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From early on, Abigail Netcott, a marketing and PR specialist from Plymouth, felt drawn to London.
After attending Devonport High School for Girls, Abigail relocated to the capital, which marked the start of a varied but highly successful career; a career, she says, that has been enhanced by studying at City College Plymouth and the University of Plymouth. Now working as the Marketing and Development Manager at The Box in Plymouth, Abigail says her decision to study for a Foundation Degree was one of the best ones she has ever made.
Abigail’s PR career started in a commercial environment and involved running successful campaigns for some of the world’s largest organisations, including Virgin Retail and Yahoo, before she moved into entertainment PR. Abigail took the lead on PR initiatives for many big-name clients, such as the Enid Blyton Company, William Morris Agency and Tony Kaye’s advertising agency – among others; however, she developed a passion for film PR after working on the hugely successful release campaign for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Abigail then joined a specialist agency to run the release campaigns for a whole host of films, including East is East, American Beauty, Chicken Run and Almost Famous.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent working in entertainment PR. I had some amazing experiences and met some great people; however, I started to feel that I could use my skills in a more meaningful way, and this was coupled with the desire to spend more time in my home city. In 2006, I joined Business in the Community (BiTC), a business-led charity that runs community investment programmes. It was a privilege to be in a position where I was helping empower and facilitate businesses in order to create partnerships and combine resources to achieve social improvement for some of the most vulnerable groups in the UK.”
While working for BiTC, Abigail’s time was s
plit between Plymouth and London until she made the decision to return home full-time and retrain in finance. Abigail joined Plymouth Community Homes in 2009, where she worked as a management accountant for almost eight years. In 2014, Abigail decided to study for a Foundation Degree in Business Management, which she completed at City College Plymouth before doing the top-up year at the University of Plymouth.
Abigail added: “After many years in the workplace, I realised I wanted to return to education and have the chance to study the theory behind the different practices I had experienced in my work.
“I decided to do my degree while working full-time. It was a stretch, but I received a phenomenal amount of support from my tutors at both the College and Plymouth University. I chose City College because it enabled me to work and study in the same location, and the course provided me with a much deeper understanding about some of the decisions I made during my career.
“I received an incredible amount of support from my then employers – Plymouth Community Homes – which has a great working relationship with the College. The teaching staff were all very approachable and the regular contact with them made me feel supported throughout.
“The prospect of going to college or university as a mature student can seem quite terrifying, but it is one of the best things I did. If it’s something you really want to do then you can make it happen.”
Abigail is now driving the marketing campaign for the largest museum and art gallery opening in the UK in 2020, with a remit to make it the most compelling and high-profile cultural initiative of the year. Abigail’s aim is to bring the world to Plymouth and Plymouth to the world.
The Box will boast a unique exhibition programme that integrates contemporary and historic arts and heritage in order to bring the past to life through high-quality, well-researched and imaginative displays that will play a major role in the city’s Mayflower 400 celebrations.