Last month’s Winning Minds Award went to both Ellie Hattersley, an NBU stalwart, and the excellent Lydia Richmond who joined us just a few months ago. We sat down with them this week to find out more about their passions, motivations and why a career in PR.
Why did you pick a career in PR and Communications?
Lydia Richmond: For me, it comes down to being creative. Comms is incredibly broad and there are many opportunities to get your teeth stuck into – I can spend a day writing copy and the next devising a social media strategy. Very cliché but every day is different, which I love, and definitely keeps it interesting.
Ellie Hattersley: I went travelling for two years after university and did lots of writing during that time. I tried my hand at everything from freelance travel journalism to copywriting about hardware components, to help subsidise my travel around Australia, SE Asia and Central America. The skills I learned weren’t all that different to what’s expected at a PR agency – communications, working to tight deadlines, balancing a varied workload – so when my friend told me about a job opening here, I decided to apply. And I’m glad I did! I’ve worked here over three years now and still learn so much every week – plus it’s super social, and there’s always a new challenge to sink your teeth into. I also know so much more about how the world works now thanks to the tech experience.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
LR: Remember to breathe. Take a step back and think about what value you can bring to the conversation before turning into a key board warrior!
EH: It’s PR not ER! Back when I was an Account Assistant, I’d have a mini crisis basically on a weekly basis worrying about something that was very inconsequential – now I’ve got a lot more perspective…
Tell us a bit more about your interests – how would you spend an ideal Saturday afternoon?
LR: I’d go for a really long walk, hopefully find a pub with a wood fire, and stay there all afternoon. Surrounded by friends and family and good food.
EH: Probably doing something outdoors, ideally ending with good food and a pub. Even better if it’s somewhere outside the UK, which is much more feasible now restrictions have lifted a bit!
And what are your hobbies?
LR: I do triathlons – running, swimming and cycling. I also love open water swimming. I’m actually part of the same triathlon club that Alex Yee (GB silver medallist) came from, and we train at the velodrome in Herne Hill. Being active is important to me – NBU’s netball club was a big attraction!
EH: Looooads of things – reading, cooking, playing football or netball (fellow Bostock Baller here), climbing, cycling, going to gigs. And going to the pub. Is that a hobby?
What’s one thing that people should know about you?
LR: I’ve watched way too many episodes of the US Office. My lockdown binge watching basically just carried on into this year.
EH: I’m a big nerd — I find so many things interesting.
What’s one thing that would surprise people about you?
LR: I’m a dedicated plant mum.
EH: I have Grade 8 in piano… don’t often tell people because they always then want me to play something for them and I’ve forgotten it all!
What makes you a Winning Mind?
LR: I’m relatively new to NB so it’s incredible to see this culture of people always lifting each other up. I put my hand up a lot and people really notice and acknowledge you. People notice if you try.
EH: Workaholism (just kidding). Probably commitment and always wanting to make sure what I’m delivering is right for that client.
Any advice for future Winning Minds contenders?
LR: Always remember that you’re part of a team, and lean into that!
EH: There’s no set formula – every client’s needs are different. But I would say: don’t just do the same thing because it’s what we’ve done before. There’s always room to do something different or something better – change is a good thing! And Winning Minds doesn’t always have to be about what you do, it can be the attitude that you bring. Working in NB is all about not just working with brilliant people, it’s people you really enjoy being with.