CAREER FILE: Equine PR and Journalism
NAME Tara Punter @tarapunterpr
JOB TITLE PR Consultant & Journalist
How long have you been a PR Consultant & Journalist?
What made you decide to go into it?
I wanted to work in the equestrian industry, without mucking out every day! I also wanted the best of both worlds – an indoor and outdoor role. The journalism side of my role is predominantly outdoors at events, seeing riders and visiting equestrian businesses and centres. The PR side is much more office based.
What qualifications did you need?
With this sort of a role, experience is a lot more important than qualifications. I did an equestrian business degree so had a lot of equestrian knowledge before I started the role. That was definitely an advantage.
Where did you study?
The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester
How long was the course and how difficult would you say it was?
3 years – parts of it were really difficult yet others not so much. It was Equine & Agricultural Business so the business aspect was tricky, particularly things like finance and law. But the equine modules were a joy, I already had a certain amount of knowledge in those modules so was just topping up. I can’t recommend it enough, I just loved learning about something I was so passionate about.
What professional qualifications did you gain?
I’ve got a 2:1 BSc (Hons) in International Equine and Agricultural Business Management (the International aspect was learning Spanish!)
What were your next steps after your qualification… what has been your career path?
Initially I had really boring full time managerial roles, gathering experience in employment and managerial knowledge to go with it. I was always doing social media for the businesses I was managing then when I started as a journalist 2 years ago, I started doing social media and website management before moving onto PR.
Describe a typical day…
I get up at about 6am every day and go to the yard. I’ll aim to muck out and ride in the morning and be back at my laptop by 8.30am when my working day will start. I’ll aim to have breakfast around 10am (protein needed so eggs!) and work through until 5/6pm in the Summer. Each day is so different, I have regular clients as well as one off clients and business owners who I run social media consultancy sessions with. One day may be article writing, the next press releases and working out how best to spend my clients budgets! Its so varied but I really love the variety.
What are the best parts of the job?
Working in an industry I love with like minded people. I also get paid to go to some amazing events, interview the world’s very best riders and help businesses that I’ve loved and looked up to for so long. It really is a dream come true.
What are the worst parts?
Really really long hours… I’ve only recently started working from 8.30-6pm because I was working all hours before and it was just exhausting. But that’s how it is in the early days of your business. I am also on the road pretty much every weekend but I love it.
What qualities do you think someone needs b?
Someone who is great with people. It’s a very social role. You have to be able to talk to a huge variety of people, chase people and nag them for interviews. So you have to have faith in what you’re doing and the confidence to get what you want.
Will this job make you rich?
Ummmm… Get back to me in a few years!
Will this job make you happy?
100%. There’s no real financial stability as such and it’s such hard work, but I’ve never been happier. Every single day I feel like the luckiest person alive, to be able to work with equestrian and rural businesses, producing beautiful content, superb journalism and social media campaigns that will get them noticed. When it all pays off and you see how happy the client is, that makes it all worth it.
Don’t give up. If you really want to do it, keep going for it. You may get knocked back first, as it’s a very desirable role but when you get there, the only way is up. And it’s oh so worth it.