As much as it is a cliché; what I enjoy most about work is that I am spending my time on something that I am actually interested in, that I enjoy.

What would you say were the top 3 things that helped you get the career you wanted?

  1. Putting yourself out there – make the connections yourself, network, get involved, be ‘ballsy’.
  2. Internships – I interned throughout my last two summers of college in two leading PR agencies: The Communications Store in London and Fleishman Hillard in Dublin.
  3. The Fitzwilliam Institute – yes I had a 4 year Honours Bachelor’s degree in Marketing already, however we had never honed in specifically on PR in adequate detail. The detail needed to have a student ready for a career in a PR Agency.

You were a student on our Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations with Arranged Work Experience. How did this course help your career? What did you like the most about it?

Through the PR internships I completed while I was still in college, I was already confident that PR was the marketing route that I knew I wanted to pursue. However, I did not have enough of a PR focus in my degree to bring me to the level required to obtain a position as a PR Account Executive. It was actually PR legend (and the inconceivably fabulous) Rhona Blake, Managing Director of Fleishman Hillard, who told me that I needed to undergo the Fitzwilliam Institute PR Post-Grad. Rhona knew that I was not quite at AE level at the time, and that Fitzwilliam would provide me with a really strong grounding in PR and the additional experience I needed. Experience obtained through their guaranteed work placement, in addition to the course curriculum.

Would you recommend the course? Why?

Yes, I would highly recommend the course to anyone considering a career in PR. With only 3 months of lectures, it is an efficient and insightful crash course in PR & Events. All of the course lecturers come from highly established careers themselves. From past Directors in agencies such as WH PR, to political Press Officers. This experience really comes through throughout lectures, as each has relevant, individual stories to tell, allowing them to bring the lecture content to life.

The guaranteed work placement position provided by Fitzwilliam however was really the cherry on top of this experience for me. A lot of the bigger agencies only accept interns through this process, as they know that they can trust that all Fitzwilliam students have a strong grounding in PR. Personally I interviewed in 5 different agencies through Fitzwilliam and was lucky enough to be offered all 5 placements.

In the end I chose to undergo my placement with PSG Communications (now Teneo PSG), where upon completion of my placement I was hired as an Account Executive. Once you are in the door of the industry then… you’re in!

What are your plans for the future? What do you see yourself doing next?

As far as I know, now that James Kavanagh wrapped up his PR career, I am the only PR professional in Dublin who is also an ‘Influencer’ and who works in media a lot myself; whether that be freelance journalism or TV/Radio presenting slots. As exciting media and Influencer opportunities keep arising, it is often hard to juggle the workload with my marketing career. However, I’ve managed so far!

I really see myself continuing to push myself in my Marketing career, while continuing with my ‘media bits’, as I call them! Hopefully the day never comes where I am forced to choose between the two.

What tips would you give to the aspiring PR professionals out there?

Firstly decide on the remit of PR that is right for you – from Crisis Management to Consumer PR, the label PR covers off a very broad spectrum of responsibilities. I very much specialise in ‘Modern PR’, or ‘Campaign Amplification’ as we often refer to my work in Publicis. As that covers off additional areas such as Influencer Marketing, Experiential Marketing and Social Media Campaigns. As opposed to solely Traditional PR & Media Relations. 

I am lucky that Publicis Dublin provides our clients with all Marketing disciplines, from large TV ad campaigns, to Brand Strategy, to below the line marketing, to Digital Marketing, to Branding, to PR. I really enjoy watching each of the individual elements align together, ensuring each marketing communication compliments the other.

Secondly decide if you would prefer to be agency side or in-house. Personally I love agency side as I love being surrounded by a lot of likeminded people and the fast-paced environment. However, I have friends who far prefer working directly for the brand in-house and having only one client to focus on.

The next success story could be yours. Call us on 01 283 4579 or email info@fitzwilliaminstitute.ie and find out how we can help.

Now Accepting Applications:

Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations with Arranged Work Experience - Full Time - Dublin City Centre

Start Date: 19th September

Location: Dublin City Centre

Duration: 3 months in-class practical skills training + 3 months of guaranteed arranged PR work experience

Apply here