Our journalist of the month this month is the fantastic Thomas Swallow. Thomas is the Style and Grooming writer for The Gay UK and has a passion for grooming, fitness and fashion. He’s also the guy behind @urbanmaleuk. Here, he answers the notorious Sunny Bird PR questions…
1. What are the 5 words that best describe you?
Determined, enthusiastic, sassy, confident and well-groomed (I’m counting it as one word 😂)
2. What magazine do you love reading and why?
My favourite magazine to read is GQ. I think it’s the only male magazine that features all the things I’m passionate about but holds the side of misogyny. As a gay man I can still like fitness, grooming and fashion, without it all being geared to getting laid. You know what I mean?
3. What is your favourite book?
Sounds cliché but it will always be “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Read it in secondary school like most of the UK and completely fell in love with the book. I think it’s such an important literary piece that defines the injustice present within the world.
4. Which song makes you dance?
Avicii: Wake Me Up
5. What has been your best career moment?
Getting published for the first time and seeing my name in print. Pretty sure I cried on the phone telling my parents. Yes, I am indeed a sap!
6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Well I was at university in Newcastle, so it would probably be to invest in better fake tan. You know, orange just ain’t a look! In all honesty I’d probably just have told myself to relax more. I used to spend so much time at uni thinking of what everyone thought of me, me being gay and my appearance. The thing is there was nothing wrong with any of it and as soon as I realised that, I just became so much more of a fun-loving and confident guy.
7. Where are you happiest?
Sweden! I went on an exchange at university there for half a year and I just fell in love with the country. There’s just something about it that I find so relaxing. If I ever need to focus and get something done, I head there for a mini break. If you’ve never been, try it! Plus their summers are consistently in the mid 20s to 30s…. #JustSaying
8. Who would be your number one dinner guest be and why?
I think it would be Jake Gyllenhaal and not just because I want to marry him, although if by some chance you’re reading this, yes, I am indeed single! I just found him such an inspirational role model growing up. He has such a liberal attitude to life and he was an English major at university, so we’d at least have a starting point to planning the wedding.
9. If you could have any superpower, what power would it be and why?
I would like to be able to speak any language in the world. Sounds a bizarre one but I love travelling and making connections while doing so. Some of my best friends live in other countries and I just wish they didn’t always have to speak English for me. Currently trying to learn Spanish… it’s not going well!
10. If you had to ask us one question what would it be?
What do you consider the most enjoyable part of working in PR?
Sunny – For me it’s all about meeting inspiring new brands. We are lucky enough to be surrounded by creativity on a daily basis and creative people and I love being inspired by them.
Laura – No two days are the same in PR and I love the variety of stuff you work on. You become an expert in everything from business bartering software to the science behind snoring. You get such a breadth of knowledge working in PR – it’s great for pub quizzes!
Georgie – I love how creative we get to be in PR. Every day we are given opportunities to stretch our creative muscles, whether it’s coming up with a new angle to get our clients in press or whether it’s putting yourself into the customer’s shoes to write up a press release.
Jess – Every day is different, one day you might be working on pitching a cool new product to journalists and the next you might be hosting an event for a client. You never know where the next week is going to take you, so it certainly keeps you on your toes!
Elizabeth – The most enjoyable part of PR is that it’s all about communication and I love communicating! Whether that’s through words, graphics, events, social media, websites, radio, TV, interviews, interpretative dance, etc etc, each opportunity to connect presents a new challenge and a chance to shine!
Rachael – I love that PR is part of the media industry, so we keep up to date on what’s going on in the world and the news, not only for our clients but generally in the media too. I love spending time researching what journalists are talking about.