10 Questions With…. Phoebe Siggins, Head of PR & Content Marketing at Little Black Book LAB
In this 10 questions with, we caught up with Phoebe Siggins, who is the head of PR & Content Marketing at Little Black Book agency!
1. What does your day-to-day role as Head of PR & Content Marketing entail?
Lots! Usually, it starts with a Diet Coke or Red Bull. I need the caffeine but am one of those weirdos who hates hot drinks (much to the dismay of the office tea round). Then it’s usually straight onto catching up with emails that have come in overnight from international markets. Often there are a number of campaigns to monitor and report back on to clients and likely a friendly reminder to send out to anyone who hasn’t got back to us yet…
Then it’s a lot of writing. We have a small tight team and a lean model which means I’m also spending my time driving business growth, reviewing processes and keeping an eye over all of our client accounts and staff. I also have my own client accounts to manage, so there’s certainly enough to keep me busy!
2. How long have you been in the role for and what led you down this path?
I’ve been at LBB Lab for four and a half years now. I have to say PR wasn’t what I thought I’d end up doing but I’d always been interested in the creative industries; film, tv art and design. I studied History of Art at university because I loved writing about the relationship between the visual arts in conjunction with social, cultural history. Writing about advertising isn’t actually too far removed from that.
When I left uni I ended up becoming a marketing and sales manager for a healthcare startup – now called Lantum. It was a fantastic place to learn valuable forward-thinking skills and processes. I had always flirted with the idea of going into advertising. As a kid, my mum used to tell me about her career as an account manager in a London Ad Agency in the 80s. That was back in the golden age of advertising when they had heaps of cash and seemed to hand out company cars like business cards. Looking to move out of the healthcare industry and into something more creative, I spotted an open position at LBB – a place I could get involved in the myriad of different roles involved in advertising including film production, design and music. We don’t have company cars but, luckily, I get to work with creative people in all the disciplines that have always interested me.
3. What’s your top tip for pitching to journalists?
Journalists are people too! So often people don’t seem to come at a pitch from the journalist’s perspective. We’re lucky to have journalists in-house at our sister company LBB. They tell us how they like to work and what they’re looking for. What people don’t always do is ask why your story will help them do their job. At the end of the day, a journalist’s goal is to drive traffic / grow readership, so if your story doesn’t do that, why should they be interested? They’re not just big bad wolves who don’t care about you or your business, they’re trying to do their jobs like everyone else. Putting yourself in their shoes, with a little care and thought for how busy they are, can go a long way.
And for god’s sake never send the text you want them to use in PDFs. Copy and paste helps everyone save time and keep proper nouns spelt correctly!
4. If you could go on holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I’m not sure I can choose! I’m yet to travel outside of Europe, so anywhere far-flung would be top of the list. Seeing as England doesn’t get much sun, maybe Mexico, South America or South East Asia.
5. Where do you see the PR or marketing changing in the next 5 years?
I think PR and Marketing is becoming increasingly difficult. GDPR has curbed a number of traditional methods for reaching new business. In advertising B2B PR especially, I expect more effort will have to be put into consistent coverage on free to read platforms twinned with a close sales strategy and more face to face networking.
6. What do you do in your free time?
I don’t make time for it as often as I should these days, but I paint portraits. I try to attend life drawing classes to keep up the skill – it’s surprising how quickly hands start to look like mangled blobs when you lose practice.
7. Do you have any unusual talents or party tricks?
I did once teach myself to tie a cherry stalk with my tongue because I thought it would be cool. Looking back on it, I’m not sure it is cool at all.
8. What’s your favourite Meltwater tool or widget?
Instant report notifications on searches. Before Meltwater I had about 20 or more tabs on my computer on constant refresh searching for pick up all day. It was ridiculous!
9. How do you see the advertising industry changing in 2019?
The advertising industry is experiencing huge changes. Uncertainty in politics and economies around the world are sending tremors through every aspect of the business. What we’ve seen so far is an exponential increase in the number of brands building in-house agency and production facilities, causing a shrinking agency market. This is mainly a result of the fact that brand advertisers are working with more media channels than ever but have the same or smaller budgets to create content for them all. We’re seeing an influx of new companies appearing with radical models that are not only shaking up traditional processes but addressing the future of ad spend. Brand advertisers should be incredibly excited as they are going to have every opportunity at their fingertips – if they know where to find it. But suppliers who are unwilling to adapt to industry changes (be that agency, production or any in post-production) may not be long for this world.
10. How does Meltwater support you in your role?
We couldn’t operate on such a lean model without the clever technology at Meltwater helping us to save time. Manually tracking and reporting on our PR campaigns takes up vast amounts of time and resources which could be saved for what we do best – writing, strategising and pitching.