Welcome to the first post in our new series Playing My Part, showcasing the talent you don’t see on stage. Each month we introduce a different member of staff working at the Globe and ask them about their role, how they came to work here and the best bits of their job.
This month we meet Rebecca Storey, Senior Press and PR Officer (Communications Department).
Please describe your typical day
The joy of working in Theatre PR is that there is no typical day. Everything depends on the requests that come in and events that are happening around the Globe. This means my day can change in a second and I have to be able to adapt to the situation instantly. There are often tight deadlines to meet and there can be demands coming from all directions that have to be managed. My job is to make sure the Globe and its staff are portrayed as the company wishes, raising the profile and balancing the needs of the media with the needs of the organisation.
My day starts by trying to avoid the Starbucks opposite for a morning coffee (it’s my vice) on my way into the office. When I get to the office I check my emails and deal with any requests from journalists, actors and agents. I read the papers for that day and cut out anything that mentions the Globe. Some days I’ll have meetings to attend with the Globe Shop, Exhibition & Tour, Theatre department and Swan Bar to discuss upcoming events and press opportunities. Meetings with external press agencies that we are working with on projects can also take up a fair chunk of my day.
For each season we have a comprehensive PR plan for all our targeted broadcast and print media. Throughout the day I’ll be updating this with ideas and requests that have come in. I spend the afternoon placing pitches to journalists, writing press releases and arranging interviews and photo shoots with Globe actors. If it’s a day when one of our actors is being interviewed I will accompany them to make sure the journalist, photographer and actor are all happy and get what they need from the session.
How did you end up where you are today?
I have always loved theatre, performing in various amateur companies as a child, but it wasn’t until I left University that I realised I could make a career out of my passion. I studied Journalism, Film and Broadcasting at Cardiff University and became heavily involved with the student newspaper and radio station. I gained work experience placements with large PR agencies in the city and realised as a PR you could still write and work closely with journalists but also promote something you were passionate about.
My first job was as a part-time Media & PR Officer in a small arts centre. I then went on to become full time and after a few years accepted the job of Press and PR Manager at York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre Company. Two years later I made the move to London to take up my current position at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Tell us something that it would surprise people to know about your role.
I often have to take care of some weird and wonderful requests in order to make events run smoothly. I once spent a whole day worrying about a fake beard for Stephen Fry, looking into various options that could work for a photo shoot the following week!
What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Gaining peoples trust is a huge part of my job. Actors need to feel confident in the interviews I put them forward for and journalists need to know they can trust the information I am giving them. I deal with a lot of different people from actors, directors, editors and agents. Each have their own agenda and I have to make sure everyone feels like they are getting what they need.
Any highlights in your Globe career so far?
Getting Mark Rylance his first magazine cover, which was the Telegraph Magazine.
What do you enjoy most about working at the Globe?
That no day is the same. The team here are brilliant and I don’t think any other office environment would be the same as this. Every day is a laugh, even when we’re all under pressure we will find a way to make each other smile. Whether that be the Marketing team donning Crowns for the afternoon or the Press team having their hair done ‘Elizabethan style’ by the Wig department.
If someone wanted to get into a role like yours, what advice would you give them?
Try and gain as much experience as possible. Offer to help promote your local amateur dramatic productions, write articles for theatre blogs and always read the newspapers. It is highly competitive to get into theatre PR and the more initiative and experience you can show the better. Most importantly see as much theatre as you can.
Can you recommend some resources for people who would like to get into a role like yours?
Read as many newspapers, magazines and online news and arts news sources as you can. Get to know how the different publications work and follow leading arts professionals and institutions on Twitter. Read industry publications such as The Stage, Arts Professional & PR Week that will give you a glimpse into the industry. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) have a great online resource and offer networking events and short courses.
What do you strive to achieve in this role?
To gain as much coverage as I can for all aspects of the organisation. For each production I aim to have a feature in every national newspaper and weekend supplement.
Just before you go, which is your favourite play by Shakespeare and why?
Hamlet. I saw a really bad production of it when I was studying it for my A Level Theatre & Drama Studies. By tearing it apart and analysing it bit by bit I fell in love with the complexity of the characters. I then embarked on a lifelong challenge of seeing as many different productions of Hamlet as possible to compare and contrast. The Globe’s touring production of Hamlet is now in America.
We hope you have enjoyed this little snapshot into the day of a Senior Press and PR Officer at the Globe. If you have specific questions about this role please leave them in the comments below.
You can follow Rebecca’s tweets at @BecStorey.