Meet the team – Marianna Smyth

We spoke to Marianna, who is an Account Manager in our Consumer & Lifestyle team, about life at PHA and how she has found her first few months with the agency.

Q. Welcome to PHA, Marianna! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
A. I grew up in Belfast, where I studied for a Masters in Communications, Advertising, and PR at the University of Ulster before hopping across the pond to start my first job in a London PR agency. Since then, I’ve gained experience across a range of sectors from B2B technology to charity, health, and food and drink, working with a diverse mix of businesses, from tech start-ups to global brands. I love that working in PR, and particularly at an agency like PHA, can give you the opportunity to learn more about a variety of industries – no two days are ever the same and it’s certainly never boring.

Q. What have you been working on during your first few months at PHA?
A. What a crazy and unexpected year – it’s been a bit of a whirlwind! Since joining PHA, I’ve helped to launch new food and drink products, hosted a variety of media events (both physical and virtual), and ran celebrity and influencer campaigns. However, there have been a few standout moments – one example is our work with Sue Ryder, the charity for palliative, neurological, and bereavement support. At a time when death and bereavement are at the forefront of the news agenda, we’ve been working with Sue Ryder on a series of campaigns to encourage people across the UK to talk more openly about end of life care and bereavement. This has involved creating a celebrity video campaign with fashion stylist Grace Woodward and social media influencer Lottie Tomlinson, an emergency funding appeal, the unveiling of celebrity ambassador, and a survey-led media ‘moment’ focusing on the views and feelings of those bereaved during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q. Now that you know your team mates a little better, how would you describe them in three words?
A. Friendly, creative, and tenacious!

Q. What are you most excited about achieving at PHA?
A. I initially applied to The PHA Group due to the agency’s excellent reputation as media experts and clear commitment to delivering real impact for their clients through PR. I knew that I could learn a lot from the team and also add some value! There is nothing more rewarding than delivering a standout campaign or securing widespread media coverage and finding out that it has had a positive impact on the cause or business you’re working with. Even though this is part of day-to-day life at PHA, it’s still the most exciting part of working in PR and I feel like it gives me something to work towards and achieve all the time!

Q. Tell us one thing about yourself that might surprise us!
A. I once – when I was much, much younger – applied for the X Factor. I wish I was joking because I honestly can’t sing but I had unhealthy obsession with Simon Cowell and just really wanted to meet him. Needless to say, I did not. I don’t think anyone, apart from my mum, actually knows this!

Get in touch with the team