Are you a fan of architecture, design and the built environment? Are you the type of person that can think of creative marketing ideas and strategies? If the above sounds like you, then read on. We spent a moment with Leanne Tritton, managing director of ING Media to find out exactly what it’s like to work in architectural, design, property regeneration PR.
Name: Leanne Tritton
Job title: Managing Director
Company: ING MEDIA
What does your job role entail?
You can split my role into two parts. The first is looking after our clients – giving them PR + Communications advice which includes how to communicate with their key audiences, the media and their own staff. The second is managing the ING MEDIA business. Making sure that my team are happy and looked after, finding new clients, marketing the agency, attracting new talent to join the agency, working with our agency manager to make sure that we have strong financial management.
Describe your working day or week?
It’s varied and interesting. ING MEDIA specialises in architecture, design and the built environment. So if you think of a building, any one of the organisations that have had a role in making sure it gets built and fitted out could be a client of ours. We are based in Shoreditch but we have clients all over the world so often there are conference calls that start at 6.00am (Australia) and the working day ends in early evening (west coast USA). Wherever possible we meet with clients face to face so that involves a lot of travel – in the last few weeks we have had our team in Shanghai, Cannes, Prague, Paris, Milan, Munich and Istanbul. There are loads of office meetings but also building site visits which are always fascinating – and inevitably loads of emails.
Since January, one of the nicest parts of my day has been walking our west highland terrier puppy into the office. When things get a bit stressed, she is lovely to chat to – she always agrees with me.
What key skills do you need to do your job?
Curiosity and empathy. The way in which we communicate and the subject matter that we specialise in is moving so quickly that you have to be constantly reading, listening and watching. It’s almost a full time job just keeping up to date. People often forget that the ‘PR adviser’ has an incredibly trusted and close relationship with their clients. We get to see our clients hopes, ambitions and vulnerabilities so it is very important that you can empathise with them whilst still giving objective advice.
What made you decide to go for this job role?
Originally, I kind of fell into this sector. I didn’t go to university so I started work at 17 and just spotted opportunities as I went. I worked as a PR/Marketing person in various companies in the tv/film and sports industries in Australia. I moved to London in 1995 and joined a PR agency where I was able to get great experience across a lot of different business sectors but I really wanted to be more in control of my future so I started ING MEDIA in 1999. As a team, we have built ING to become the leading agency in our sector and that has been very rewarding.
Best part of your job?
Working with my team. I really love hiring people who aren’t ‘text-book’ PR people and helping them to become really great at what they do. I have built up some great friendships with the people I have worked with and take great pride in seeing them succeed.
Worst part of your job?
Emails and time management. I started my career when the phone was everything and I still think you can communicate much more efficiently and effectively with a call than an email. Time is just rushing past and the older I get the more I want to do. If only I could have a few more hours in the day!
Most memorable moment at work?
Almost impossible to single out one moment. We recently hired Tony Danaher as our Chairman. He is an incredibly well respected person in our industry so I was very nervous when he started to look at how I was running the agency. I have never had any formal management training so I was nervous that I was not ‘doing it properly’. However, he was really blown away by the quality of our team and how well the agency is run. That was very satisfying.
If I’m choosing a course to study, what type of course suits this job best?
I am probably the wrong person to ask. As I don’t have a degree, I don’t really care. I am more interested in attitude. What do you do in your spare time, what do you read, what makes you tick? How willing are you to learn? Are you a sponge who can absorb a lot of information? If you are young, I completely understand that you won’t have a lot of experience but demonstrating aspects of your character is really important.
Does work experience really help you to get the dream job?
At ING we run a paid internship programme and it is incredibly effective in spotting talent. Our interns gets access to a wide variety of tasks and we get a chance to see what they are like in an office environment. How do they work with others, general attitude, drive etc. However, don’t get sucked into working for months on end for no pay. It is just exploitation.
Give us a tip on how to steal your job.
A tough one. I love my job and am not going to let you steal it easily. I work with fascinating clients, great people, get to have my puppy in the office and am my own boss. I think the only way you could have my job is if you bought the agency and took over. Good luck.
Image via Grant Smith