It’s important to know your industry before you begin to work in it. Without experience how can you hope to succeed? I run Chloé Nelkin Consulting which specialises in bespoke PR services in art, theatre and opera. We’re really passionate about the arts and that’s why we strive to communicate the importance of culture to today’s society.
I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic and, at school, I got involved with various committees and societies. I began work experience aged 16 and secured placements at Tate and the Sir John Soane’s Museum as well as working with organisations including Christie’s and English Heritage where I returned year after year. I continued interning on and off over the next six years and it was through this that I became sure about what I wanted to do.
During my time studying at The Courtauld Institute of Art I became involved with (and then chaired) the East Wing Collection – a student run contemporary art exhibition. Through East Wing, my PR skills rapidly developed and I began to get a flavour for the industry.
I’d always known I wanted to work in art but it was through a variety of experiences in different areas of the art world that I realised PR was the job for me. I began doing some freelance work and also worked as an assistant for an artist. When a large fashion PR firm approached him, it was the natural progression that I went to work with them to do his PR from their offices.
Of course, this is only a brief version of my story but, during my Masters, I started thinking about the possibility of setting up my own company. A gallery with whom I had built up a good reputation was interested in having me handle their PR. So, in March 2010, Chloé Nelkin Consulting was born. And I had to prove myself as now my name was out there.
PR is all about relationships and connections with people. My best advice is don’t underestimate the power of good manners and follow up – old-fashioned qualities that seem to be forgotten in today’s world of business. Get to know the people you work with. If you know nothing about the people you are emailing or calling it will be apparent to them that you don’t care. The personal touch counts for a lot.
The business has expanded and I have a great team working with me now. I truly believe the reason CNC has grown is because I love my job and that is one of the things that has made the business the success it is today. It’s our attention to detail and the fact we get to know all our clients personally so that we understand what they want. As well as working with independent artists and smaller theatre companies, we also look after the likes of National Trust London, Jerwood Gallery, Guildhall Gallery, Theatre503, Opera Holland Park
We recently took offices in Soho which has enabled the team to become even closer and have a good giggle while we work behind our pink front door. We’re about to celebrate Chloé Nelkin Consulting’s 5th birthday this March – I feel confident in what we do and hope we continue to grow from strength to strength.
You can read about other creative careers by visiting the DCMS Day in the Creative Life Tumblr.