In the Harvard Hotseat: Jo Jamieson

Jo Jamieson

17 Dec 2014

Tell us about your role.

I look after marketing for Harvard – lead generation, campaigns, events, internal comms, PR, website, etc. – in a part-time role. Prior to having a baby last year, I ran some of our B2B accounts such as Huawei and Fujitsu.

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

A nurse. That was until I did work experience at my local hospital, and faced the daily reality of dealing with other people’s bodily fluids.

What was your first job?

I worked in a bakery. That was a good job.

What gets you up in the morning now?

The dulcet tones of my 19-month-old. Sometimes she even makes it to the morning before she kicks off.

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

Our recent award wins have been based on executing integrated campaigns that have a real impact on the bottom line of our clients’ businesses. That involves getting under the skin of the client at multiple levels, and a really broad range of very specialist skills. The agency of the future has to be able to develop those skills to an exceptionally high level.

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

Read. Get some work experience. Have an opinion.

What’s your most embarrassing career experience?

I managed to lock myself in a toilet at a client’s office once. I don’t love small spaces, so I started shouting somewhat hysterically for help, had to be rescued by the sales director and emerged onto the sales floor to a round of applause from all the lads. Not my finest hour.

What’s the best thing about working for Harvard/Chime?

The balance between hard graft and banter – I think we have it right.

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

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen.

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

Star Wars. I avoided it until I was about 33 – and I can only assume it doesn’t hold the same appeal at that age as if you were to watch it for the first time as a child.

What would be top of your Desert Island Discs list?

American Pie, by Don McLean. But really anything I can sing along to at the top of my voice. Nobody can judge me on a desert island.

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

Jamie Oliver and Mary Berry for the food. Tim Booth from James for the entertainment. Caitlin Moran for amusement. Jo Pavey for running/mummy/generally inspirational chat.

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

Erm, can I have champagne to start, red wine with my main and port after? Failing that, gin works for me at just about any time.

Tell us about your first computer (or mobile phone).

My first computer was a Commodore 64, and I spent many hours booting up Frogger via a cassette tape. My first mobile was a hefty piece of kit from Blaupunkt with an aerial that you pulled out of the top. My Dad made me take it out with me when I drove anywhere, and I thought it was the most embarrassing thing I’d ever seen.

Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp?

Depends on who I’m trying to get in touch with. Facebook is still the social network of choice for mummies; Instagram for banter with work colleagues; WhatsApp for circulating the endless stream of baby pictures to the family; and of course Twitter and LinkedIn are vital for work stuff.

Kindle or actual book?

I’m resisting the Kindle for now, like I did the iPod for years. I love the smell of bookshops and the feel of a new book.

What would you do if you weren’t working in PR?

I’d run a boutique B&B with complementary cake for guests. I absolutely love having people to stay and looking after them. I’d employ a cleaner though.