Get to Know: Ben Cossor, Director

In our ‘get to know’ blog series, I’m posing a few questions to the Element team. Next up, we have Ben Cossor, one of our company Directors. 

What’s your background? 

In the early years of my career, I was laser focused on becoming a journalist, and for a moment looked set to make it as one, breaking exclusives for the Hertfordshire Mercury including a ‘black panther sighting’ and England cricket legend Nasser Hussain opening our local club’s pavilion. Headline grabbing stuff. 

Fast forward 15 years and my career has been all about ‘creating the story’ rather than reporting on them, now heading up client services as one of Element’s directors. Having run the technology PR practice at my former agency where I spent 10 years, my real passion is getting to know our clients, their founders, and their businesses, then ensuring that our entire team feels empowered to tell our clients’ stories to the world in the most authentic and creative way possible.

How would you describe your job? 

As one of our leadership team with a focus on leading client services, it is my responsibility to make sure a) we are delivering for our clients and b) our clients feel they are getting true value from our partnership. 

To me, delivery is more than just output by numbers. It’s about establishing a symbiotic relationship with clients and becoming a business partner to them, as opposed to being seen as an external PR agency. This leads to long-term partnerships that grow over time, and one of the things we are most proud of is our client retention levels. We want to become indispensable to our clients – after all, the definition of an element is ‘an essential or characteristic part of something abstract’!

I also take a great deal of pride in people management, and I am passionate about nurturing our talented team through a structured and transparent approach to  supporting each person with their individual progression and career aspirations. It must be said, as directors our job is made easier by having a team of high-performers who buy into and share our high standards!

Tell us about a memorable career moment. 

It’s not a fond one, but it certainly lives long in the memory.

We were presenting to a business as part of a competitive pitch process. As I went to pour the CEO a glass of water at the beginning of the meeting, I managed to drop the glass jug and slice open his hand there and then in the boardroom. Chaos ensued, with the team rallying to fetch blue paper towel and plasters, and proceeded to mop up the mess, and injuries, I had created. 


You’d think I’d blown our chances, but we ended up winning the pitch! It goes to show that it’s often how you respond in the face of adversity that can make all the difference.  

What does ‘Authentic Communications’ mean to you? 

The dictionary describes ‘authentic’ as ‘of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine’. When we tell our clients their communications must be authentic, we practice what we preach. We take great pride in developing original content through our dedicated content team – in an age of AI, automation and quick fixes, the importance of genuine content created by experts cannot be understated.

What would you say to people pursuing a career in PR? 

Understand the critical importance of relationships. From the client you can call for a transparent, honest conversation, to the journalist you need a last minute favour from, good relationships based on a foundation of trust and mutual respect are the number one tool you need to be successful in our world. 

What are you known for in your team?  

I like to think I am known for my discipline – from the high standards I set at work to the 5am gym sessions that set me up for success each day. Aside from that, I try to keep up with our CEO Tom Webb’s wardrobe of quarter zips (read more here), but no one can truly compete with that!

Connect with Ben on LinkedIn here


 


 

More resources

Get to Know: Ben Cossor, Director

In our ‘get to know’ blog series, I’m posing a few questions to the Element team. Next up, we have Ben Cossor, one of our company Directors.  What’s your background?  In the early years of my career, I

Read more

Is AI a problem or a solution?

Technology, like many things, is cyclical. This is never more evident than in the marketing and communications sector. There’s the hype phase, filled with buzzwords and optimism. This soon gives way to saturation, causing a sort of lethargy that gives reason to reassess go-to-market approaches. Undeterred, there

Read more