In the Harvard Hotseat: Hugo Deacon

Jo Jamieson

05 Aug 2014

Hugo’s keeping the Harvard Hotseat warm this week. Once upon a time he wanted to be a tractor driver, but these days he has his sights set on an altogether more galactic destination.

Tell us about your role.

As a senior account executive, I am in a great position where I am working across a diverse range of clients running their press office. As such I can go from pitching a story around a stunt involving crop circles in the morning to staffing a briefing with the FT about the big tech trends for the next year.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Tractor driver

What was your first job?

I am in it right now! Although if it counts I did help my neighbours renovate their house when I was a teenager.

What gets you up in the morning now?

A big can of Red Bull

What does the next three years hold for the PR industry?

A considerable amount of work by brands developing relationships with online communities, especially when reaching younger audiences. The likes of Reddit, Imgur, Twitch and YouTube will become the places to engage with people over and above traditional news outlets and old-new media such as Facebook and Twitter.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in PR today?

Read! Be it Buzzfeed, TIME, the FT or Reddit. You learn the tools, tone, stories and language to create more interesting stories with more precision, relevant to more people.

What’s the best thing about working for Harvard/Good Relations Group?

The exposure to such incredible, diverse work being done by brilliant people.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

What’s the worst film you’ve ever watched?

Star Wars The Phantom Menace – Jar Jar Binks – need I say more?!

What are you reading at the moment?

Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg

What would be top of your Desert Island Discs list?

Count Bubba – Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party, dead or alive?

Stephen Fry

Derren Brown

Tim Minchin

Miranda Kerr

and the author John Green

PR is all about boozy lunches, isn’t it? What’s your tipple?

An Old Fashioned

What’s your top venue for a client lunch?

The Swan at The Globe

Tell us about your first computer.

It was a family desktop – Windows 95 I think? I just remember playing a lot of Tetris on it.

What gadget couldn’t you live without? 

My MacBook

Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp?


Where would like to go before you die?

The international space station