TBS loves sharing amazing success stories – those inspirational women who have started at the bottom of the ladder and climbed all their way up to the top from a combination of positivity, hard work and making the most of their opportunities. Meet Maz Coote who has a brilliant story of how she started as an intern and now she’s the General Manager of Sweaty Betty PR.
From intern to General Manager of Sweaty Betty PR – what an amazing career! What attributes do you think you have that have contributed to your success?
At the end of the day – I really believe it is all about being willing to learn from your superiors, taking advice on board and using it to be better at what you do. It isn’t rocket science, I am still learning every day. My advice is and especially as an intern – if someone has taken the time to teach, critique or give you feedback whether it be negative or positive – take it on board, use it and keep on moving.
I would also say keep your ears and eyes open and watch every move of every person working around you – it’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t. Be willing to start from the bottom and work, give 250% every day of the week – and if someone asks you to open a box, steam a garment or assist on any task, treat it like it is make or break and deliver your best. See everything, every task as an opportunity.
In addition, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work in and experience just about every area of the business – from Intern, to Receptionist/PA to Showroom Coordinator before I moved into a Junior Publicist role. I knew the ins and outs of the business, how things were done – and I think it gave me good grounding as a publicist from day 1.
Why PR? What do you love about it?
No single day is the same – and especially working in an agency environment, I am lucky to have had the opportunity to work across such a vast range of brands from all different categories – from fashion to beauty and automotive. There is also a certain adrenalin involved with getting great hits for a client – whether it be on the pages of a glossy, newspaper, or a sign of the times – a really key figure instagramming @ your brand !
To be honest – no matter how small or large the hit, securing press for a client I work on has me out of my chair and excited – 7 years later it is no less a thrill and I don’t imagine it ever will be!
How do you go about encouraging women in to be leaders in your company?
I like to think and hope I lead by example and on a daily basis. The nature of it is we are time poor – it is a race against the clock every minute of every day. It is a sink or swim type business we are in – and sometimes no matter how many floaties you throw at someone, it’s just not the right position for them. The teaching really does happen on the job – and those that walk in willing to learn and listen are the ones that succeed.
One thing is – I will never sugar coat it. PR is hard work, and dirty work a lot of the time – and I am candid about this from the second a candidate sits in the interview chair.
What are some of your tips about working with the media and having successful relationships?
I think it is important to remember – be grateful for every hit you get, grateful to the Journalist, Producer or otherwise that gave it to you and say THANK YOU.
You certainly didn’t do it on your own, believe it!
I would imagine you work some pretty big hours… how do you go about reducing the risk of ‘burning out?’
It is a 24 hours a day 7 days a week job. The nature of PR is that it never stops – you can always DO more for the brands you work on (it just depends how long you can stay up – night owl tendencies will work to your advantage!! Ha) Our director, Roxy Jacenko (check out Roxy’s feature here) is testament to that, she never stops – and I think when you work alongside someone with that attitude, it become addictive to deliver above and beyond.
It isn’t for everyone – I would love to say I do Yoga 3 times a week or train for marathons in my spare time – but I would be seriously fibbing! My skins and trainers don’t get much more of an outing aside from the weekly trip to the supermarket!!!
What’s your advice for those wanting to follow in your footsteps and look at a career in PR?
INTERN – get your foot in the door, and give it your all. AND be the intern that stays until the job is done, finish what you start and own it. If you are the one running out the door at 5.00PM – then PR aint for you.
What’s one thing in your life right now that you’re passionate about?
The fabulous brands I am lucky enough to work with and delivering nothing but 250% results for them, beyond what they ever imagined PR was capable of! That is the end game. And my yoga classes ha ha ha