PRWeek UK 30 Under 30: Indigo Le Fèvre, The Romans

We hear from Indigo Le Fèvre (29), senior account director, The Romans.

"An inspirational leader and colleague who marries commercial acumen with actually giving a shit" – that's how Le Fèvre's employer describes the talented comms pro, who delivered more than £1m in new business over 12 months "without breaking a sweat". She now runs the biggest portfolio of clients at The Romans. A trained Mental Health First Aider, Le Fèvre also singlehandedly developed and delivered the agency's Mental Wellness Programme.

Indigo Le Fèvre, PR Week #30Under30 from The Romans on Vimeo.

Meet the PRWeek 30 Under 30 2020

Judge's comment: "Indigo's nomination really stood out, not just because of all she's achieved in her role, but all the other things she's done outside of her role which demonstrate real leadership qualities."

How does working in PR differ from your expectations?

Expectation: regular boozy lunches, loads of ‘stunts’, maybe a ‘flash mob’, free products, easy coverage and the occasional C-list celebrity photoshoot somewhere ‘cool’.

Reality: an industry fuelled by tenacious, savvy, endlessly creative brains that harness the power of brands to deliver genuinely meaningful, impactful work. The occasional celeb photoshoot, but lucky to have never floated anything down the Thames.

Describe your experience of working in PR during the COVID-19 crisis.

I’ve experienced a real elevation of compassion – for colleagues, clients and, ultimately, the consumers we’re trying to reach. It’s been very humanising, which has naturally impacted the conversations we’re having and the work we’re delivering.

I’ve also felt a heightened duty of care for my teams. Working remotely is weird, but I’ve never felt closer to my colleagues, despite the physical distance. Ensuring I’m attuned to their emotional state, how they’re managing, and what I can do to support them has been a huge priority for me. People first, work second – as it should be.

How (if at all) will the COVID-19 crisis change the PR industry?

Consumers are more outspoken than ever before – and rightly so – which means it’s no longer acceptable to talk ‘at’ them. Now, we listen and respond. For us to truly connect, there’s a renewed responsibility for us to be culturally aware and tonally sensitive. It’s vital we’re tuning in to the mood of the nation and responding appropriately, both as brand advisors and fellow humans. Patience for tone-deaf brand behaviour is running thin; performative statements won’t cut it. With all this in mind, PR’s role is set to become even more pivotal. A challenging prospect? Absolutely. But an exciting and important one, too.

What one thing above all would you change about the PR industry?

Only one? I can think of plenty. Let’s compromise on three.

  1. Diversity. The PR workforce is largely misrepresentative of the audiences we look to reach, as well as the mediums and sources of culture we take inspiration from in order to engage them.
  2. Mental health. I still hear agencies referred to as ‘sweat shops’ and stories of AEs reduced to tears for not getting coverage. Madness. Enough of that – let’s be an industry that cares about its people.
  3. Reputation. Don’t get me wrong, I love the canonised stereotype of Ab Fab’s Eddy (regrettably, my mum always said I was a bit of Saffy), but it’s not reflective of our industry. The ‘PR girls’ of yesteryear are the comms leaders of both our present and future – it’s time other comms disciplines saw and appreciated PR’s value.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Practising all the things that are important to me: kindness, mental wellness, diversity and inclusivity, and the importance of truly nurturing junior talent. Likely making lots of mistakes along the way, but consistently listening, learning, growing – and, hopefully, making a difference as a result. Dog-friendly work environment essential.

How do you switch off from work?

In ‘old normal’ times, you’d find me enjoying some form of theatre. I find it really fuels me, both personally and professionally; allowing myself to switch off from one reality so I can get lost in another. Needless to say, I’m a bit lost without it at the moment, but engaging in all the digital offerings as much as possible.

What is your 'side hustle'?

Is PRWeek looking for a theatre critic?

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