Hill + Knowlton Strategies: Turining your passion into a business opportunity

Published: 19 Jul 2018

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Hill + Knowlton Strategies interview Rich White, an account manager from their their London team, about his recent experience of ‘going back to school’. Over the last few years, Rich has developed a real passion for aerial photography and videography, so much so that he wanted to transfer his passion and skills into a commercial opportunity for Hill + Knowlton Strategies.

When I first bought a drone in 2015, I had no idea (or intention) of where it has taken me.

I started with a clunky drone which I attached a GoPro to and quickly developed my flight skills to the point where I wanted to push myself further and improve the quality of the content I was producing.

Within 18 months my drone quickly became outdated, as with most emerging technologies.

The drone industry has changed dramatically over the last few years and DJI have emerged as clear market leaders.

And so, I bought myself a DJI Spark, the smallest drone on offer at the time.

Everyday I’m more and more astonished by the quality content such a small thing can produce.

Fast forward to May 2018 and I’m sat in a classroom attending a 3-day course to complete my qualification to conduct commercial aerial work within the UK with a drone.

This isn’t something which is taken lightly within the UK, so I quickly found out, as it is run by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) the same body which controls our airspaces and trains our airline pilots.

After rigorous theory lessons on the controlled airspace in the UK, an examination and an hour long practical assessment I nervously waited for a response – thankfully I’d passed with the equivalent of one minor!

I am now a proud owner of a ‘Permission for Commercial Operations’ or PFCO, issued by the CAA.

Fast forward again to now and I’ve attended a shoot in Madrid with Wanda, as well as an HSBC Sport shoot ahead of The Open Golf Championship in July 2018.

If I could give one piece of advice to anyone, it’s to ask your hub/training colleagues when you think of a transferable skill relevant to the business.

Hill + Knowlton Strategies is always looking to expand client offerings and a new service now sits within the network simply because I asked. On top of that, I now get to do (another) thing I love at work.


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