The last words of advice for other PROs offered by Meredith Lynch, vice president of technology EMEA region at agency WE Communications, in our speedy interview is: “Don’t be an asshole!” She also explains how she wanted to save the world when she was younger and discusses why she loves her work and how it fulfils her teenage ambition to make a difference.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to save the world by doing something that had significant, meaningful impact; find a solution for world hunger, for world peace or reduce global warming. Turns out we’re still working on all three.
Would your teenage self-approve of your career now?
Absolutely! My career has afforded me some phenomenal experiences, including travel all over the world, partnerships with some of the strongest brands in the world, and now a life abroad (I moved to the UK from the US four years ago) expanding both my personal and professional experience. I am very thankful for my life, I learn something new every day and no version of me would ever think differently. That said, I was a bit of a rebel when I was 13, so I’m not sure early-teen Meredith would like anything!
Why did you decide to work in PR?
I believe communications is an opportunity to have real impact, and technology is constantly changing lives, and impacting and improving the world around us. I know that what I’m doing isn’t directly ‘saving the world’ as I’d hoped growing up, but the brands I work with are certainly changing the world we live in, in compelling and meaningful ways. Technology crosses over into art, science, and healthcare, effects the food we eat, the way we connect the dots and helps us find meaningful insight that actually does solve the world’s biggest problems – it’s definitely an exciting sector to be in.
How did you get your first break?
I was driven to get into a communications role. I worked as an unpaid communications intern for the Salvation Army from 8am-4pm every day, then as a barista from 5pm-midnight to pay my bills. My first break came when the Army decided to start paying me.
What has been your best career decision?
Taking a role with WE (then Waggener Edstrom) in November of 1999 to do product reviews for some new Small Business solutions which led to leading many parts of the Microsoft business since that time. Second to that: the decision to move to London from the US in August 2012 to lead WE’s UK Technology Practice and be part of our regional board.
Why WE Communications?
WE Communications was founded and is still run by two phenomenal women. It had then – and I would argue still today – the best reputation of any technology communications agency in the business. I joined because they are the best, and I stayed because they’ve invested in me, challenged me and given me the opportunity to continue learning and re-inventing myself.
What are the biggest challenges of your present role?
Being faster, smarter, more creative and more agile than our competitors in an ever changing world where brands and stories are constantly in motion.
What advice would you give to other PROs?
Relentlessly pursue the possible. Stay curious and always ask why. Be clear about what you want and need to be successful. Never show up un-prepared. Read nonstop. Make sure your research takes you away from your computer and brings you, your team and your clients new insights and experiences. Don’t be an asshole.
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