‘People in PR work extremely hard’

Former journalist Ashleigh Lezard on moving to the darkside, working as a trainee sports reporter and her daily media diet.

Firstly talk us through your role and what a typical day looks like.
I’m an Account Director working mainly on the World Ocean Initiative and World Ocean Summit. We’re working to raise the profile of the initiative as a convener for governments, businesses, NGOs and innovators to discuss the opportunities in the blue economy. This also feeds into raising the profile of the World Ocean Summit, which is in March 2019 in Abu Dhabi. Obviously we want to attract the best speakers, guests and media to the event. A typical day includes coordinating activities with the Economist Events team, for example ensuring our social media programme fits into the marketing programme. I may also write a blog and/or work on a media partnership arrangement. There’s lots of variety.

Why is the World Ocean Initiative so important?
The Initiative is important because it provides a setting for high level discussion around the growing blue economy. (See more here).

You were a journalist for many years before making the transition to PR – how do those journalist skills help you in the world of comms?
Being able to structure a story and also write a reasonably readable sentence (hopefully) has been the main advantage. Also an understanding of how the newsroom works although this has changed quite a lot since I worked as a journalist!

What has surprised you most about working in PR?
People in PR, especially agency side, work extremely hard.

What’s your daily media consumption?
I read a variety of newspapers online these days – FTGuardianTimes and Telegraph. I’m also a Twitter fan; although I don’t post much myself, it’s really good for keeping up with breaking news and stories (and making you laugh). I also like reading specialist media like
Business Green and blogs which I subscribe to on Medium.

And finally, tell us something not many people know about you.
I once worked as a trainee sports reporter at Channel 5 News. I’m a big football and rugby fan. I used to watch a lot of football but my nerves can’t take it anymore (I’m a Liverpool fan). I’m looking forward to the Springboks winning the Rugby World Cup next year.

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