Bebbington leads global consumer PR for much of CNN International's features content, including its environmental reporting commitment Call to Earth. He now leads global comms for MyFreedom Day, part of a campaign against modern slavery, while his work on CNN's Fighting Racism in Football reporting has helped generate more than 600 pieces of coverage. Bebbington's contribution during the broadcaster's 2020 US Presidential Election was also praised.
Nominator says: "Having progressed from an intern in the CNN press office to his current role, Hugo is a great example of someone excelling in their field"
What have you learnt about yourself during the Covid-19 crisis?
I’m quite a conversational worker in the office, so I’ve had to be more decisive and manage my time far more efficiently whilst working at home. This also applies to knowing when to step away from work for the day and ensuring your team can do the same.
What's your least favourite thing about working in PR?
Probably trying to explain to my family what I do for a living! It’s a cliché that the PR industry is bad at PR'ing itself, but I would always encourage anyone starting in-house to speak to other departments about how your jobs crossover and what your role is and – more importantly – isn’t for.
What do you think will be the single biggest change to the PR industry brought about by the pandemic?
I think conventional office life and hours will return after a few years, but until then, I feel any days spent in the office will be a far more collaborative environment and generally more purposeful than it was before. Likewise, and as the world starts to reopen, I hope the era of remote working won’t be at the expense of the work/life balance for younger professionals.
Which social media site is most important to you and why?
Sadly, I basically always have Twitter rolling on in the background. I have a bit of a reputation for WhatsApp'ing my longsuffering friends who don’t work in media/PR numerous Twitter links during the day to their general indifference.
What one thing above all would you change about the PR industry?
Personally, I really value external voices on where things can be improved or simplified, so a greater diversity in perspectives and opportunities across the entire industry is always welcome.