Over the last few weeks I’ve been interviewing inspirational women, and this week is no different. Today, I pinch a few minutes with the lovely Rosalind Shimmen, who despite being in her early 20s has already set up her own PR agency and became editor of a UK-wide student magazine. She’s incredibly ambitious and hard working, and that’s reflected in her early career success. As well as that, she’s one of the sweetest women in the industry, which I’m sure has helped her get to where she is today. For anyone thinking of heading into the PR industry, she’s the perfect example of what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.
With her busy schedule, I grabbed a few minutes with her via email. Here’s what she had to say when I quizzed her on what it takes to get to where she is today.
Hello Rosalind, first of all thank you so much for chatting with me. How are you?
The pleasure is all mine. I’m good thank you, have managed to complete my “to do” list for today – Which is an achievement in itself! And I’m currently sat on the sofa in my new flat whilst my boyfriend cooks me spaghetti bolognese, life isn’t too bad.
For such a young woman, you’ve achieved so much already, from being editor for MTV’s Verge Mag and also a presenter for Verge’s YouTube, to being the boss of your own PR company – where did it all start?
Awwww thank you Blush I actually started off at Verge as an intern, my background has always been in Fashion, from studying at The Fashion Retail Academy for 3 years to working on the shop floor and securing my first full time job as a Buyers Admin Assistant for Arcadia.
So when I interned at Verge, I really took control of the Fashion content and it soon became the most popular topic for the magazine. With that I was employed as the Fashion Editor and then three months into the role the Editor at the time left and I naturally took on her position. At the ripe age of 21 I had the job title as “Editor” – Which is mad when I think about it!
A couple of months into my position as Editor I introduced a series of articles called “24 hours with…” this is where I would go around and interview influential women who were starting their own companies and ask them how they spend their 24 hours. With this I met Jenny Griffiths, Founder of the Fashion App, Snap Fashion, who I now work with. Jenny was the lovely lady who pointed out that I would be good as a Social Media, PR and Communications consultant…so here I am today!
Coming from an Editorial background, I had knowledge and experience of how PR’s work (and most importantly what they were doing wrong). The whole idea of Rosalind Shimmen PR is to bring back the personality to PR.
Never will you see me generate an automated email or promise clients something that I’m not 100% sure I can achieve. My aim is to take the Bullsh*t out of PR.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Hmm thats a tough one, can I choose 2 reasons? Or is that cheating?
Reason one: Freedom. There’s nothing more exciting than building your own dream, instead of someone else’s. Reason two: Meeting so many different people and helping them see that their future targets and dreams are possible. Being apart of that makes all the hard work, worthwhile.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Hmm, probably securing 9 clients in under 4 months – Which I pitched and secured single handily. I now have a fantastic assistant who helps me, so fingers crossed there are more amazing clients to come!
How and when did you decide to launch your own PR company?
It’s always been a dream of mine to work for myself, not for the money but more for the sense of freedom and self satisfaction.
I think it’s down to the fact that I’m an only child, who’s HATES not having something to do. I have also grown up around Entrepreneurial and supportive men. My dad owns his own company and my boyfriend has a budding business so I think growing up and being around strong minded people has rubbed off on me.
With juggling being editor of the UK’s most successful student magazine, and with your own PR company, you must have such a busy day! Can you give us an insight into your “average” day?
Cliché as it sounds, every day is different – Which I love! But typically I wake up around 6am, check my emails and social media before anything and then drag myself out of bed and to the kitchen to make my morning cup of tea (I cannot function without a cup of tea, no honestly… I can’t!)
I’m currently on the mission to grow myself a pair of abs, so I will head off to the gym and do an hour there (while hating every minute) then pick up my lovely assistant, Scarlet from the station on the way back.
The morning will be spent catching up (over the second cup of tea), checking emails, carrying out any Skype calls I have booked in and looking through the magazines for that week to see if we have gained my clients any coverage Fingers crossed
If I have any meetings booked then we will head out in the afternoon for those and if not we will both sit in the office tackling our “to do” lists. And of course, if it’s a “Thirsty Thursday” we will either go out for cocktails with one of our clients or crack open a bottle of wine in the office around 4pm (We’re still working… Promise!)
For someone hoping to follow in your footsteps, what skills would you say are essential to make it?
Hmm I would say they need to be ambitious, courageous and have a passion for what they are trying to do/achieve. No pressure ; )
Tell us about your style inspirations – you always look impeccable!
You really haven’t seen me in my lounge wear sat in front of my computer have you! Haha. But I would describe my style as simple. “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”
What motivates you?
Being able to achieve something you and your peer didn’t think you could do. And if it doesn’t work, then at least you had the courage to try – “I would rather live a life of ‘oh wells’ than ‘what if’s'”
Where do you see your career going, what’s the ultimate dream?
Obviously I would like my business to grow, however I do not want “Rosalind Shimmen PR” to become a typical large PR agency. I want to keep my team small, passionate and hard working.
My ultimate dream is to create a consultancy that everyone enjoys working for and working with.
Finally, do you have any exciting plans or projects you can share with us?
I do but I’m afraid thats strictly confidential, are you trying to get me fired? Haha.
You can find Rosalind on Twitter and Instagram: @rshimmenpr