This time we welcome Marta, all the way from Lake Garda to the rain-lashed streets of Manchester. Someone for whom House of Gucci is just a boring documentary about everyday life, Marta brings a unique experience of languages, culture and campaigning to our team…

Why did you join the PR world?

It all happened quite naturally really. I first dipped my toes into this world at university when I took on different roles where I had to use my communications and storytelling skills: this sparked an interest in the fields of PR and journalism.

A defining experience was definitely creating the language students’ magazine ‘Cultures Uncovered’ in my final year of university. Alongside the editorial part of the role, I had to think about how to position the magazine, what audience I wanted to target, as well as finding an overarching message that could string all the articles together. I must say, it was incredibly rewarding to see the magazine progressively come to life, from the lightbulb moment I had in the summer to the printing phase the following winter. 

Ultimately, this experience made me realise I wanted to be involved in projects that would involve crafting stories and bringing about real-life change, from shaping perceptions to protecting the reputation of an organisation. 

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I was born and raised in the north of Italy, near the beautiful Lake Garda, and moved to the UK for my degree out of pure teen rebellion. As an absolute language nerd, I really wanted to move abroad and immerse myself in a different culture – luckily UK universities are also among the best in the world!

I studied French and Russian at university, a degree that exposed me to the languages, but also the history, politics, and literature of these cultures. I then had the chance to study in Russia for eight months and work in Paris’ swanky second arrondissement for four.

I also pursued my interest in Politics during my Political Science MA, where I focused on the impact of State policies on people’s reproductive lives.  

What’s one of the most important skills you think you need to work in PR?

Other than excellent communication, one of the most important skills in PR is people skills. You need to be able to make lasting connections both with clients and the press. This doesn’t necessarily mean being excessively outgoing, but rather being able to find an alignment of interest, saying the right thing to the right person at the right time, and ultimately delivering on your promises.

What’s your ideal night out?

Nothing can beat a good rave, especially since Manchester is a haven of grimy basements and obscure electronic music! But since my uni days are over, I can just about manage 11pm, which means I’m happy to spend my weekends singing my head off with the girls at karaoke…

What do you do for fun?

I love designing and making clothes and I’m slowly working towards my self-made wardrobe. It’s taking a few years but I’ll get there eventually (if my grandma is keen to teach me more self-drafting pattern techniques).

What drew you to Manchester as a place to work and live?

After spending four years at university here, Manchester feels like home to me and I don’t really have the desire to move away. I love the city for how diverse it is both in terms of people and experiences – from high-culture events to rave nights, Michelin-starred restaurants to traditional Jamaican takeaways.

Manchester is also in the sweet spot between urban life, with its bustling city centre but easy access to the countryside, with the stunning Peak District right on our doorstep… The city offers a lot of variety which is why I’ll never get bored of it.

What are you enjoying the most about the role so far?

I’m particularly enjoying the combination of the writing and strategic side of the job. For example, drafting a news release not only entails using your writing skills to bring the facts to life, but also using your strategic mind to position it in a way that makes it compelling and newsworthy.

I love the buzz of seeing a story you’ve worked on actually generating media pickup!

What’s your greatest achievement?

Becoming fluent in Russian is pretty high up on the list. In general, I think mastering a foreign language is the most rewarding feeling I’ve ever experienced, but with Russian I remember the added satisfaction of finally being able to speak a language that sounded extremely alien and complex to me at first.

What’s the first single you bought?

It must have been “Whenever, Wherever” by Shakira… an absolute banger. And I’m not ashamed to say that it’s still at the top of my karaoke playlist, which is packed full of early-2000s nostalgia!