Jessica Riches is a social media and content strategy consultant who specialises in youth engagement for not-for-profits and brands.
Her career in digital began at university, where she played a central role in driving attendance to the fee rise protests and bringing the students’ messages into the mainstream media narrative through social media organisation. At the same time, she wrote her dissertation on the impact of social media on modern fiction and undertook a series of journalistic internships, including at the NME, Channel 4. She was instrumental in the launch of two start-up publications, high-end fashion and art magazine Arthur and Albert, and youth culture website Platform.
After leaving university, she co-ordinated the digital activity for the Hacked Off campaign. The strategy, combining outreach and content creation with bloggers, celebrities and civic groups led to a record-breaking online petition and a huge sum of emails sent to Parliament.
Jessica then moved into brand content planning at Things With Wings, the digital agency parented by B2B PR heavyweight Nelson Bostock Group and consumer PR specialists Fever. Here, her main clients were Toshiba UK and Europe and Universal Pictures, as well as being a key figure in pitches and guiding social media integration across many of the group accounts. From here, she took on digital innovation and business development as Head of Digital at 72Point, working closely with sister companies OnePoll and the SWNS Media Group.
Jessica has worked on many freelance strategy and creative consultative projects, including with The Conversation, the Nike Foundation, Fremantle Media, Channel 4, Goldsmiths University, London Barking and Dagenham Council and several smaller campaigns and start-ups.
Jessica’s thoughts on social media have been included in many media outlets worldwide, including Time Online, Reuters, the Guardian, the London Review of Books, ITV London News and BBC Radio. She appeared live on Channel 4 News discussing Twitter’s IPO with Jon Snow, has a key role in Paul Mason’s 2012 book Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere and is a central case study in 2011 documentary The Real Social Network. She was named as one of PR Week’s 30 Under 30 in 2013 at the age of 23.