Hanna Smith MCIPR works for the London Communications Agency (LCA) – the award-winning specialist consultancy focusing specifically on London and London issues. In our latest member Q&A, Hanna reveals what it’s like to work for the agency and shares her thoughts on the latest PR trends, including hyper-localism.
Position: Account Director
Qualifications: BA History and Politics, Reading; and Postgraduate Diploma in Local Government Management, Warwick Business School
What are the benefits of working for a London-focussed agency?
If you’re passionate about all-things London, then it’s perfect for you as you get to focus your time and energy on real issues that impact the capital such as development, transport, culture and health. Living in London, you also see the positive changes that result from your work and the work of your clients. More generally, agency life is fast-paced, dynamic and exciting – there is never a dull day.
What PR trends and topics are you most excited about?
For an agency like ours, which needs to keep abreast of the agenda in each London borough; hyper-localism is certainly a trend we are interested in as the rise of local bloggers and commentators on Twitter is progressively moving the news agenda onto social media. It’s a trend we’ve seen grow as the local press suffers from budget cuts and reduced reporting ability and these sources are now often where the stories break (though not always the most reliable).
Is there are a particular campaign that you worked that you’re particularly proud of?
LCA has worked on a range of campaigns, many of them award winning but probably the most recognisable for me is the work we have been doing to transform Wembley into a dynamic new neighbourhood for north London. We’ve worked with Quintain since 2004 (me since I joined LCA in 2014) on their ongoing investment programme at Wembley Park including the original Masterplan, the opening of the London Designer Outlet, the refurbishment of the new SSE Arena, and the delivery of over 1,000 new homes with much more to come. It’s truly exciting work.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your role?
You face challenges every day but if I had to focus on one, it’s managing the client’s expectations whilst keeping your team happy. Often you’ll find that clients want you to move mountains so it’s about achieving a fine balance of setting ambitious but realistic goals that you can deliver, and then trying to do it to time and budget!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
A lot can change in five years but I’d like to think I’ll still be making a difference whether in London or elsewhere, and have the opportunity to continue learning but also leading a team of people passionate about PR and communications.
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