Ginny Paton began her PR career in Manchester in the early nineties at consumer agency Communique.
Ginny Paton then joined Jackie Cooper PR in London, running campaigns for well-known food and beverage brands including Mars, Coca Cola and Diageo and took on a pan-agency role as Client Services Director.
After seven years Ginny Paton moved to Henry’s House, as Deputy Managing Director, running the brands division and working on consumer brands like Absolut Vodka, FHM, Channel 4, the Honda Formula 1 Racing Team and Virgin. In 2009, Ginny took over ownership of the agency with business partner, Sam Oxley.
Ginny Paton’s personal career highlights including launching Virgin Media with Richard Branson in a giant perspex box in Covent Garden; watching Jenson Button win his first Grand Prix for the Honda F1 Racing team and handling all the ensuing ferocious interest in him; and launching the Huffington Post in the UK with a stellar panel debating the “democratisation of content”.
Getting To Know Ginny Paton:
What has been your House PR career highlight to date?
Ginny Paton: So many. I truly love all the campaigns we’re involved with. The diversity of the campaigns we’ve been involved with keep life very interesting but I would highlight:
- Getting 2 million people to sign up for Christmas Jumper Day for Save the Children, following a PR and social campaign for which we were commended at the PRCA Awards
- Boosting traffic to the THORPE PARK website by 400% following coverage on the Jonathan Ross Show when we dared him to be the first to ride the Swarm
- Launching Virgin Media with Richard Branson in a big Perspex box in Covent Garden.
- Watching Jenson Button win his first Grand Prix while driving for the Honda F1 Racing team and handling all the ensuing ferocious interest in him.
- Launching the Huffington Post in the UK with a stellar panel debating the “democratisation of content”.
- Most importantly Arianna Huffington said she liked my dress.
- Revealing Kate Moss as the face and body of St Tropez for PZ Cussons Beauty – with the world’s media calling us for updates.
- Launching the World’s Largest Rugby Ball for Tourism New Zealand which involved three photocalls in one day: one with the All Blacks, the next with Boris Johnson and the final one with the Queen!
- Visiting 10 Downing Street to start the “Mile in High Heels” walk with Sam Cam on behalf of Save the Children and getting to have a nosey around the Cabinet Room.
- Backstage at T4 on the Beach every year for seven years.
- Watching Peter Andre fall off the stage and then – once we’d established he was OK – being delighted at how much coverage it would get for the event.
Which campaigns that you worked on at House PR / that House PR worked on generally are you most proud of?
Ginny Paton: Some of the above plus proving that 34 is the age at which women feel most comfortable naked. A great example of extremely cost effective media relations that caught the attention of the media and resulted in dps coverage in the Sun, The Star and Mail.
What’s the best thing about running your own agency?
Ginny Paton: The joy of spotting and nurturing talent. Giving people opportunities and support and watching them fly. That and not having to ask anyone if you can have the day off.
What’s the best thing about being in PR generally?
Ginny Paton: Always varied. No two days are ever the same.
What’s your PR industry bugbear?
Ginny Paton: People who are late for meetings that turn up with a coffee.
What single piece of advice would you give to anyone starting out in PR?
Ginny Paton: Say yes. Unless there’s a very good reason for saying no, then try and take every opportunity that you’re offered. Meet as many people as possible as you never know where those relationships will take you. Work hard – put your hand up for the early mornings and late nights – it shows commitment and will get you noticed.