Whether it’s telling the world about our Virgin Media O2 merger, helping to tackle the digital divide or spearheading life-changing campaigns, our corporate affairs team has been busy. We caught up with Corporate Communications Manager Erin Hayward to learn how to make campaign ideas stick and why this is a brilliant time to join the team.
What made you want to have a career in PR and communications?
I always loved news and writing. I studied International Relations at university and then entered the world of PR, working at a few communications agencies before joining the Virgin Media team.
Starting during the pandemic gave me a different perspective on the industry because this is a company that affects its customer’s day-to-day life. Whether it’s working from home or keeping entertained – our products and connectivity have been a lifeline for people. This made it such an exciting time to join.
What a fundamental time to join us. Can you share what a usual day at work looks like for you?
Honestly, every day is different. You’ll find the communications team working on news stories for national publications, connecting with journalists and creating campaigns to show how we’re making a positive impact. I can work from home when I need to get my head down and focus on a press release. On other days, I can pop into our Hammersmith office in London and collaborate with my colleagues. That element of team play is super important.
We know you were a vital part of our British Heart Foundation campaign. How did it come about?
We already do a lot of fantastic work with the organization, but I wanted to help create a PR idea that was real and would stick. Ex-football player Fabrice Muamba woke everyone’s eyes up to the effects of cardiac arrest, even when you’re a healthy athlete. Naturally, I thought pairing the two together for our mobile defibrillator campaign for front-line Virgin Media staff made a lot of sense.
Pitching the idea and being able to have the tools to run with it felt amazing. Perhaps at another company, I wouldn’t have been able to do this but here they were more than happy to support me to get the idea off the ground. It’s a campaign close to my heart (excuse the pun) because it’s the UK’s largest-ever mobile defibrillator roll-out programme.
What makes our communications team stand out from all the rest?
I’d say one of the best things is that now we’ve merged with O2, Virgin Media O2 is a brand-new company less than a year old, with a load of exciting opportunities. The work we do is incredibly rewarding.
We cover so much ground as a company. You can work on anything from sustainability to mobile, which keeps things interesting! I feel like I’m constantly learning. You also get a lot of support, which I think is important earlier on in your career.
Most importantly, there’s an incredible team culture – we work hard but we definitely have a lot of fun along the way.