Can you tell us the story about your journey into this space – tell us about your career background and what brought you into the wild world of blockchain?
Life has a funny way of surprising you! I graduated with a sports journalism degree in 2020, just as COVID-19 hijacked our lives. Every last contact and potential job lead I had made during my three years at university all but dissolved. Despite having worked for national publications including The Daily Telegraph, Men’s Health, and The Cricketer Magazine, I couldn’t seem to secure a postgraduate journalism role for love nor money.
I was faced with an ultimatum; accept my fate pouring pints of cheap lager to ungrateful punters at my local taproom, or retrain as a public relations professional by returning to university to study a Masters. I opted for the latter and began applying for jobs in the industry during my studies before I stumbled across YAP Global.
I had no prior knowledge of cryptocurrencies, but I liked the look of the website, and the description of the role sounded challenging. After going through the interview process, I was offered the position in January 2021 as an Account Executive, which I have been doing alongside my Masters studies. My journey into the crypto space has been turbulent to say the least but everything happens for a reason and I’m so thrilled to be along for this crazy ride!
What does a day in the life of an Account Executive at YAP Global look like?
Account Executives are the troops on the front line in the battle to educate the masses on digital currencies. This means a lot of the day-to-day activities for our clients falls onto our shoulders, such as writing press releases, pitches, media strategies and communicating with the media to try and sell our clients’ stories the best we can. I love a cliche so it’s true that every day is a school day and no two days are the same, but it’s what keeps our work exciting.
A typical day will start with me getting up to speed on everything that happened overnight both internally at YAP Global and externally in the industry. I’ll be checking handovers from the team in the Southern Hemisphere, reading up on client chats and making a list of tasks to be done during the day. I’ll do some media monitoring to keep an eye on any client discourse and monitor what’s happening in the Twittersphere. There may be a few client calls during the day or internal catch-up meetings, so in between all that I’ll be completing outstanding tasks on the account as well as being one of the main points of contact for the client.
What is your favourite part of being a part of this industry/in this role?
I like crypto because it challenges me and you can never truly get comfortable in the industry. That may seem a little intimidating at first but ultimately you’ll never grow professionally if you restrict yourself permanently to the borders of your comfort zone. The ambition in crypto is palpable too.
There’s this infectious belief from those in the industry that they truly are contributing to an unprecedented financial revolution and are shaping the future of how we view currency. That alone is quite an exciting prospect and speaking with developers and CEOs whose voices are just loaded with passion for their projects is really charming.
It may be a far cry from the wet Tuesdays covering amateur league football in Southampton, but it’s been a challenge that has allowed me to grow professionally in a timeframe I never thought would be possible.
YAP Global has been operating through remote working since before the pandemic and the team is spread globally. How do you manage your daily schedule to communicate with the team and clients?
It’s been a blessing reuniting with the U.K. team in our Canary Wharf office, but before my relocation to London in June I was working remotely from my student residence in Southampton, which proved tricky at the best of times. I like to prioritise my to-do list by numbering the tasks, but I’ll always check in with the team to see where else I can assist if there are some gaps in my day.
It was easy enough for me to get into a routine but it’s equally important to be conscious of your colleagues’ time-zones. Also being mindful of others’ work boundaries is a must. You’d rather not jump on a call with the Southern Hemisphere team at 7am UK time when it’s 4pm Australia time and vice versa, so when organising catch-up calls, attention to detail is important. But it’s all part of the fun when working in a global team!
What personal qualities would you say are important to be a good fit for the YAP family?
Unlike most families, YAP Global truly is worldwide with team members in the U.K, Australia, Hong Kong and San Francisco to name a few spots. This means that the team pool is rich with individuals from all walks of life, backgrounds, cultures, and career aspirations. It’s really enriching being able to connect with these great people from across the globe and each team member has brought a new flavour to the banquet of talent at YAP Global.
One thing every Yapper has in common is ambition. Because of the relativity of this quality to the cryptocurrency industry – a space that thrives on developers’ ambitions to revolutionise how we view finance, I think it’s a key personality trait required to be a good fit at YAP Global. Resilience is also important given the volatility of digital currencies and in PR it’s crucial to bounce back quickly when things don’t go entirely to plan.
But on the lighter side, we’re lucky as a team to have an abundance of amiable staff who are always friendly and keen to help out. I think a sense of humour goes a long way too as it’s easy to get tangled up in the complexities of crypto which can be intense at times, so some light relief with colleagues is something that is always welcomed.
What do you love about working in PR and communications, especially in such a fast-paced, constantly evolving industry?
I’m a very physically and mentally active individual who constantly needs to be doing something. My idea of a relaxing evening is stepping out on the town with a group of friends and carousing around with some great company. I think a lot of people would describe me as quite a big presence in the room and public relations suits my personality type to a T. It’s also really rewarding when you see clients published in the press – especially those that are still establishing themselves. Knowing that you’ve contributed to their media success and growing presence is a real treat.
How do you keep your pulse on what’s going on in the blockchain/crypto space given it moves at a lightning speed?
This can definitely be challenging and I don’t think you can ever truly claim to be fully across everything that is happening in crypto. I’m sure our head of DeFi George Harrap will disagree with me on that one but I’m pretty sure his brain is just an intricate knot of high tech microchips and wires.
Since joining YAP I’ve subscribed to various DeFi newsletters – each with differing reporting styles such as Bankless, The Defiant and This Week in DeFi. The newsletters are sent as updates to my email and it’s a good way to get quick fire updates of notable activity in DeFi. Depending on the relevance I might notify the YAP team and see if any of our clients want to comment on the news.
Account Executives are also responsible for media monitoring of clients, which means each day my proverbial ears are kept pretty low to the ground to keep track of the ongoing discourse. But it’s just a case of following the right people on social media, engaging in conversations where you can and keeping a close eye on the news. Still, I’m never under the illusion that I’m across everything, so I just do what I can to keep educating myself and am constantly testing my knowledge against what the media are covering.
Any tips for those looking to work in PR and communications for emerging tech projects?
Do not be intimidated by the intricacies of the industry. Almost every contact I have that has worked in crypto or tech has proclaimed that they were never interested in the space from day one. In one way or another their life path has led them down the turbulent tunnel of digital currencies and the lightning speed and often cutthroat volatility is incredibly captivating.
If you have the desire to step out of your comfort zone and learn about the future of money then cryptocurrency is a great industry to get into. Sure, it will certainly take some time to obtain working knowledge of the many jargonistic terms thrown about and to feel totally comfortable communicating with key stakeholders. But the rewards truly are there for the taking and the unprecedented potential of digital finance promises exciting career prospects for anyone in the industry.