Interview | Anne-Marie Lacey

In Conversation Withanne-marie Lacey

Issue 21

PR & Communications Director at Filament PRA public relations and marketing communications agency based in the North East of England, working with clients in the lifestyle, leisure and entertainment sectors across the region and beyond.

What were your career ambitions growing up?

I was big into performing arts when I was growing up and spent most of my spare time in dance classes. I’ve gone from the one being centre stage to putting my clients in the spotlight through PR and marketing communications, so they shine above and beyond their competition.

Can you briefly outline your career path for the readers?

I first came to the attention of the PR industry in 2012 through my student blog while studying for my MA degree in Public Relations. Since then I’ve progressed quickly through the ranks of agency life, going from an account executive to PR manager, then heading up a communications team at an integrated agency, before co-founding my own consultancy Filament PR in October 2016.

What is Filament PR’s USP?

It has to be our flexibility. We’re not in the business of trying to flog something our clients don’t need. We use data to enlighten our strategies and then put plans in place to deliver our client’s campaigns with creative spark. It means we’re well-positioned to advise our clients about what they need and more importantly, what business results they can expect as a return on their investment. For some, it makes sense to look at an annual retainer, for others a shorter project, while a few just need our support ‘as and when’ there is a business need.

Equally, as we work flexibly, we don’t have big over-heads essentially we can do more with our clients’ money. And if we need that bit of extra resource, we simply bring in some of our trusted suppliers you only pay for the work you need.

Flexible working benefits our clients in other ways too. We aren’t chained to a desk between 9am and 5pm so we manage our workload around our lives. We put in the hours but spread them out over the day, so often clients have access to us early in the morning or late in the evening, helping to create efficiencies as there isn’t that time-lag between leaving work and arriving in the office the next day. It also means that our team has a better work-life balance, so we’re generally happier, shiner people to work with too!

What is your greatest business achievement?

Successfully launching Filament PR. In the first three months of trading, we won three big retainers, completed three exciting projects and are in new business conversations with three of the biggest brand names in global entertainment. They do say three is the magic number.

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given?

Not so much advice but a quote from Walt Disney: If you can dream it, you can do it.

What motivates you?

Doing a job that I love and being paid for it too it never really feels like work’.

Who are your heroes in and out of business?

My business partner, Jason Knights. He’s grown an internationally acclaimed design agency from the North East, and now we’re working to do it all over again with Filament PR. His approach to dealing with clients and colleagues alike really inspires me it’s a culture that’s rooted in the values of our business too.

Outside of work it’s my Mum. She’s the epitome of being strong yet sensitive to others at the same time.

How do you like to relax?

A nice meal and a trip to the theatre with my husband does the trick.

What’s your favourite book and why?

Any of the Famous Five books as I remember my Dad reading them to me as a little girl each night before I went to bed. I think that’s played a big part in the career choices I’ve made; a huge part of my job is communicating my clients’ stories with their audiences. I’m sure my Dad reading Enid Blyton’s books to me first sparked my interest in the art of storytelling…

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who made their dreams a reality.

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