The greasy pole; episode 4

May 30, 2007

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A PR profile on the PR and Comms network can make or break your career they say… Sophie Hughes, a Senior Account Executive from Fleishman-Hillard tells all about days spent herding the Egyptian cabinet around London and her love for peach and raspberry muffins. 

What made you want to work in PR?

I started in PR – having just finished on Omnicom’s Graduate Scheme – Accelerate. A 15 month rotation programme which let me work in a variety of agencies – understanding how corporate reputation management works in its totality (PR, Investor Relations, Branding, EU Public Affairs, Employer Branding/Relations).I was lucky enough to work with Fleishman-Hillard in London and Brussels and so knew the agency was the right fit for me. I loved the excitement of all the issues based work, especially how what you are doing on a day to day level continually changes with the news agenda.

Background?

A bit of an international mongrel – I grew up in the US and have endless foreign family the Aussies, Italians and Austrians descend upon London regularly. After I settled back into London, I decided to head off and study History/History of Art at University at Nottingham and then a postgrad at Edinburgh.

Coolest thing you’ve done so far in PR?

Shepherding around half of the Egyptian cabinet at a big event in the City.

Least favourite part of job?

If your story gets spiked because of a bigger breaking news piece.

When I’m 40 I’d like to be…?

An after dinner speaker, looking back on the days when I was but an SAE.

Top tip for those who want to get into industry?

Really try to develop a full awareness of the British media environment- too many students we interview are only aware of the Guardian and its agenda.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Never mass email journalists – think about what you want you want the story to be and research the journalists who have shown an interest in the topic. It helps save you time, irritated journalists and guarantees hits.

If I wasn’t in PR I’d be….?

Hmm….good question….

What do you find most challenging in PR?

Getting clients to buy in to the strengths and promise of evolving media channels like blogging, podcasts and social networks.

PR hero?

Richard Branson

Is there an area of PR you never want to work in, if so which?

Never say never.

How often do you read blogs? Which social networks?

Um – The Guardian, Three Minds, Navigate Communications, Open House, Micro Persuasion, Gawker, Neville Hobson the list goes on …Social Networks: Facebook and LinkedIn.

Best way to get hold of you? [mobile, landline, email, Facebook, Myspace, text,letter, message in a bottle etc]

All of the above – I am pretty communications dextrous. Although Facebook has become

my latest obsession.

FT or Heat?

FT in the morning, Heat at lunchtime.

Grazia or Country Life?

Grazia – it’s a long way off to countryside retirement.

Running or the gym?

I am terrible cheater left my own devices – it has to be the gym.

G & T or JD & Coke?

G&T

Hagen Daz or Ben & Jerry’s?

Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia any day.

Caffe Nero or Starbucks?

I am not that fussy – but Starbucks peach and raspberry muffins have to
swing it.    

GAP or Portobello Rd?

Portobello – dare to be different!

North or South?

Always the south – it’s sunnier.

If I were to have a film star play me in the film of my life, it’d be…?

For comedy value – Eddie Izzard in drag.

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