“What is my job about”- Senior PR Manager
By Sophie Watson
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got interested in the PR and Marketing field?
I am one of the Spark cases who found their passion while working for the company – I got interested in PR and Marketing as a result of landing a Spark internship back in 2014.
I’ve always enjoyed writing and was thrilled to join the Content team and start a job doing something I love. What I didn’t expect was how much I would grow to relish the marketing aspect.
I found I loved learning about how to optimize articles so they rank on Google. I loved finding out how to back up the advice in those articles with statistics and facts about dating. And I really loved discovering how to share those trends with a wider audience. The first time you see your brand’s research featured in a major news article is a rush like no other!
What is your role at Spark and how have you developed over the years?
I’m the Senior PR Manager at Spark, which means I run consumer and corporate digital PR. I do research to find trends and shareable dating statistics, write press releases, assist journalists with interview requests, send news tips, and help build visibility for Spark and our brands.
However, my role has changed a lot during my time with the company. I started out as an intern writing dating advice for the EliteSingles magazine in New Zealand. I then switched to managing the Canadian EliteSingles magazine, writing articles, and planning the content strategy.
Next up came an editorial stint overhauling Believe, the Christian Mingle magazine. This involved reading 9000 archived articles to decide which ones were still relevant, optimizing those to be more SEO-friendly, sorting them into categories, and relaunching the new Believe.
Over my years creating content, I found that no matter which brand I was writing for, adding statistics made the articles stronger. It became natural to promote this research by reaching out to external sites to see if it was useful for their articles too.
After we acquired Zoosk, the clear next step was to take this part of my role further, leveraging what I had learned about dating and news trends to help promote Zoosk – and all of Spark’s brands – to a wider audience.
What daily challenges do you face?
This role is a rapidly changing one where your tasks are never the same from one day to the next. You’ll show up to work with a to-do list, see that a certain brand has made headlines or that someone has urgent news to share, and have to pivot immediately to the new topic at hand.
It’s really exciting – but it does require flexibility, good communication, and the ability to make quick decisions about what to prioritize.
What inspires you?
Unusual marketing and press efforts are always inspiring – anything that makes you want to hit the share button and tell all your friends. I love that this discipline rewards creative thinking and that the weirdest ideas can be the ones to set new industry benchmarks.
I also find our brands’ Success Stories to be incredibly motivating. There is something so special about knowing that you are part of a company helping real people find life-changing love.
What are your tips for being successful in what you do?
Read as much you can. Read websites, read social media, read the news from home and the news from other countries. The more you understand about what’s topical, the easier it is to spark ideas for press releases that will resonate with the right audience.
Also, try and build connections beyond just your immediate team. Maybe the next great PR idea will come from your own work, or maybe it will be from the Product team, or the Brand team, or the Marketing team, or any of the talented people around you. By forging as many genuine connections as you can, you expand your horizons, your knowledge of your industry, and your chances of creating something great. Plus, there’s a bonus: at Spark, you often make real friends at the same time.