Around the office with Rogers & Cowan's Shirley Hughes

The MD of brand and lifestyle dishes on living on the West Coast, how she spends her free time and her favorite late-night snack.

How do you start the day? 
Work starts early. A protein shake and some kind of work out — with early morning emails to get ahead of the day.

What do you check/read/look at first? 
My email, then followed by the news, weather and, of course, living in LA, the traffic report. 

What’s the required entertainment news reading? 
It typically includes Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. When flying, I catch up on pop culture news, fashion news and publications, as we do so much work in those areas. 

Is it a challenge being in comms on the West Coast when so much media is based in the east?
We have a large office in New York City, and relationships span both coasts, especially these days as so many people are virtual and we work around the clock.

What entertainment or communications leader influenced you the most?
My current boss, CEO Mark Owens. We’ve worked together for over 10 years, at two different companies, and have gone through it all. Acquisitions, upsizing, downsizing, client wins, losses, personal struggles, you name it. Mark is calm, patient and so smart. He has truly been a great mentor. 

First comms job? 
I have always been more of an integrated marketer but also have had oversight on comms efforts. My first job with this oversight was director of marketing and sales for the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau in Fargo, North Dakota/Moorhead, Minnesota. 

You always want to win — but sometimes it’s OK if you don’t.

Shirley Hughes, MD, brand and lifestyle, Rogers & Cowan

Most regrettable career moment?  
I don’t know that I’ve had one regrettable moment. I believe everything happens how it’s supposed to, and my experience has led me to where I am today. I do wish I would have been more bold with decisions earlier in my career.

What’s your go to late night work food: pizza, burgers, tacos...? 
Is wine considered a food? Usually a lighter fare like popcorn, chips or something chocolate. 

What’s your ideal day off? 
Spending time at home in the Palm Springs area with my husband, by our pool or golfing, or doing nothing. 

What is the most unexpected part of your job? 
People, whether clients or staff. I’m constantly surprised by people — both good and bad.

How do you prepare for the inevitable account win/loss?
It’s never over until it’s over, so I always try to be positive and confident, think about the situation from every angle and bulletproof it. You always want to win — but sometimes it’s OK if you don’t.

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