Anna, Account Manager
Why did you join Blackstock?
I was impressed by Blackstock’s expansive roster of clients, and the strong reputation of the CEO within the industry. I came from a very different PR background and was keen to gain experience within the built environment industry, and Blackstock is a cut above the rest in this area.
Describe the interview process?
I had my first interview with Andrew, Blackstock’s CEO. I was immediately impressed by his dedication to the team by personally conducting interviews and appreciated being able to find out about Blackstock direct from the horse’s mouth.
What are the three biggest things you’ve learned in the role?
- Confidence in leadership and public speaking
- Client management
- Extensive knowledge of the sector and corporate world, of which I had very little to start with
What have been some of the social highlights?
Excellent team socials, regular lunches in the best restaurants with journalists and clients and frequent visits to Ronnie Scott’s!
How does the company give back?
The company works with a range of pro-bono clients which I have the pleasure of working on, including Article 25, a humanitarian charity that supports developing countries through the built environment, the Contemporary Arts Society who deliver art strategies to places and businesses across the UK, and the Urban Land Institute, the largest network of cross-disciplinary real estate and land use experts in the world. Blackstock is also always keen to provide pro-bono advisory to start ups and companies we admire.
Can you tell us about the firm’s approach to training?
The firm takes training very seriously, which means it is able to recruit employees from a range of backgrounds and very quickly they become experts in the built environment! We have weekly training sessions with either experienced members of the team or external specialists like journalists or clients who come in to talk about their work. The sessions are accompanied by a plethora of snacks and often followed by team drinks to discuss what we’ve learnt.
What flexibility have you enjoyed in the role?
The flexibility of the specific role comes mainly with clients, where you can really play to your strengths and choose to work on the clients you feel best suited to. You also have the choice to work from home a few days a week.
What do you think makes Blackstock different from other firms?
The super smart workforce, the very social culture and team camaraderie, the ability to grow quickly and be compensated generously for hard work.
What’s been the most rewarding story you’ve worked on?
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Cadogan on its rewilding project in collaboration with Louis Vuitton and SUGi. The project saw the planting of a forest in Chelsea, and demonstrated Cadogan’s commitment to the environment and also the placemaking of the area. The exciting project gained lots of press attraction and was featured across the nationals, consumer and trade media, while providing an exemplary ESG initiative when talking to those within the industry.
How does Blackstock support junior staff?
Junior staff receive excellent training, it can sometimes feel like you’re still studying! You learn constantly and have lots of opportunities to showcase your strengths. You can move up very quickly and far sooner than at most companies, can find yourself managing clients with ease, overseen by supportive directors. Junior staff are also encouraged to attend relevant events and talks to help improve their understanding of the industry.
What has Blackstock been doing to promote engagement around ESG?
Blackstock is passionate about sustainability and social value, and will often provide advice and guidance to clients on their ESG strategies. How to improve the social and environmental impact of the world is often discussed at Blackstock, both when conversing about the wider news agenda in weekly meetings, or on the in-house podcast.