My Work in PRogress this week is the lovely Bethanie Dennis. Beth is Head of Content & Digital PR at AGY47, and someone I’ve admired from afar for a while now.
I first heard of Beth when a colleague recommended I subscribe to ‘The Weekly PR’, her weekly newsletter, which is packed full of the best digital PR campaigns and articles from the week.
In fact, The Weekly PR was one of my main inspirations when devising up ‘Work in PRogress’, and so once launched, I knew I had to have Beth on ASAP. In this issue, we chat all things baked potato songs, the best books and TV shows to indulge in during lockdown, and the things we’re missing about being in the office…
What is your ultimate shower song? (The song you can give a 10/10 Grammy-worthy performance on in your shower on a Saturday morning).
Ahh that’s a tricky one.
If you asked me three weeks ago it would have been Elbow – One Day Like This. It’s my ultimate number one favourite song ever.
Recently however, I’ve had Matt Lucas’ baked potato song going round and round in my head. It’s driving me crazy but I can’t stop singing it.
Tell us about some of your favourite campaigns that you’ve seen recently…
I’m a huge fan of campaigns that have minimal time and financial investment but are very topical and do really well. For example when Ann Summers put a deal on their penis pasta when everyone was out panic buying. It didn’t cost them a lot of money or time at all, and was likely pushed to press with a simple press release in record time. Its the reactivity that I love!
Another very recent example is when Reboot put a piece out on the popular DIY jobs Brits were doing during lockdown – so simple, so easy and so effective! From memory they used search volume data, I presume a press release and some stock images.
What are you enjoying about working from home at the moment? What are you missing about being in the office?
I’m really enjoying being around my other half and having him as a work buddy, it’s quite different and nice, although we have our heads in the fridge so often I think I’m getting a tan from the light in there.
What I’m missing is my team, and all of the dogs that come visit us in the office.
“I’m really missing bouncing ideas off other members of the team and those ‘epiphany’ moments that we have as a collective.”
We were due to move into our fabulous new premises on the first Monday of lockdown which is a shame, but it’s something to look forward to when this is all over.
As we’re all in lockdown at the moment and you’re the queen of curating resources – what books, podcasts, or TV programmes would you recommend?
For a good giggle, I love ‘The Off Menu’ podcast by comedians James Acaster and Ed Gamble. They interview celebrities and comedians about their dream meals in their ‘dream restaurant’ from different times in their lives. I’m huge a food lover so this ticks a lot of boxes for me.
“I’ve just finished The Tiger King on Netflix, and just….wow…no words.”
For work-related resources, I can’t not mention my colleague Andrew Charlton and his newsletter ‘The Weekly SEO’, he’s the one I ‘borrowed’ the idea for The Weekly PR from and he’s insanely clever, and a total SEO nerd.
For ideas, live case studies and thought leadership I tend to digest a lot great great stuff on LinkedIn, and have some great conversations on there, same with Twitter.
And for more general work and development stuff, I’ve just finished reading ‘Indistractable’ by Nir Eyal – this book would be especially useful for those who have a million notifications per day from their phone, Slack, email, and this stuff is even more important while we are all working from home.
Did you know it takes about 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back into a task after a distraction?
I’d also recommend ‘How to be Brilliant’ by Michael Heppell and ‘Creativity Inc.’ by Ed Catmull from Pixar to up you and your team’s creativity.
Finally, what does being a work in progress mean to you?
I absolutely love learning new things and I’m one of those people that can’t keep still.
“How boring would life be if you knew absolutely everything and had nothing to left to learn?”
During the lockdown, I’ve taken to learning how to make bread, mozzarella, and all of the DIY bits and bobs you never get round to. I also love business and personal development books and always, always have at least one on the go. I’ve just last night finished Tim Ferris’ ‘Four Hour Work Week’ and next is ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller.
Being a work in progress is so important, especially in this industry where everything is changing so fast and we have to keep a sharp eye on both the SEO world and the world of journalism. I believe we should be so grateful that others are so willing to share their knowledge, ideas and experiences.