Feeling supported and empowered at work has historically been lacking a little in the creative industries, particularly in the fast-paced and high-stress environs of PR.
Joining the push to make the public relations industry a kinder and more mindful sector to work in is Emma Loizidis, who has recently taken on the role of head of people for Fox Agency.
Read on for Emma’s thoughts on the importance of people power: ‘Ultimately, people drive the future of business – it’s so important for them to feel supported and secure’.
What are you most looking forward to getting stuck into as Fox Agency’s head of people?
My plan is to establish and build the people function for the business by implementing strategies to achieve its ambitious growth plans, while at the same time ensuring that the team is happy, supported, fulfilled and working together towards a shared goal.
I’m already bowled over by the culture of the business! And since I’ve joined, the amazing and talented people that make everything happen. I was looking for an opportunity where I could make a real impact on the growth and success of an exciting and thriving business, while having the creative freedom to run with my ideas.
How did the pandemic impact your work, and do you think the changes brought about by COVID-19 are here to stay?
My role completely changed during and after the pandemic. I was so used to working in an office full-time, being surrounded by people and having a constant stream of traffic at my desk. To really be effective within HR, I believe it’s all about really getting to know people. Inside and out. Building rapport and trust as well as being the most approachable person within the business.
Business culture was always built around the office – hosting face-to-face events, decorating the office, small talk while queuing for a coffee. This has all changed now as we move into a hybrid/remote way of working. I’ve had to find new ways to engage with employees, how to create a presence, and how to onboard new hires from afar. I do think these changes are here to stay and I see it as a huge positive! We can now attract amazing talent not only nationally but also globally, and teams have proved that we can still collaborate and connect no matter where we are based.
How do you keep up to date with current trends in HR and employee support – what media do you seek out?
HR changes ALL the time! And I think it’s really important. Not only for my own job satisfaction, but to ensure our employees benefit from as much support and engagement as possible, to keep abreast of current trends and changes.
I’ve learnt over time that my learning style is definitely not through studying and reading, so the best way for me to keep in touch is through podcasts, workshops and modern HR-related blogs. When I walk my dog every morning at 6am, I listen to the CIPD podcast and HR Works. I try to brush up on my employment law knowledge by attending talks and workshops hosted by law firms and employment law lawyers as well as subscribing to cool and modern blogs such as Officevibe, Workable and Snack Nation.
Why is PR/Comms such a stressful, yet special, industry, in your opinion?
I think when working in this industry, the nature of the job is to be constantly spinning multiple plates, particularly in the agency world. Employees will be working towards many deadlines often for several different clients, all of whom work very differently and have different expectations. They’re having to adapt their communication style on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis and it can sometimes feel like they’re chasing their tail!
I also think to work in this industry, employees really take pride in the work they deliver. This can often lead to a perfectionist mentality which is great, however, this can also be quite exhausting. Ultimately, passion is key! People work in this industry to express their creativity, gain a sense of purpose and to have a positive impact. This is why it is so special.
For more on looking after the mental wellbeing of the people in public relations, watch our accessmatters session with KDP Coaching & Consulting’s Katie Phillips on preventing burnout.