We caught up with UK account executive Jack Porter to find out how his sports journalism experience and enthusiasm for embracing new challenges have helped him thrive during his first year at SE10.
Jack, it’s been a fantastic year working alongside you. To start, can you share a bit about your background as a sports journalist and your journey to joining the SE10 team?
It has been a terrific experience working with SE10, and I can’t believe how fast the year has passed! While I somewhat fell into sports writing, my decision to join SE10 sparked from a desire to explore unique and stimulating opportunities for growth and development. The allure of novelty is always exciting – you just need the right people to guide you through those initial steps.
The closeness and camaraderie within the SE10 team, coupled with the open and candid nature of our initial interactions across the first few stages of the interview process, gave me a good feeling which has been affirmed by the fact that I’m answering this question a whole year on!
How do you feel your journalism background influences your approach to PR?
With the relentless news conveyor belt, there were always certain sports I was completely alien to. I had to quickly learn to adapt, research, interview, and write about a plethora of topics, teams and individual figures of which I had absolutely no prior knowledge. I feel that that my background has certainly aided my ability to research unfamiliar topics and present them accordingly. It’s about getting up to scratch quickly, but fundamentally understanding the importance of the subject matter to both the client and the desired readership.
In your transition from journalism to PR, what valuable lessons have you learned from SE10 colleagues and clients?
Both in my sports writing and in PR, the positioning of the message is always important. It’s about encapsulating what your communication aim is right off the bat, reinforcing it, and drawing the audience in. I’ve learnt to be less flowery with my language, but also to find that hook that makes copy both enjoyable to read and to write.
What are some of your highlights from your first year at SE10?
I’ve really appreciated getting to meet and know our clients. While I was still finding my feet at SE10 during my first month, I was invited to the bauma construction exhibition in Munich to meet the Manitowoc team. They were the first partners I had met in person and were courteous enough to make me feel like I had been with the company for a lot longer than I had! bauma was also the perfect environment to really experience some of the many facets of our industry. It’s kind of like starting a job at Disney and being seconded to the Magic Kingdom.
Since then, I have had the pleasure of meeting several other clients and have even test-driven a Rokbak articulated hauler. And, of course, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my colleagues more and having a good laugh whenever we meet up.
Your kindness, curiosity and open mind are among your standout qualities. What is your approach to building strong relationships with colleagues and clients?
I find that taking the time to become familiar with the unfamiliar, and sometimes simply taking the time to sit back and listen goes a long way. Everyone I work with at SE10 is interesting and has some part of their personality that stands out, or really needs to be highlighted, with no members of our team having the same background. I really like the diversity of our company.
I wish there were more Manchester United fans, however.
You are also a keen runner and have run several marathons in the last year. Tell us more about your approach to work-life balance and wellbeing and how you manage to stay so disciplined.
I’ve never really being the sporty type but I took my running up a notch during that strange period in 2020, starting off as a simple distraction. Then it became enjoyable, then a form of meditation, and finally a goal. The allure of marathons is partly rooted in the support of strangers and pepping yourself up for a challenge while remaining disciplined and pacing yourself – and of course, trying to get across the finish line. I like to think I transfer that ethos into my work life as well.
Looking ahead, what are your aspirations for your career and personal growth within the company in the coming years?
I need to get better at bowling for future team meet-ups that’s for sure. On a day-to-day basis with SE10, I would like to be considered valuable to the company and clients, reliable, and a guy who is approachable and gets things done. I also would like to show the same patience and provide opportunities to new employees as I have been privileged to have been given.