In the Harvard Hotseat: George Greenspan

Jo Jamieson

28 Aug 2014

Tell us about your role. I’m an account director at Harvard PR, so I spend a lot of time working with clients on planning campaigns and ensuring we’re on track with coverage or whatever success translates to for them. Equally, I spend my time with the team, ensuring they have everything they need, writing content and generally annoying them. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? An author – I was obsessed with Enid Blyton. That, or a princess. And I have a crown now, so I’m half-way there on that one. What was your first job? Shop assistant … I got put on the tills facing the wall. Apparently I talked too much. What gets you up in the morning now? Coffee, coffee, coffee and more coffee. It really isn’t a good idea to talk to me before I’ve had any. What does the next three years hold for the PR industry? I think probably even more of a shift away from what we’d consider "traditional comms" towards integrated offerings that bring in marketing and digital even more than we already are. What advice would you give to someone starting out in PR today? Well … I really want to say ‘RUN CHILD, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE’ but I won’t. I’d tell them to know what they were letting themselves in for, this isn’t a job for someone who wants a nice 9-5 existence. So pick an area you have a real interest in and make sure you understand the word "integrated" – it’s the word of the moment. What’s your most embarrassing career experience?  It will surprise no one to know there a few. Probably the time I accidentally shared a brand new company’s announcement with a journalist instead of the company’s CEO …. Yep, that went down well. What’s the best thing about working for Harvard? I joked and said the free fruit, but it is pretty much up there. That and the people. They’re all pretty awesome. What’s the best book you’ve ever read? I should probably go with something really intellectual, but I’m going to go with My Little Princess. It was my favourite book as a little girl and I still have the same tattered copy on my shelf now. What’s the worst film you’ve ever watched? Sharknado. That said, I also watched Sharknado 2, so clearly I’m a glutton for punishment. What are you reading at the moment? I’ve just finished an incredibly black comedy – Kill Your Friends – I won’t lie to you, it’s pretty disturbing. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all, but once I’d got over all the murder and NSFW material, it was alright I guess.... What would be top of your Desert Island Discs list? This is impossible for me to choose – I have a new earworm every week and I don’t stop listening to it. Right now, it’s the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack so anyone of them. Probably the Pina Colada song. I know, my coolness knows no bounds. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party, dead or alive? Caitlin Moran, Pharrell Williams and Tom Hardy. Feminine smarts, musical genius, eye-candy. It’s the perfect combination. And they’re all alive, so you know, it could happen. PR is all about boozy lunches, isn’t it? What’s your tipple? Gin. Always, gin. What’s your top venue for a client lunch? Bob Bob Ricard – it has a champagne button. Enough said. Tell us about your first or mobile phone. I can’t even remember my first mobile phone (I think it was relatively normal Nokia), but I do remember the house one we got. It was a bloody brick. Awful. Think Dom Joly sketch. Yep, it was that big. What gadget couldn’t you live without? My mobile phone. Lame, but completely true. Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp? Instagram – at the moment. WhatsApp is a great alternative to texting, but, I hate texting on my phone so that’s out. Facebook is great for organising, but I have too many whingey friends I think… Tell us something most people don’t know about you. I really wish I had a fascinating fact here for you – like, I was the Regional Rap Champion, 2012; but, I really don’t. The only semi-interesting fact I don’t think everyone is aware of, is that I can play the drums (not amazingly, but still). Where would like to go before you die? I really want to do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I think that would be a phenomenal experience. I’d even turn my phone off for that.   Click here for other Harvard Hotseat posts.