Who are you? And what’s your job at Whiteoaks?
I’m Ollie Horsley, which rolls off the tongue more easily with a silent ‘H’, but that makes me sound like a character from EastEnders. Fortunately I’m not a character from EastEnders, I’m a content creator here at Whiteoaks.
What does your daily to-do list look like?
My daily to-do list is compiled by our effervescent senior account manager Mary Fitzgerald and a quick conversation about my schedule first thing in the morning combined with a strong black coffee is an effective double-pronged approach to snapping me awake. The ensuing to-do list usually comprises writing various articles, blogs, press releases and other tech related content.
What made you want to get into PR?
I had been working in in-house B2B and B2C roles writing about everything from e-cigarettes to digital music software and even adult-oriented gadgets that come in all sorts of weird shapes and sizes. Eventually I decided to jump the fence and experience life in a PR agency. It felt quite daunting, being a bit of an outsider to the industry, but after meeting the team at Whiteoaks I knew this was a move I wanted to make.
Who is your favourite brand and why?
Skittles. I’m probably a little old for sweets, but I love the eccentricity that they convey. I’ve always had trouble deciding whether the TV ad in which everything the guy touches turns into Skittles seems like a complete nightmare or something that I really envy.
What’s your top tip for someone who wants to get into the PR industry?
As a newcomer to the PR industry after many years out in the cold (ok, just out there doing in-house roles), my top tip is to start out with the understanding that you’re not just going to land on your feet right away.
You have to put in the work and sometimes it may feel like a struggle, but it’s all part of the journey. Along the way you’ll learn stuff that will become invaluable.
My first writing gig was unpaid and secured through an ad on Gumtree, but you might have better luck finding paid experience here at Whiteoaks!
How do you unwind after a day in the office?
If the weather is nice I like to cycle or tinker with my car, usually while listening to a comedy podcast. If the weather isn’t so pleasant I can be found sipping red wine in front of the latest Netflix drama or rehearsing with my band in a converted cowshed, far away from anyone who can be offended by the cacophonies we create.
What’s your favourite anthem suggestion for Friday’s Whiteoaks Power Hour?
Speaking of cacophonies, it’s probably a blessing for everyone at Whiteoaks that I’m located in the tranquil writers’ room (where every hour is Power Hour, just without the music) because I’d probably choose something noisy by The Replacements or Japandroids.
If you could be any character in any film, what would you be?
Marty McFly. Always Marty McFly.
What’s your ideal getaway location?
Barcelona is the perfect destination. It’s a vibrant city that has everything you could wish for, including beaches, mountains and bodegas where you can cure (or extend) your hangover with a shot of vermut (vermouth). Whose round is it?
What’s your go-to party trick?
Sneaking off home without saying goodbye.
And finally, cheesy chips?
Chips and gravy, please and thank you.