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Lauren Stevenson

PR director, My-Wardrobe.com

What does your job involve?

My remit covers both UK and international and my core role is to increase the presence of [premium etailer] My-Wardrobe.com across the various media channels. My days consist of monitoring the media to look for PR opportunities for the team, devising the annual PR strategy, running the seasonal press days and building relationships with our designers to create PR campaigns to launch on the site.

What skills do you need?

You need to be creative but have commercial understanding, and you’ve got to be great with people, because you’re working with stylists, journalists, your internal teams and the designers themselves.

What do you like and dislike about your job?

Every day is different, and I spend my days talking about something I love. PR has changed a lot since I started. In the old days, your one opportunity would be to get a piece of coverage in a glossy magazine, whereas now you can also get it on their website, and you can even get the editor to tweet about it. So it’s exciting to be at the forefront of that. I don’t dislike anything, but the hours can be long and it’s not a 9am to 5pm job.

How did you get to where you are today?

I did a marketing degree and then landed a job at Aurelia PR after two weeks of work experience, which was very lucky.

I then spent four years working in consumer PR for global agency Ketchum before moving to its rival Hill & Knowlton, where one of my clients was My-Wardrobe. After a year, I came in-house and the rest is history.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

There are two. At Hill & Knowlton I helped our client Intel reach out to the female market via collaboration with Giles Deacon on a limited-edition laptop. I did everything from working on the design with Giles to selling it to Selfridges, where I managed to secure a window to display it in. The second was when My-Wardrobe won gold at the Drapers Etail awards. A lot of people within the business felt it was down to the PR because it had built up the brand awareness, and I have to say I was very proud.

What is your ambition?

To make My-Wardrobe the number one etailer worldwide. It’s obviously a cluttered marketplace, so it’s a big ambition, but we’re taking on more international PRs and I want to get us there.

How do you intend to get there?

By meeting foreign journalists alongside our international PRs and getting to know how they work in those markets. Being able to do that is exciting for my own development, because I’ve got to have a strategic understanding of each market and tailor our PR activity to it.

What three words sum you up?

Positive, passionate and determined.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Gain as much experience as you can and really get to understand the media. A lot of the people I interview don’t subscribe to brands’ newsletters, read blogs or understand what Tumblr or Google+ is, and it’s not just about the print magazine any more. I also tend to recruit based on personality, because PR is based on relationships, so you need to be likeable and able to inspire others. 

CV

2008 PR director, My-Wardrobe.com

2007 Account manager, Hill & Knowlton

2003 Senior account executive, Ketchum

2002 Account assitant, Aurelia PR

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