Time Fortune Europe (TFE) public affairs director Emma Gilpin is
not a fan of philosophy.
'I studied it at university as part of my history degree and I didn't
like it. It was all questions and I couldn't get any answers,' says the
former business journalist, who, after her promotion last month, now
handles all PR for EMEA across the Time and Fortune brands.
'I want answers as I'm very much results-oriented,' adds the
32-year-old, who joined TFE last May from Freud Communications.
The cover story of a recent European edition of Time magazine is headed
'Generation Europe'. It is an in-depth study of young Europeans: how
they think, work, live, their wants, fears - their philosophies.
It is well-executed journalism, as one would expect from such a
respected publication. But also refreshingly absent is an
'us-looking-at-them' bent, as is normal from wholesome all-American
publications. 'We got some good coverage,' says Gilpin, who herself
hired MORI to carry out the European research.
'I'm not one to take credit away from anyone else, but I have come up
with editorial and marketing ideas. And I think any concerns about my
role among editorial has soothed as they can see I am editorial-led, and
that my PR input only works with the journalism working alongside
The edition is certainly homemade European pie - and there's plenty more
helpings to come, claims Gilpin. 'This week's issue has an exclusive
about Stella McCartney joining Gucci,' she adds.
The editions mark Gilpin's 2001 campaign to drive the brand into the
consciousness of EMEA readers. 'We want to make Time the household name
it is in the US,' says Gilpin, who describes her relationship with TFE
husband and wife co-editors, Americans Donald and Ann Morrison, as
'It's a dream job. I come from a journalism background and I have some
excellent PR experience. I know how to pitch a good story idea to
journalists, and place it from a PR point of view,' she says.
Gilpin is blonde, somewhat suave and slightly sunkissed - a tan left
over from a diving holiday in Columbia. Her healthy complexion and
clipped tones are the product of a sophisticated, but also occasionally
tough, global upbringing.
An only child, she is the daughter of two English lecturers. She was
born in Southampton and spent long spells in Spain, Africa and then from
six to 16 in Singapore, attending a private international school. At 16,
her parents 'incarcerated' her at Malvern Girls College, Worcestershire,
she says. 'I hated it and all those horrible snobby girls,' she
After university in Bristol, Gilpin began a global jaunt as a deck-hand
on a gin palace owned by a filthy rich Italian. 'I left after ten
I hated it,' she says. As a result, her career was given a premature
start. After a short period headhunting, she became a business
journalist with Breaking The Mould magazine.
Financial News associate editor Magareta Pagano, who worked with her at
Breaking The Mould, says Gilpin's charm and knowledge of the 'American
way of thinking' and business are ideal for her present role. 'She has a
mindset which allows her to see through PR-speak. She's very good with
contacts and has a varied international background,' says Pagano,
In 1995, Gilpin was headhunted to launch The Investor, a monthly
magazine aimed at shareholders. The next year she fulfilled an ambition
to work in TV and joined CNBC as an assignment editor.
In 1997 she followed her then lover to Boston and worked as a financial
account director for the Hubbell Group PR agency: 'I love America for
its entrepreneurial, can-do spirit.'
But the romance ended, and Gilpin returned home. She joined Freud
Communications in 1999 and left just under a year later.
'While Emma was with us I think she was going through a few changes in
her life, so it wasn't a great surprise that she moved on. Her talents
also lie in a more international role than the one she had here,' said
Freud director Oliver Wheeler.
'From my CV, it seems as though I move about a bit,' says Gilpin, who,
once or twice during the interview, did cast her eyes searchingly
'I have a great job. Its bigger than me, so I am challenged all the
time, which makes me creative,' she says.
Questions about her future result in a rare silence, broken as she
ponders the meaning of life, universe, and time. 'You know how it is, as
you enter the early 30s ... Big titles seem less important. It's more to
do with the work and if it's worthwhile - if it's going to make a
difference,' she says. 'Why do you think that is?' wonders Gilpin, the
1995: Launch editor, The Investor
1997: Senior account manager, The Hubbell Group
1999: Head of corp comms, Freud Communications
2001: Director of public affairs, Time Fortune.