Lauren Lunn Farrow is the founder and MD of The Expert Agency, the UK’s leading PR Agency for experts and leading voices.
She has over 17 years experience working at the forefront of the media and PR industry and has been featured as a PR expert by the likes of Telegraph, BBC, Cosmopolitan and Real Business.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I’m Lauren Lunn Farrow – the MD of The Expert Agency – the UK’s leading PR agency for experts and trusted voices. I set the agency up at the start of 2020 and haven’t looked back since. I have worked in the media and PR industry for over 17 years and went straight into it from school so it’s all I’ve known for the entirety of my adult life. Before setting The Expert Agency up I had a celebrity PR agency which worked with some of the biggest household names in the UK and did very well, but I no longer was enjoying work and felt there was no balance or purpose to what I was doing. I decided to innovate and pivot into the expert arena and now work with an amazing group of female experts who advocate for a variety of causes and issues. My current role as MD of The Expert Agency is to scout talent, develop the talent and launch them to mass market. I am across all aspects of the business from the branding, booking the podcast guests, social media output to the strategy for client campaigns and executing and fulfilling these. I love being fully emersed in this and have a great relationship with my clients who inspire me on a daily basis.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
The goal when I left school was to be an actress. I had an agent and did a film with Charles Dance and Charlotte Rampling OBE which was fun, but I felt un-easy about the lack of financial stability this career choice would bring to my life. My need to be financially independent was greater than my love of acting. I also realised I preferred to work behind the scenes rather than in front of the camera. I made a lot of strategic moves when I was building up my CV to make sure I learnt the ropes and my craft as much as I could on the job. I felt when I set up my own business every job I had ranging from working at the BRIT Awards, Hackford Jones PR to the British Heart Foundation had played a part in leading me to where I am today.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Without a doubt. I set up my first PR agency when I was 24 and for a lot of my 20’s I had to learn the ropes on the job which isn’t easy. The celebrity media arena is highly competitive, and you work around the clock and I didn’t have a life. I remember working 20-hour days on a 4-day work trip to Australia and went straight from the airport to the office and had two celebrity shoots, a product launch and two pitches that day. It was intense. I also got into the industry when I was very young so always felt I had to work harder than other people to show that my age wasn’t a barrier. At times what I lacked in experience I made up for in ambition and drive.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I think buying my dream house and creating a life of balance with my husband. I have had a lot of career highlights and travelled the world as part of my career from Australia, Portugal, New York, Ibiza, France, Belgium, Germany and Thailand which has been amazing. I’ve worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, guided and executed PR campaigns for household names and launched global products which have stood the test of time. Aside from my house I would say setting up The Expert Agency. When I was working within the celebrity arena I kept gravitating towards experts and was fascinated by their knowledge, drive and skillset. I get to work with some of the leading experts in the country every day and I’m always learning something new which I thrive off.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
I feel that I’ve always had tunnel vision and stayed really focussed on what I want. I try not to see obstacles and to shift my focus onto finding solutions so that the only option is to make the outcome I want to achieve to work.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I love it. I’ve mentored several people before and find it really rewarding. I think it’s so important to pass on your knowledge and advice. I was so lucky that I had some amazing people help guide me at the start of my career including Jonathan Hackford and Simon Jones and I know I wouldn’t have the outlook or ethos on how I run my company now without the input they have given me over my career.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
I think we are so far-off gender equality and a lot more needs to be done. There is an inaccurate focus that gender equality is purely pay which is absolutely not true. At the crux of these ongoing and vast complex issues is education.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
I would say care less about what people think. It’s easy in your 20’s and early 30’s to feel self conscious and worry about failure – also remember that everyone has an opinion. Cut out the white noise and stay focussed. I’ve turned my hand to things and failed and I’ve turned my hand to things and had success. I think it’s about not letting the good or the bad go to your head and to stay totally and absolutely focussed and committed to achieving your goals.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I am working on some really exciting expansion work with The Expert Agency which will be launching later this year. We have just launched our Expert Minutes Podcast where guests have included Lorraine Kelly, Paula McKenna and Clare Pooley. The podcast is doing really well and series two will be launching in the summer with some more household names sharing their stories about their rise to the top and their advice for the next generation.
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