Toby Pearce, senior account executive at Bastion, tells us about his journey from British Airways to one of the biggest gaming agencies around.
How did you break into games?
Having not gone to university, I was fortunate to find my way onto an advertising graduate scheme, which led to me working as an advertising planner for British Airways. After a while, I took the leap of faith and swapped planes for games, starting work at a small PR agency and eventually finding my way to Bastion!
What has been your proudest achievement so far?
One of the first things I had ever put a business expense towards was a ticket to MCM Comic Con in 2021. I went by myself, spoke to some brilliant people and relished the opportunity to go. This year I went back to MCM, but this time was manning the Dungeons & Dragons stand as the official press contact, answering questions, rolling a few dice and helping curious adventurers get to know the brand. It was a big step, especially just in one year, and one that I am exceptionally proud of.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Having come from fairly humble PR origins, learning ways of work and getting my head around processes has been a big challenge this year. More recently, I’ve started to work with international clients and agencies, leading calls and helping coordinate between them. Admittedly, I do my superman poses and such before each call, as they still get me nervous!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
PR is such a conversational role and I love being able to chat with journalists and speak with them face-to-face. I love being able to do media meets and have even taken press out to play Dungeons & Dragons (you know who you are!). I could reel off the benefits of the game, but meeting someone you’ve emailed countlessly for the first time and then slaying some dragons with them? That’s a good time, and being able to do that as a part of my job makes it all the sweeter.
What’s your biggest ambition in games?
The long-term goal is to get even closer to the action. I’ve had the absolute privilege to work on some brands and publishers that I’m a massive fan of, and it’s exciting to think that every step forward is one step closer to a goal that only the future me knows. I hope I end up hosting some panels or round tables along the way or even GMing some games for an audience, but the ambition is to keep moving forward and see where it goes!
What advice would you give to an aspiring senior account executive?
If I could tell Past Toby three things, it would be that if you are sitting at the table, you deserve to be at the table. That you always have more time than you think, and to never bring an umbrella to a brainstorm.