Miranda Leslau (18 March 2015)

Miranda Leslau, is one of the UK’s most respected multilingual communications experts. She has worked in PR since the 90s, working with some of the ‘great and good’ of PR as well as with tourism clients, public and third sector, airlines, entrepreneurs, brands, financial services, property and celebrities. You name it, Miranda has pretty much done it and got quite a few t-shirts. In 2001 she was head-hunted by Boston University USA (British Programmes) and by the University of Buckingham to teach PR to business and marketing students. Miranda worked her business alongside her lecturing obligations, adding value to the student experience and keeping information ‘fresh’, ‘relevant’ and ‘fresh’.

Miranda distinguishes herself as somebody strongly driven, decisive, well organised and very resilient. Some of the life lessons and suggestions Miranda wanted to share with us were the importance of optimism (“for many entrepreneurs, they don’t accept ‘no'”); the importance trusting our own instincts; of avoiding pessimistic people (‘red lighters’); of on-going education and self-development; as well as the need to learn from mistakes; to give back to society; to be authentic and to seek advice from mentors.

A simple piece of advice that Miranda stressed was: “Remember to be nice to people, it doesn’t cost anything”. Being nice is sound PR for you and your brand. You never know whom you are meeting and where you might meet them again. This is a very important part of business that many people tend to forget.

“Reputation is everything”, she said, “Years to create, minutes to destroy”. She gave examples such as a medical company recalling their products due to a mistake in a batch of pills, which showed the audience how much trust a customer puts in a brand. Some years on, the market share had increased thus proving the importance of brand trust.

She finished her talk by quoting Jules Renard: “Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait very, very long time”. Translated: if we want something to happen, it is our responsibility to make it happen. If we just sit there waiting for the phone to ring, we’d better have a lot of cups of tea lined up.

Based on reports by Piero Conza and Matthew Campbell