Inspirational Woman: Alex Silver | Founder, Alex Silver PR

Alex SilverMy name is Alex Silver, I founded my beauty PR agency 25 years ago and have been working in the industry ever since.

I have also been Dame Joan Collins’ UK Publicist for the last 11 years. Together with my team, we launch beauty and aesthetic brands, getting them into top publications, securing influencer endorsements, create gifting initiatives and host press events. I live in Belsize Park, North London with my daughter and new puppy Bella.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

My journey into PR was certainly not the regular one! My father was a doctor, and I grew up wanting to become a nurse. I achieved my childhood dream job and by the age of 25 was a Junior Sister in the casualty ward. Sometime later I started assisting with some healthcare PR projects and discovered my love for PR. I shocked everyone by going it alone at a young age and setting up by business from my kitchen table. I picked up some fantastic accounts and nurtured my business so that it grew to be a team of 35 people.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Of course! You don’t survive a quarter of a century in business without facing many challenges. I believe this shapes you into being an effective leader, innovator and entrepreneur. I worked all hours at the start, putting all of my efforts and funds into the business and the results began to show quickly. I started working with really exciting beauty brands and networked my socks off to deliver disruptive PR campaigns that really made a difference to people’s businesses. I built a very successful business but of course you never win every account that you pitch for. When I took time out to have my little girl, I came back to a very different market. No one thought Twitter was going to take off when it was first introduced but of course it did. I guess one of the biggest challenges in PR is staying abreast of the rapidly changing landscape. From the days of franking out press releases to lockdown PR strategies and the introduction of TikTok, the PR world has changed beyond recognition during the time I’ve been working in it. I learnt very early on that you need embrace these changes, stay with the times and have a fluid approach to your strategies. Plus, a ‘Plan B’ whilst working in Public Relations is a definite must.

You’re celebrating 25 years of Alex Silver PR – what do you think has been your biggest achievement to date?

As you can imagine, there have been so many career highlights over the years so it’s hard to big one single achievement. However, a couple of my favourite include… launching Botox into UK together with the President of the Anti-ageing Society, flying top tier beauty editors to a French winery to discover the healing properties of the grapes used in Caudalie skincare, taking Leighton Denny from truck driver to celebrity nail tech and going with him to collect his MBE and arranging for celebrities & their dogs to march to parliament to put an end to puppy farming – together with PupAid I had the law changed.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I’ve always been very competitive. I’ve always loved running and ran for my county from a young age. I think that grit, drive and determination are essential for leading a business. I’ve always dug deep and tackled challenges head on in order to succeed.

Do you have a favourite celebrity to work with?

My friend and client, the fabulous Dame Joan Collins. Her energy, vest for life and charitable endeavours are so admirable. Plus she can run upstairs in high heels quicker than me!

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I’m proud to have inspired so many young women starting their careers in PR, it’s always been so rewarding training up staff and watching them achieve and grow. Over the years, many women have started their PR careers at Alex Silver PR. I think mentoring is fantastic and I certainly subscribe to the adage that you’re never too old to learn! I didn’t have a mentor per se however I have certainly collaborated with some truly amazing female writers, campaigners, doctors, philanthropists, experts and celebrities over the years.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

Closing the pay gap! It’s shocking that in some sectors two people doing the same job role can be paid unequally. Everyone deserves to be paid fairly for their skills & time, no matter how they identify.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Trust your gut! I have a great instinct for things and have learnt to trust that feeling over the years. It takes time to learn to trust your instinct but it’s certainly an approach I use now.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

My next challenge? Trying to find a venue for our 25th anniversary party! No mean feat when you’re a party planning expert, we need something extra special, so I’ve been scoping out options. There’s so much I’d love to achieve in the future and have been busy behind the scenes prepping up ideas for once the dust from the pandemic settles.

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