In Conversation With...Rebecca Templeton
Alumnae Officer Polly Murray took some time out of the office to talk to a group of Old Girls about their careers...let's hear from Rebecca about her passion for PR.
Rebecca Templeton, Farquhar PR
Which PF memories stand out?
I remember the fire in 1991. I had a premonition the night before so I was completely prepared – my flannel was out. It was really scary, I was in the next single room down from it. We still had to go to double maths and triple Latin and we were furious!
Where did your love of media come from?
My parents ran a successful PR agency in the 1980s. In the school holidays they had me stuffing envelopes and getting mail-outs ready. I felt very grown up.
You subbed on a national paper at 16, what was that like?
I loved English and writing so I did some journalism work experience at the Daily Express. I enjoyed rewriting the readers’ letters. I was lucky enough to stay on and was trained by ‘old-school’ journalists like Ian Cole and Barry Flatman.
Did your passion for tennis start at PF?
I loved tennis with Mrs Gay. I was number 1 for the school at thirteen. At seventeen I went to Spain and qualified as a young professional tennis coach. After university, I travelled for a year and worked for Tennis Australia at the Australian Open. I coached Greg Rusedski’s team. I played my way around the world but when I returned I told my mum “I want to be a presenter”.
What did you do at the BBC?
I found 25 families around Cranleigh and the Surrey area and coached them all tennis while I worked for free at a local radio station, 96.4 The Eagle, and became their sports reporter. I went to every tennis tournament in the country including Eastbourne and got to be a news journalist. Having done my master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism, I moved to BBC World Service Radio Sport. During my secondment I moved to a job at BBC Radio 5 Live, which was fabulous. I was handed the tennis file and ran Wimbledon for BBC Radio 5 Live. I made sure the BBC had a seat in each of the commentary boxes.
Tell us more about BBC Sport Online?
I was amongst the first journalists who helped to move BBC coverage to a sports website. In 2000 we launched BBC Sport Online which became the top global sporting websites within 6 months.
Which projects were the most memorable?
I went to California to do PR for Castrol. We built a virtual reality game for top American Formula Drift Driver, Matt Powers. In a disused airfield we filmed Matt driving ‘blind’ with a headset on as he drove his own game live. It was a very dangerous set with Matt doing all the stunts and spins. The YouTube film has had millions of views. We had an insane budget. It was great fun!