Meet the Rooster: Toni Austyn

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Hello Toni, let’s start with how you got into PR…

I was fresh out of uni after graduating with a BSc in Psychology, and despite studying human behaviour for three years I still had absolutely no idea which direction I wanted to go in. I had worked on a really interesting project for my dissertation, looking at different attachment styles and how that affected emotional eating. I loved working with people and felt that PR might be something I would be interested in.

 

A few months (and hundreds of job applications) later, I stumbled across Little Red Rooster through a mutual friend. When I read more about the company, I was so impressed by the quality of clients it managed. Smeg, Freeview and Bang & Olufsen were all brands that I was familiar with, so I was very keen to get some experience. One year on and I’m still here, loving the fast-paced work environment and the clients I get to work with. And the Roosters are all right, I suppose.

 

What excites you most about your job?

As my colleague Thomas Reed says, “Coverage is King, Queen and everything in between.” There is no better feeling than getting a fantastic national hit or getting your client into a well-established magazine. It’s fantastic to see that all of your hard work has paid off!

 

Describe your happy place?

Paxos, Greece. It’s a dreamy little island just off the coast of Corfu and only accessible by boat. It is genuinely the most beautiful place I’ve been lucky enough to visit, the weather is fabulous, and the food is on a whole other level. I daydream about being back by the sea, sipping on a cocktail and reading a good old murder mystery. (Daydreaming is strictly reserved for outside working hours, obviously.)

 

Describe your work wardrobe?

My wardrobe is very “basic”. I’m a huge fan of Zara and I feel like it bridges very nicely between smart work clothes and casual and comfortable everyday wear.

 

What makes Little Red Rooster different from other PR agencies?

Little Red Rooster is a relatively small company, but when I applied for the internship, I was so impressed by the calibre of the clients. As time has gone on, the coverage is genuinely outstanding. I think the main difference between Little Red Rooster and other PR agencies is that excellent coverage is the norm, rather than an exception.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Forever keeping me grounded: “It’s PR, not ER.” It’s very easy to get caught up in deadlines, but at the end of the day, you need to deliver the best possible results for your clients, which can only be done when you’ve made time for everything throughout the day. Having said that, one of the best things about working at Little Red Rooster is that the week is always packed full – there’s never a dull moment.

 

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to work in PR?

My main piece of advice would be to apply for as many internships as you can while you’re at university. I unfortunately didn’t take this advice on board and thought I had heaps of time to get myself sorted. I’ve found that even if you have no clue what you want to do next, the best way to find out what you want to do is to find out what you don’t!

 

Choose your ultimate dinner party guest

Without a doubt, the brilliant Louis Theroux. I love his controversial documentaries and deadpan expressions and would be utterly delighted to meet him.

 

Choose your last meal…

My all-time favourite restaurant for when I really want to pig out is HonestBurgers. I am gluten-intolerant, and they do a smashing GF bun with award-winning fries. It’s not the type of food you would want to indulge in often, but would make the perfect last meal – who’s counting calories?!

 

A healthy supply of Beyond Bread pastries would also be required. The boutique, gluten-free bakery based in Islington, Fitzrovia and Selfridges has the most gorgeous selection of pastries, toasties and cakes. The gluten-free Hummingbird red velvet cupcake might also make an appearance along with a few Espresso Martinis.

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