CBCC member interview – Tereza Anteneova (Matysova), Operational Director, The Crowd &I

Tereza Anteneova (Matysova), a Czech British Chamber of Commerce member, talks about why storytelling is often much more important than the story itself in the media, the challenge of climbing up the career ladder for a second time and repeatedly making dreams come true.

What does your day look like?

Each day is interesting, exciting and challenging. At The Crowd &I we begin each morning by scanning the news for our clients, going through all the papers and listening to BBC Radio 4. As  PR consultants, we need to know what is going on and how we  can cover stories from our clients’ point of view. We are big advocates of good storytelling. The point is not the story itself, the point is the way you say it and the angle you are going for. You simply must have this skill especially when you run campaigns, do media training, host breakfast events or organise a client’s launches all around the world. Our days are never the same, which is the beauty of our job.

Where do you want to be in five years?

In an ideal world I’d like to stay with The Crowd &I and see it grow and support it along the way. I strongly believe in this company. My boss, Gemma Griffiths is excellent in bringing the right talent in, not just employee-wise, but client-wise too. We always ensure that clients, like ourselves, are dedicated to contributing to society. We have a number of millennial entrepreneurs on board and companies such as iZettle, Europe’s leading mobile payments company and CrunchBoards, which developed a forecast and scenario planning tool for accountants and SMEs which helps small businesses grow. Another of our clients, Debbie Wosskow, CEO of Love Home Swap, the world’s largest home exchange club also led the UK government’s recent review of the Sharing Economy. We always make sure that our work makes sense and that both our clients and ourselves work together to build a lasting legacy. 

How long have you been living in the UK?

I decided to move to London when I was 9. At that time, during the era of communism, my family and I had just completed 5 years in London. We were about to return to Prague and I said to myself: ‘Goodbye for now: but this is my home’. In 2012, I got divorced, remembered my dream and set about making it happen. I did my research, secured a good job, packed my life and my cat into a car, said goodbye to my friends, family and an outstanding career and set off across Europe. It was both exciting and terrifying!

What was the most challenging?

I don’t think I really appreciated just how challenging everything would be. I completed a grueling series of interviews, and after a year of this I was asked to relocate in three weeks! So early one morning I flew into London, saw 16 flats to rent, placed a year’s deposit on one and flew home that evening.

One other huge challenge I hadn’t considered was the psychological impact of changing roles. In Prague, I used to be a political TV news reporter. I covered elections, current affairs and presidential visits. I travelled with politicians all around the world and I interviewed the President in the White House. One day, I was at the top, a highly respected public figure. The next day, I walked into an office in London and became an office mouse. A tiny part in a huge media organisation where I had to fight to be heard and respected. And the only way out of that was to work from the bottom again despite having made it to the top in one career already. It took me another three and half years to get where I am now and to the moment where I can actually enjoy my work life again. It’s been a long road and it challenged my character and resilience.

Did it fulfill your expectations?

As you might guess, the level of the role caught me by surprise. I now know that that was fine, as I had learned something important about myself and all the key skills I’d learned and developed in Prague. In my new role in London, by looking like less I realised I was actually much more. So I worked hard, met good people, took on as many responsibilities and challenges as I could in my new job, secured three promotions, created opportunities and gradually persuaded London I had something valuable to offer to the world again.

How did this make you feel?

I learned some valuable lessons. I always knew that London was a hotbed for talent just like New York is. Some of the most talented people in the world are here. And no one is interested in what you have done so far because the competition is so great. As they say in football: ‘You are only as good as your last game’. So every day, you need to compete against the top international talent and prove your worth. It’s demanding but pushes you to new heights.

Have you got any free time?

The great thing about the The Crowd &I is that they recognise the importance of a good work life balance. So I play volleyball, visit the gym daily and explore London with my partner and friends. I still do some Czech freelance media work too: voiceovers, reporting for TV programmes and completing interviews for Prima TV when there is a big British, European or international event that is focused on London (such as Scottish devolution or a Royal baby). I am just completing my professional coaching qualifications which can be applied to business as well as to relationships and any other issues one may have. It’s very thought provoking, but is ultimately about having the skills to ask the right questions and help others with their challenges.

How would you characterise yourself in three words?

Loyal, motivated and resilient. These are core characteristics I look for in other people too. On my coaching course, I’ve been looking at the link between small steps and the big picture. I think we need to keep both of these in mind to move forward, stay focused and achieve your dreams. So for me, I have my to-do lists and my list of dreams, and I have woven each of these together to build my personal journey. It’s not been easy but I’m proud of where I am today.


“When people want something and work hard, they can make things happen and move mountains. One inch at a time.” Tereza Anteneova (Matysova)

Tereza Anteneova (Matysova) in the middle, attending Congress of Women in Prague, 2015

By Tereza Urbankova, member of the CBCC Executive Committee

We are looking for more CBCC members to be interviewed! Please email tereza.urbankova@amecfw.com if you are interested.

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