What has your journey into Edelman looked like and how did you get into the communications industry?
I have been with Edelman a very long time, starting out as an intern in the Edelman Sydney office before transferring off to the Edelman London team as an Account Manager in 2016. Across the two offices I have been a part of some pretty incredible teams, and worked with some amazing communications people that have kept me inspired and helped me climb the Edelman ladder to be the Director that I am today within the Brand practice.
What achievement are you most proud of?
A personal one would have to be getting to Director before age 30, which was always a goal of mine. Also the diversity in the type of work I have done throughout my career here is something I am very proud of, from attending the Mexico Grand Prix in 2018 to launch the first-ever Shell House with Ferrari, through to launching the Heineken® Greener Bar at the London E-Prix in the first year it returned here, and also following the COVID-19 pandemic.
What do you find most rewarding about the job?
It would be the diversity in the work, but also the challenging environment that we get to operate in. The communications industry is going through a huge shake up, and the role for PR is now even more important as we help companies navigate how to build trust with very different audience groups. Through my work with Heineken® I have been involved in some really incredible, and rewarding campaigns. Edelman has helped them navigate new ways of engaging with Gen Z and Gen Y consumers, by doing things differently and really digging into what is driving culture today and what can and is the brand’s role within it.
I am also really motivated by my work with Edelman Equal, our network for LGBTQIA+ employees. Since taking on the role of leading the Edelman Equal branch in the UK, I have felt such a thrill being involved in some really important and necessary conversations around redefining gendered spaces and driving awareness for the importance of trans-rights within our office.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced throughout your time at Edelman?
Sometimes being in a client services industry can be challenging, especially when you must remember that while we work for the brand it is not our brand. I think the most challenging things I have had to face is remembering that we can only advice and counsel and sometimes we need to step back and let our clients forge their own paths, even if we don’t always 100% agree with it. But, we can be there to support and counsel regardless of the outcome.
How do you stay motivated?
By trying to find ways to weave in what matters to me in my personal life into the work that I am doing. I am a huge film and entertainment lover, and being able to work with our partners in UEG to bring new partnerships to our clients that align with my interests keeps me motivated. Also, being able to see my team members grow and stretch themselves, like I did when I was more junior is really rewarding and motivating in itself.
If you could offer one piece of advice to someone considering a role in the Brand team at Edelman, what would it be?
Be passionate about the communications industry, and don’t be afraid to challenge and provide your perspective in order to tackle a client brief or task. We are all consumers at the end of the day, so it is important to think about whether or not the work you are developing for clients is something that would interest, engage and even convince you to engage with the brand. Communications people are still people, so don’t forget that.
What do you do outside of work to relax?
Outside of work you will either see me at the cinema or the London Film Festival catching the latest films from around the world, or in the park with my five year old German Shepherd x dog, who is the best at home colleague I could ask for.
Ethan Tuxford is a Director in the London Brand team.