Who are you? And what’s your job at Whiteoaks?
I’m Alex Sweeney, or internally I get called Sweeno, Sweeney, The North or Backpack… yes Backpack, who knew that wearing a normal bag to work could make such a lasting impression on some members of this lovely team at Whiteoaks. I am an Account Executive here, so spend most of my time liaising with clients and the media.
What does your daily to-do list look like?
Often varied, the day always starts with a look through the morning’s papers with the rest of the media team to identify any relevant stories that might be of interest to our clients. The rest of the day consists of client calls, pitching in stories to journalists and making fun of the rest of the team at any given opportunity. It also involves a daily football discussion, with the occasional quiz question thrown in.
What made you want to get into PR?
PR is a growing industry that is full of opportunities, its fast paced and unpredictable nature was something that I was keen to try. Working with tech clients is also interesting because you learn about things that you wouldn’t normally know existed, like big data, Internet of Things or the technology behind cyber security.
Who is your favourite brand and why?
I think my favourite brand is Red Bull, but not because I skip into work every morning thanks to a sugar filled breakfast or because it’s acceptable to have with a vodka on a big night out. I rarely drink the illuminous yellow liquid, but I do find myself spending plenty of time watching random stunt videos that are craftily placed on my social feeds, and most of the time I’m not left complaining at the end. A brand that is only associated with wacky events like the Soap Box Race and the Air Race at Ascot is always a winner in my book.
What’s your top tip for someone who wants to get into the PR industry?
Just go for it, a degree is great but not entirely necessary. There is no better way to get into PR than jumping in at the deep-end and experiencing the industry first hand and learning while you work.
How do you unwind after a day in the office?
After a day in the office on a Monday, there is no better way to unwind than to grace the turf of Farnham Leisure Leagues where a few hardy souls from Whiteoaks turn-up and play football, often ending up on the wrong side of the result – but on the rare occasion that we win, the whole office is bouncing on Tuesday. For every other day, I like to go home, put some sport (usually football or horse racing) on the TV while aimlessly scrolling through social media.
What’s your favourite anthem suggestion for Friday’s Whiteoaks Power Hour?
The Whiteoaks power hour is often left to DJ Laidback Luke Taylor, who guides the team through a musical minefield of countless classics and reggae to help us make it through that final hour on a Friday.
If you could be any character in any film, what would you be
James Bond, next question.
What’s your ideal getaway location?
My ideal getaway is somewhere warm and relaxing, where I can spend my day drinking, swimming, snoozing and eating – with some water sports thrown in, so with that in mind, maybe the Maldives.
What’s your go-to party trick?
A couple of weeks ago I would have said that I don’t have one, but it appears that I can clap my hands in an odd way – according to the rest of my team, so let’s go with that!
And finally, cheesy chips?
Forever and always.