The greasy pole; episode 5

June 6, 2007


Hailing from Feltham and born into a famous PR lineage, James is the latest Gilheany to enter the world of PR. After 6 months in financial PR, James has now changed jobs and is the fresh faced new boy at Biss Lancaster. He tells all for the latest PR and Comms profile:

What made you want to work in PR?

I have a brother and a sister who work in PR and, given we are quite a competitive clan, I always wanted to prove I could do it better than them. I also like to think I’m pretty good at talking my way out of most situations which, as I’ve found out on one or more occasions, is a vital asset in this business.

Background? [Home, education, exciting activities]

I grew up in South West London in a grim little town called Feltham – best known for its prison, which tells you everything you need to know about the area. I survived that and went to university at Nottingham Trent where I studied Politics. Outside of work I did, up until recently (points to broken leg), play football and cricket. Unfortunately, at the moment, my sporting activities begin and end with Sky Sports. I also try to do a little bit of volunteering when I can. I once guided an under 12s football team to their highest ever finish.

Coolest thing you’ve done so far in PR?

My first piece of coverage. Nothing better than seeing the fruit of your labours in black and white.

Least favourite part of job?

Can I say clients? No, I really dislike the admin side of the job. I always feel I could be doing something far more productive.

When I’m 40 I’d like to be…?

Running my own agency with my siblings – we’ve already registered the name “Close Relations”……….that is a joke, I promise.

Top tip for those who want to get into industry?

Read as much of the daily press as you can. Knowledge is power and people will notice you if you can make legitimate comments on topical issues.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

If you’re not learning, you’re not earning.

If I wasn’t in PR I’d be….?

A teacher. I love children and was lucky enough to have worked some summer schools over the last few years.

What do you find most challenging in PR?

Can I say clients again? Journos? Time management can be difficult because you are constantly having to juggle the work, the demands of your colleagues and the whims of your client.

PR hero?

As sickening as it sounds, I’m going to have to say my brother and sister. Without them I doubt I’d be in the industry.

Is there an area of PR you never want to work in, if so which?

Ha ha ha, having spent six months in Financial PR I can honestly say Hell holds no fear for me. Avoid like the plague!

How often do you read blogs? Which social networks?

I probably spend too much time on Facebook. I’ve tried to claim it’s an attempt to keep up to speed with cutting edge new media – but even I won’t swallow that bull sh**t.

Best way to get hold of you? [mobile, landline, email, Facebook, Myspace, text, letter, message in a bottle etc]

All of the above, I am a communications professional after all……

FT or Heat?

I’m loathed to say the FT but let’s face it; it is an invaluable source of information and the clients love being in it.

Grazia or Country Life?

I live with three women, so it has to be Grazia.

Cameron or Brown?

Hhhhmmmmm, getting hit by a car or being in a plane crash? Both disasters.

Running or the gym?

I will refer you to me previous Sky Sports joke.

G & T or JD & Coke?


Hagen Daz or Ben & Jerry’s?


Caffe Nero or Starbucks?

Starbucks – I don’t care how evil they’re supposed to be.

GAP or Portobello Rd?


North or South?


If I were to have a film star play me in the film of my life, it’d be…?



One Response to “The greasy pole; episode 5”

  1. Anon Says:

    Truly is a beautiful photo.

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