Lucy Somers

Group Deputy Director of Digital - PLMR

How are you using AI in your role at present?

I have been sceptical about AI in the past. However, over the past year or so, I have warmed to some AI technologies on the platforms we use daily, I now recognise they enhance our industry's work. With lots of testing, I have found effective AI features that my team use regularly to deliver critical client work, including Meta‚ where AI generates texts for ad headlines and creates text overlays for images based on previous campaigns. Allowing us to create faster variations of ads that improve performance and engagement. As WordPress specialists, my team use an advanced web building software that offers impressive AI features including a custom code AI feature, where we input creative ideas such as "Build code that will rotate this button when I scroll". Now we can build even more enhanced and dynamic websites for clients.

In your view, how can PR employers better retain talent?

As a former apprentice, training and development is how employers retain talented consultants. Without the training opportunities I have received, I wouldn't have been able to deepen my knowledge and skills, and as I transitioned into a leadership position, I was offered mentorship with experienced leaders within the business, without this company investment, I wouldn't be where I am today. Employers must invest in providing flexible training and development programmes to retain brilliant consultants.

Which social media platform do you use more than others, and why?

Instagram, whether I want to upload a quick story, post to my feed or send a relatable reel to my friends. Compared to other platforms, it's the easiest platform to connect with friends and read news updates‚ without having to scroll endlessly. 

What's the secret to good client/agency relationships? 

Honesty and communication, both of which are closely aligned. Without them, it would be extremely difficult to build and maintain client relationships within agency. It's crucial to set honest expectations, every step of the way. And communication is key, without clear and consistent communication between both client and agency‚ a good relationship wouldn't be possible. 

If you could change any one thing about the comms industry, what would it be? 

How difficult it is for young people to work in comms who do not have a university degree. I always knew I didn't want to go to university, and when I was looking for apprenticeships it was difficult to find one within the comms industry, until I came across PLMR. I know over the years the industry has become more adaptable and are giving more opportunities to those without a degree‚ but it's still small. As someone who started their career at 18 years old and now leading an award-winning, talented team‚ denying young people who don't want to go to university the opportunity to bring passion and thrive into the industry needs to change. 

What is the motto you live by? 

What doesn't challenge you doesn't change you.