Since graduating from BU in 1999, Amanda Allan has built a career with one of the best known brands in global travel.
Amanda is Head of Brand PR for British Airways (BA), where she has particular responsibility for managing the company’s reputation across the Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East. She joined BA straight after graduating, having previously completed a six-week work placement in the company’s press office. Amanda said: “The press office, or news desk as it is known, was a great place to start out. It was a tough environment but you quickly learnt to cope with the pressures and build resilience. I would recommend that anyone wanting to work in PR and communications gets that kind of experience under their belt.”
During her time with BA, Amanda has worked on everything from partnership campaigns with the Rio OIympics to dealing with press interest following the 911 terrorist attacks. She said: “The best thing about working with a very well-known global brand can also be the worst thing. When it has a high profile there is a natural interest in what you do, which gives you a PR advantage. However, the press interest is also intense on reactive stories so it’s a double-edged coin. Although BA was privatised in 1987, there is still a sense of ownership amongst the British public and we are respectful of that.”
This week Amanda returned to campus to share her experiences with students on BU’s Global Talent Programme. She took the opportunity to set the students a challenge to develop a campaign which would support BA’s centenary celebrations, which will take place next year.
Amanda said: “It is great to be back in Bournemouth. My degree was excellent preparation for all that I have done to date and I use elements of it every day. Two of my colleagues in the BA PR team are also Bournemouth graduates, so the sense of community lives on! Since starting my career I have learnt that the soft skills, such as assertiveness, active listening and teamwork, are essential for success. I hope to be able to pass these on to students as they prepare for their next steps.”