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22nd Sep 2018

#YourCareerIn FASHION: Account manager and fashion PR specialist Ashley Mahon

Olivia Hayes

Welcome to our brand spankin’ new career series.

Each month, we’re going to plunge into different professions and industries, and chat to the people who are killing it in their game.

Since it’s fashion month, we’re diving head first into the fashion industry. From people working behind the scenes to in front of the camera, we’re going to find out what makes them tick, how they got their start and what obstacles stood in front of them throughout their career.

For this week’s instalment, we chatted to fashion PR specialist Ashley Mahon, who is currently working for Burrell Marketing & Publicity.

1. Why did you want to work in PR?

I spent a year after I finished my Marketing degree in a job I was totally miserable in, it wasn’t what I had pictured for myself but it helped me save up some money to take the plunge and do a post graduate in PR and Event Management.

I guess what made me steer towards PR was the diversity it offered and the fact that no day is ever the same! I get bored easily and I love a challenge. I love meeting new people and learning new things and PR is 100% one of the best professions to bring you that. Plus I love all things fashion and beauty so luxury lifestyle PR was a no brainer for me!

2. You work with big name brands such as Nasty Gal, what’s the best thing about working with them?

It is hard to just pick one best thing but I think for Nasty Gal it has to be watching the brand grow from strength to strength and watching first hand in the background how exactly that happens. It was a brand I loved as a teenager and is still so reflective of my own style so it’s pretty cool that I get to work with them and I do feel so lucky.

3. Were there any obstacles in your way?

I am very lucky in the sense that it all worked out for me how I wanted it to. Of course there were super stressful interning days where I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.

My biggest obstacle was probably myself, when I became full time and took on big brands such as Nasty Gal and, there was part of me that really felt I wasn’t going to be able to manage it all along with my other clients, thinking I wasn’t experienced enough etc. I guess that is normal career fear though but it was my obstacle.

4. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

That is a hard one as I have had lots of great career advice but what does spring to mind is someone told me that to succeed in PR you must always be resilient.

It is so true and so important. Resilient in not taking everything personally or throwing in the towel when you receive more “no’s” than “yes’s.” After all, I wouldn’t be in a job I love now with a great agency if I hadn’t kept pushing my placement officer to get me an interview here.

I had received an offer for another amazing PR firm but my gut was telling me to wait and push for an interview with Burrell, thankfully by being super resilient (and probably annoying) I got my dream job!

5. And what advice would you give people wanting to get into the PR industry now?

Say yes to every little opportunity, as you never know where it might take you. Even if you feel like you’re not quite experienced enough, just take it, run with it, and work it out along the way – you might surprise yourself at what you’re capable of when thrown in at the deep end.

Get out there and meet the right people, PR really is all about relationship building. Get to know the media landscape and read as many different magazines and newspapers as you can.

6. What’s your favourite part of the job you’re in?

Seeing all of the latest collections first, getting to work on incredible projects, organising and managing events, meeting new talented people and just over all the social fun that comes along with working in PR.

7. Have you any goals for the end of the year?

Career wise I think I have them nearly all ticked off. My last one is probably to try and keep learning new things and throwing myself into more opportunities. There is always something new to learn and achieve.