Kelly Double, Acting Head of PR + Content at Ingenuity

Oh Friday, it’s good to see you.

I am hot on the heels of client meetings today and did I mention I am writing book three, well yup, and it’s head down and fingers to keyboard for that.

I can, however, tell you that my Day in the Life series is ongoing and today it is Kelly Double from Ingenuity and it’s a great read, let me know what you think.

Tell me about you and your business.

Ingenuity is the UK’s leading business consultancy – we help great brands and leading agencies build relationships… doesn’t sound much like a PR business I know. But, bear with me. Where the PR team comes in is driving commercially + growth driven comms strategies for our marketing agency clients. We’re the masters of driving awareness for agencies with a brand audience at the point of publication and delivering coverage that is the perfect sales asset. It’s marketing for marketing… but we all know what they say about cobblers’ shoes. 

What is your morning routine before you get to your desk?

I’ve been listening to the Today show on Radio 4 before work my whole career… I used to tune in from the bus, but now it wakes me up (courtesy of Alexa) and reverberates from different speakers around the house until my first call of the day.

Once or twice a week I go for a run, on the other, lazier and usually rainier days I do a few boring bits around the house.

Then I check my emails and calendar on my phone as I have my tea and crumpets.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to your desk?

As we’re still largely working from home, I light my desk candle then check Campaign, PR Week and The Times… then usually have some reviews for the team or a deck to work on before I dive into meetings.

Tongue in cheek question, what does a typical day look like for you?

A clear diary with lots of scheduled breaks. A girl can dream. 

How have you kept your business on track over the past year and dealt with the impact of COVID?

There were some tough times last year, but we never sat still. It gave us the chance to do a bit of navel-gazing, look at our proposition and come out stronger. It’s paying off. Perseverance is key and we did a good job as improving our cross sell across the business. Shout out to Chris Kemp, Ingenuity’s CEO who not only works tirelessly to keep leads coming into the business, but is an amazing support and sounding board.

What do you see as the biggest challenges for PR at the moment?

The shrinking media landscape – which is nothing new. As B2B PR specialists, we do a lot of work with trade + vertical media titles both of which have been hit hard in terms of falling ad spend. Many titles are disappearing or moving to a paid-for model which obviously somewhat undermines the integrity of earned media. However, we’ve also seen heaps of new opportunities open up too – new podcasts, video interviews, panels – it’s all about making sure you’re geared up to support your clients in finding and making the most of these, away from more traditional press coverage. 

Winning new business was hard last year for one very obvious reason, but I actually think there’s a huge opportunity for PR now – particularly B2B. I wrote a year ago about how important it is for businesses to invest in comms in the face of economic adversity and if the beginning of this year is anything to go by businesses seem to agree… We’ve kicked off with loads of new clients since the beginning of the year and speaking to industry peers we’re not the only ones. However, the challenges here are around delivering value quickly (in the context of a shrinking media landscape) and getting buy in from clients for the long term.

What are the non-negotiables for you in your business?

A healthy sense of perspective and balance for the team while still delivering above and beyond for our clients.

We know working in PR can be stressful, how do you look after yourself, as well as your clients?

Listening to my body when it says I need a break – taking the time to get some fresh air away from my desk makes my brain work better. Even if I’m taking calls a change of scenery is invaluable.

What plans do you have for 2021?

Bigger and better coverage for our clients, new team members, a little more commuting and face time – I miss the space to think that a journey gives you.

What advice would you have for someone looking to start a PR career?

Read everything, become obsessed by media and new formats. Never underestimate the value of your fresh ideas.

What motto do you live and work by?

Ohhh I’m not really into mottos… but I do try to live my life unashamedly as myself.

Thank you, Kelly and happy weekend to you all.

Natalie

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