In The Harvard Hotseat: Lorna Hughes

Jo Jamieson

08 Oct 2014

Tell us about your role.
I’m a senior account manager which means I do a lot of the planning and content creation for client campaigns or projects. I’m also a main point of contact day-to-day making sure the client and the team here are happy and we’re delivering on objectives.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Like all children, I dreamed of working in B2B tech PR of course. No, sorry, that would be ridiculous.

I had three dreams: to be an Oscar-winning actress, to own a unicorn zoo (was a rough day when someone finally told six-year-old me that unicorns aren’t real) or to be a journalist.

What was your first job?
Working at a Wholefoods packing the dried fruit into those little plastic bags – wasps remain my nemesis. They’re sneaky, mean-spirited little bastards.

What gets you up in the morning now?
My phone alarm clock screeching at me from wherever I’ve dropped it in the bed – I spend the next few minutes throwing around the duvet trying to find it. What can I say? I am glamour.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in PR today?
Buy some ProPlus and get used to the taste of coffee and/or Red Bull.

What’s your most embarrassing career experience? (You may change names to protect the innocent.)
It’s not an embarrassing career experience as such, but I did have to walk to work with one shoe on the other week. A kid stood on my heel as I walked on the train. My shoe slipped off, got kicked under the train by the crowd and the station staff couldn’t get it back unless I “came back at 11am, after peak time”. Not viable. So I was left with no option other than walk in with nothing on my feet, or walk in with one shoe. I went with the latter. I totally pulled off the look.

What’s the best thing about working for Harvard/Good Relations Group?
The answer I should give: we have great clients and, across the group, there’s a range of experience in advertising, CSR, marketing, consumer, tech and so on which we can all tap into.

The truth: I work with my mates and we’re surrounded by excellent bars and pubs.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
I have three faves: Mrs Dalloway, The Great Gatsby and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

What would be top of your Desert Island Discs list?
This ages me by around 30 years, but it would be Fleetwood Mac – Rumours.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party, dead or alive?
Tina Fey for laughs, Brian Cox and Virginia Woolf for brains, Stevie Nicks for music, Henry Cavill to stare at longingly.

PR is all about boozy lunches, isn’t it? What’s your tipple?
I don’t drink… ha! Obviously that’s physically impossible as I’m in PR. I’m a massive fan of Campari.

What’s your top venue for a client lunch?
Either Little Social or Galvin @ Windows if I fancy an amazing view. Or – if they wanted something a bit more interesting – Bincho Yakitori in Soho.

What would you do if you weren’t working in PR?
If I’d stayed where I grew up, I’d be on my third marriage with four kids. But I’d live in a pretty area with very low property prices, so at least I’d own a place!

What gadget couldn’t you live without?
My phone – it’s boring but it’s true. I can’t put it down.

Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp?
Instagram – I enjoy heckling my colleague Pete Marcus as he spams us all with photos of bridges.

Where would like to go before you die?
Alaska. I want to travel from South America all the way up to Alaska – timing it so I arrive in spring to see the Northern Lights.

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