Name: Clare Hamilton-Eddy
Job title: Senior Account Manager
Company you work for: Peak Communicators
Career background: I like to think of myself as a bit of a media chameleon. I started out in communications a decade ago as a journalist in the UK, moved into publishing, advertising, marketing and events, before settling in PR. I’ve worked in PR agencies in London and Vancouver for the past six years.
Career aspirations: Aside from world domination, I’d eventually like to apply my communications expertise to a worthy cause where I can really feel like I’m making a difference. If that good intention doesn’t happen or fades, I wouldn’t be against the idea of setting up shop myself.
Greatest career challenge: Starting all over again in a new country and market. I moved from London, UK, to Vancouver 18 months ago. The media landscape couldn’t be more different.
Greatest career success: Getting to pitch semi-nude shots of Ryan Kesler has to be up there.
Biggest career mistake or regret: Not asking Ryan Kesler to marry me.
Favourite PR/communications campaign: One that still stands out has to be a stunt we did for charity, Plan UK. In addition to a lot of blood, sweat and tears, it involved me herding up 12 Z-list UK celebrities in Trafalgar Square to join a professional male choir singing Christmas carols under the famous tree. The twist was that we had to gag the female celebrities. There was a reason for this other than pure weirdness: we wanted to visually represent girls and women in developing countries that don’t have a voice or rights. It was a pretty strong visual and it was a successful stunt. But it was a lot of work. I don’t think I’d be a good PA as I didn’t enjoy getting sandwiches and champagne for the high-maintenance celebrities.
PR role model: My Account Director at my old agency in London. She was a real inspiration – she was driven, focused and incredibly sharp. But she also knew how to keep things in perspective and have a lot of fun. When I was stressed or feeling overwhelmed, she would often suggest a quick shot from the pub opposite. It worked wonders and I would often have my most creative ideas at these times.
Best career advice: Work hard, listen, always try to improve, stay humble and, importantly, don’t take yourself too seriously. That’s what I try and remind myself of regularly.
Best place to ‘do coffee’ in Vancouver: I don’t do coffee. But I do wine, and lots of it. For that, I’m happy to be in any downtown lounge or bar. I’m not fussy.
Favourite journalist to pitch to: I appreciate it when producers and reporters treat you like another human being who has feelings. Devon Taylor at CKNW, Jenny Lee at the Vancouver Sun and Matt and Jeff at Metro are at the top of my Christmas card list.
Favourite website: My morning routine consists of browsing BBC Online, Vancouver Sun and the Daily Mail Online. You cannot beat the Daily Mail for horrendously bad celebrity stories.
Favourite social media site: I would like to be able to list some exotic sounding new site and lay claim to being an early adopter. But I’m not. So I will have to say that Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are my favourite social sites – in that order. I find that I have a love hate relationship with Twitter. We’re on a break this week.
Fun fact about you: I’m really good at whistling. Oh, and I can quote most of the film Titanic. Definitely good skills to have in an emergency…