Life at Grayling: Meet Account Manager, Mary Lee

What’s it like to work at Grayling? We meet Mary Lee, Account Manager, Grayling UK (London)

Mary Lee joined Grayling UK in April 2021 as an Account Executive (AE), having moved to London from Hong Kong. Mary made an instant impression at Grayling and has already progressed to Account Manager. We caught up with Mary to find out more about her progression and what it’s like to work at Grayling.

What first attracted you to a role in PR and what were you doing before you joined Grayling?
I did a couple of PR internships in Hong Kong before moving to London and had the opportunity to work on some very interesting projects, including the then-largest IPO [Initial Public Offering] ever in Hong Kong. These experiences really made me consider seriously about a career in PR.

Then, I was an Account Executive for 11 months at another London agency before joining Grayling.

Can you describe your role at Grayling?
I joined Grayling in April 2021 as an Account Executive and have progressed to an Account Manager in the London Corporate team.

My key responsibilities, to name a few, include the day-to-day management of accounts, running media campaigns, managing stakeholder and community relations, and supporting new business work.

What do you enjoy most about Grayling, your role, and/or a career in PR?
The thing I enjoy the most about a career in PR is every day is different and there’s always something new to learn!

The Grayling team is the nicest team I have worked with. Everyone is helpful and friendly, and most importantly, they always make time to answer any questions. It’s the perfect workplace for anyone looking to launch a career in PR.

Conversely, what do you find most challenging and how have you met that challenge?
Stepping up into the Account Manager role is challenging as your responsibilities change quite a lot. I am now responsible for managing Account Executives and Senior Account Executives (SAEs).

It’s a learning process but I have been spending more time to understand people’s ways of working and their workloads so we can ensure tasks are divided accordingly and we meet deadlines. Also, I’m always ready to roll up my sleeves to help!

What advice would you give someone at an AE or SAE level who is pushing for promotion to AM, based on your experience?
Ask for feedback where and when you can and be open to constructive feedback. People you work with can have different skill sets and that’s the beauty of working at a bigger agency – you can learn from a range of comms professionals that have different interests and come from backgrounds that are similar or dissimilar to yours.

What have you learned about yourself as you’ve progressed, and do you feel you’ve put this to good use in your life outside of PR?
I’ve been surprised by how career driven I am, actually. And in return, this has made me think about work/life balance as I want to perform at 100% at work and still make time for friends and family.

So, in the last couple of years, I have put my time management skills to work inside and outside of work; whether it’s protecting my time for friends or family or flexing from 8 am – 5pm to get tasks out early doors to meet client expectations.

Finally, on the personal front, how do you unwind?
I love trying/picking up new hobbies – photography and sewing, for example. Also love trying out new recipes, cooking for friends and family, and spending a few hours on my Xbox!

Are you looking to enter PR or find a great agency where you can build your career? We’re growing fast across our UK offices, so check out our current vacancies. We’d be delighted to hear from you!