Engaging with investors

Clare Thomas, RPS Corporate Communications Manager

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Clare is RPS’ corporate communications manager, whose role includes a strong focus on investor relations. She creates communications around our financial results and any other announcements to the market.

QWhy is the kind of work you do at RPS important? And what does it mean to you personally?

As a listed company, it’s mandatory for us to announce our financial performance four times a year, but there will also be other important updates to give. My background is in financial PR, so I find it interesting in terms of understanding the competitive landscape, and for the company, it’s essential to be able to communicate these results effectively.

Quick Q&A

Which woman or women inspire you?

Helen Glover, the rower. She started training for the recent Olympics when her twins were six weeks old - not something I would have even contemplated when my twins were that age.

What job did you want when you were growing up?

Actually, when I was five, I wanted to be a Little Chef waitress! I actually trained to be a corporate lawyer, with a law conversion course after university.

Outside of work, what are you most proud of, and what do you do in your spare time?

I’m most proud of my kids. And when I can, I like to go skiing – I'm a qualified ski instructor.

QWhat are some of your career highlights or most exciting recent projects?

The capital markets event we did recently was really interesting, listening to and hearing from people around the business about all the diverse work that RPS does. We hadn’t done a capital markets event before this one and it was really insightful to hear from, for example, Australia, and the energy business, as well as others.

A previous career highlight of all time was getting a half-page spread in the Financial Times. This is quite hard to come by and it was for quite a small, if interesting, company. That was all down to perseverance; I kept in contact with the journalist and it was all due to building that relationship. I've still got the cutting – it's a bit faded, so it’s probably got even more orange than the Financial Times!

QWhat was the most useful thing you did to further your career?

For a previous role, it was moving to one of the biggest and most well-known financial PR agencies. It meant that I learned from, and was working with, people and mentors who were the very best, at the top of their profession. It was a great company to work for.

I'm a big advocate for letting junior members of the team into client meetings, to hear things first-hand. I went for an interview once with another company and I was told that in the first year, the junior team never meet the clients. I thought this was quite sad; you’ve got to be able to build relationships and get to know people, and to listen and learn how the process works. It’s better to hear the story of a client’s company first-hand to really understand what you, as a PR or communications advisor, are trying to do for them.

QWhat advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d also tell myself to be more confident in giving advice to clients. Women can sometimes doubt themselves, but it obviously gets easier when you’re very familiar with the topic you’re talking about.

One of my old managers told me, “You’re a PR advisor, so you’re allowed to advise your clients – you’re the expert in your field.” He encouraged me to give that advice with confidence.