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5 May 2016

PR Week's 30 Under 30: Olivia Calvert

Written by: Olivia Calvert, Account Director at Edelman

Careers, Culture, News

This week, PRWeek named Olivia Calvert, Account Director at Edelman, as one of their 30 Under 30. The list, which includes a range of agency and in-house PR professionals, showcases emerging industry talent. Here’s what Olivia had to say on being selected.

“There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?””

And so begins writer David Foster Wallace’s ‘This is Water’ speech; a brief, humorous lesson on awareness. After recently being named one of PRWeek’s Top 30 Under 30, I’ve been able to take a step back and not only reflect on my PR career thus far, but also think about what I want to achieve. It was the classic question ‘Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time?’ that got me thinking.

PR is a fast-paced industry. A career path that tends to draw type-A personalities, the kind of people who thrive on pressure and constantly push themselves to achieve the best for their clients, their employer and themselves. But it’s also easy to get bogged down in the everyday – all those briefing documents, diary invites, journalist requests, review decks and campaign plans can seem never-ending.

That’s where awareness, or mindfulness, or ‘water’, comes in.

What are we all doing during the ‘day in, day out’ that will be part of the next big campaign, idea or could form next year’s Top 30 Under 30 list?

It’s difficult, but we’re the most successful when we stop getting stuck in the daily details and actively think about what we want to achieve. It’s important to carve out ‘blue sky thinking’ time, looking at how we can creatively use communications to solve business issues. We should challenge ourselves to ask questions, read constantly and draw inspiration from those around us who are successful.

It’s about balance. And it’s when we add these small daily steps together that we can create something exceptional, something we can look back on and be proud of.

To view the full 30 Under 30 list, please click here.

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