PRWeek UK 30 Under 30: Rebecca Parlby, Lansons

We hear from Rebecca Parlby (29), account director, Lansons.

PRWeek UK 30 Under 30: Rebecca Parlby, Lansons

Parlby was recently described by the CMO of a leading fintech firm as having "so much passion it is just palpable", and Lansons says her authenticity and love for the job shines through in everything she does. To give just one example, Parlby advised on The Royal Mint's announcement that within 48 hours it had created a medical-grade protective visor for mass production to support the NHS with COVID-19 – that achieved at least 288 pieces of coverage.

Meet the PRWeek 30 Under 30 2020

Judge's comment: "Becca's passion for her work really came through in the nomination and the work she's led on has had a tangible impact for clients more widely than just securing media coverage."

How does working in PR differ from your expectations?

When I got into the industry just over five years ago, I came with a fairly old-school view of it all, thinking my days would be spent solely speaking to journalists. How wrong I was! I love how much opportunity there is to integrate across other specialisms and teams, and the huge variety of work and projects that you can get immersed in. In my time at Lansons I’ve not only been part of some cracking media programmes, but also involved in content-creation projects, exciting integrated campaigns, internal employee engagement workshops, social-media programmes and so much more, working with incredibly talented people I’ve learnt so much from. I can safely say, you will never get bored working in this industry!

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

It’s certainly been a learning curve. This whole period has simply reinforced the importance of strong communications, at government and business level, but also at an individual level. Clarity, authenticity, empathy and, importantly, perspective have all become even more important than ever, and there are a number of lessons that can be learnt as a result. While it’s been a really challenging time, it’s also been interesting to see how organisations have adapted over the past few months.

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

Like many other industries, it has injected a serious dose of agility. Remote working and stretched teams have put a greater emphasis on trust and autonomy, which is only ever a good thing. I have seen so many team members absolutely flourish over the past few months due to having new responsibilities thrown at them, and being given the reins to do things in their own way.

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

How it handles junior talent. I’ve been lucky enough to work at Lansons for the majority of my career, where they go above and beyond to nurture and recognise junior members of staff, no matter how inexperienced – I, for one, had zero knowledge of the world of finance when I joined as a junior executive! But I also briefly experienced first-hand the other side of the coin before joining Lansons, and know of others in the industry who have too. I can safely say I wouldn’t have persevered in this line of work, at that point in my career, had it not been for landing a job in a forward-looking and supportive agency like Lansons, which turned my entire experience of the industry around.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hopefully not sat working in my parents’ spare room!

How do you switch off from work?

My colleagues will laugh at this, but by having a really well-organised to do list in place, and ideally one that sits on the Cloud (colour-coding optional). It helps me to set my own personal boundaries; I know that everything I need to do is written down in one place, ready for when I switch back on, and it also means I can easily add to it if I remember something during my down time.

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