Lora Coventry, PR manager at Liontrust Asset Management, on how the industry could benefit from more women in senior positions, the indispensable asset of passion, and why she’d make a great Blue Peter presenter.
Which media outlet can’t you start your day without?
My mum was a complete Radio 4 junkie which she’s passed on to me, and I’ve listened to the Today programme for as long as I can remember. The main thing I check every morning, without wishing to sound too ‘new media’, is Twitter. That’s where I get most of my news.
In 2012 you made the leap from journalism to PR; what one piece of advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time?
It wasn’t that I was specifically looking to move into PR, it’s just that I thought I’d done as much with my [previous] role at the time as I could. I was looking for the next challenge and I’ve always tried to find companies that are exciting and I believe in, which really helps as a PR. My advice is trust your instincts and be honest – that’s why you are there. I have a huge amount of respect for any PR who does this job without having previously been a journalist.
What three qualities do you ask from your colleagues?
Passion is really important. You have to believe in the company you’re working for and what it’s trying to do. You have to be honest with each other. I think it’s also really important for people to have an open-mind. The world is changing at such a fast pace and if you can’t be open to new ideas then you can’t help to grow a business.
What is your favourite thing about working in the PR industry?
It’s a relationship business, so it’s all about the people you know – it’s close-knit and everyone is very friendly. Both on the journalist side and the PR side, everyone seems to be working together to do the best job that they can do.
What piece of coverage are you most proud of?
At Liontrust we do a lot of work with Oxford United Football Club – we’re their shirt sponsor. We also partner with London Zoo. We have three corporate commitments to the community through animal conservation, financial education and helping disadvantaged children to give them opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. It’s not necessarily PR coverage, but the work with do with the football club, with the Zoo and with the local communities has been really exciting.
Is there something you’d like to change in the industry?
At my previous company (Quill), two of the directors were women, and it was very inspiring to work for a company run by women. I think all industries would benefit from having more women in senior positions.
If you weren’t in PR, what would you be doing?
I have been told by more than one boss that I’d make a good Blue Peter presenter. I’d like to think it’s because I’m very creative and I think on my feet, but in reality it’s probably because I have a lot of outfits with animals on.
What do you do to take off your business head?
PR is notoriously quite a boozy industry. To offset that, I have fitness goals that I try and work towards. I run a few 10ks and sprint distance triathlons, but this year I’m working up to do an actual Olympic distance. I also do Bikram Yoga for all the injuries I sustain doing the fitness. Other than that, it’s just hanging out with my cat and loved ones.
Which three guests would make up your dinner party?
Kermit the Frog for eye candy, music and conversation, Joanne Rowling, and Michelle Obama for push-up competitions!
Fanatical about fitness? Krazy about Kermit? Share your extra-curricular passions in a ’60 seconds’ piece by emailing email@example.com.