Ikenna is currently an Account Director at London based agency Burson-Marsteller and has strong travel, sport and lifestyle credentials having built up invaluable experience across a range of global brands. He is an experienced and highly creative PR professional who is proficient in developing and implementing communication campaigns, managing a team and maintaining strong relationships across the media landscape including social media.
He specialises in implementing high profile brand campaigns that draw on his media relations, expertise and contacts. Ikenna has worked for a number of London agencies in the UK that include Jackie Cooper PR, Mission and Consolidated PR.
Some of his travel clients include the Jamaica Tourist Board, Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Singapore Tourist Board and Tourism Ireland, whilst some of his sports clients include Under Armour, Maximuscle and Virgin Media.
Ikenna has also worked in the Middle East where he led key client accounts including the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, executing a PR and social media campaign responsible for increasing awareness and driving visitors to the championship. Ikenna also directed the communications and strategic plan for the Dubai International Motor Show, which was the region’s leading automotive event.
In his personal time Ikenna plays football every weekend and boxes regularly to keep fit.
Describe your background in 5 words?
Proud Londoner with Caribbean heritage.
How did you get into PR?
A lot of tea-making, photocopying and spray mount ☺ I did as much work experience as I could when I finished university before an opportunity became available.
What do you love about your job?
The variety. No two days are ever the same. Also, the influence you have over shaping the image of a brand. There are few greater feelings than a friend or person on the street mentioning they love a campaign that you have worked on.
What are you most proud of?
I think we all remember our first and securing my first double page spread will live long in the memory.
What’s been the hardest lesson to learn?
Doing timesheets. I know they’re important but arrgghgghhhh.
Who are your favourite people in PR?
I’ve admired most of my bosses I’ve worked with over the years but Nicola Stephenson, the founder of PR agency Mission was the one who really nurtured my talent and someone I’ll always be grateful too. I genuinely believe she’s a genius. She could create a 12-month campaign in 30 minutes.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the sector?
Challenging the status quo especially with the emerging new technology and new media and convincing our clients to do the same. It’s very easy to go down the tried and trusted route but being bold often brings the greatest rewards.
What skill do you think every PR has to nail?
Building relationships and spotting opportunities in everyday life. I can’t pick up a newspaper without thinking how this might benefit one of my clients.
What is your favourite social network and why?
Instagram for its usability and escapism. I lose around 30 minutes a day scrolling through other people’s photos.
Who is your favourite tweeter and why?
Do people still tweet ☺
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t forget the little stuff. It’s easy to sweep the little jobs under the mat for the exciting big campaigns but people tend to remember what you haven’t done rather than what you have.
Biggest PR fail and yay of 2017? (i.e. best and worst)
Biggest PR fail – The Pepsi and Dove campaigns both caused quite a stir for the wrong reasons.
Yay – The recent campaign around Mental Health Day with Love Island’s Chris Hughes was one that sticks in the memory.
Finally, on the D’ word… What can the sector do to encourage diversity?
Things like this. When you’re growing up or looking to get into an industry you naturally look to those who look like you for inspiration.
Ikenna Lewis-Miller is one of 15 mentors for the BME PR Pros/PRWeek Mentoring Scheme. Applications for mentees are now open – click here to find out more. The closing date for applications is Friday 16 February 2018.