What I’ve Learnt | Prolific North Article

Vickie Rogerson is Founder and Managing Director at Leeds-based agency North PR.

North PR is specialist food, drink and lifestyle PR consultancy, founded by Rogerson in 2018.

The agency has worked with a range of clients including Drynks Unlimited, Sloemotion Distillery, Arla, DeliVita and Oddbox.

Prior to launching the agency, she has held a number of high-ranking roles including as PR Account Director at Leeds agency Finn, Head of Food PR at Asda and Food and Retail Director at Lucre Group.

She shared all the lessons she has learnt.

Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

Swimming. When I started North PR I made a commitment that I would take time every week to swim and I’ve stuck with it. It’s the single most important activity I do to help me relax, think and take time for myself.

What’s been your luckiest break?

I have had many lucky breaks in my career but the one that opened my eyes to a kaleidoscope of possibilities was when I started working in the Asda press office. I had always worked in big PR/marketing agencies where the trajectory was from Account Executive to Account Director but beyond that was a mystery. I couldn’t really see my future.

Asda completely changed me. It accelerated my communications skills and opened up a whole new world of opportunities. It’s where I discovered my passion for the food & drink industry, for faming and agriculture and for creating amazing food events. I will be forever grateful for this job and cherish the many people I met when I was in the Big Green Machine.

What’s your best failure?

I was sacked from my very first PR job. I was very young and working in a big London agency. I was probably a bit cheeky and certainly enjoyed the parties (it was the 90s!), but I really enjoyed it and (I thought) I was good at it. Being let go stayed with me for years and I was determined to prove them wrong so when I left university I went back into PR and well, the rest is history…

What is the best investment you’ve ever made, either financial or time?

I invested in business/life coaching early on in PR agency entrepreneurial journey and it’s been hands down the best investment I’ve ever made. It helped me believe in myself, trust my instincts and stop being such a people pleaser. I learnt the power of saying no. I now choose the opportunities that bring me joy and say no to things that don’t. It’s been lifechanging.

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

Gizzi Erskine’s Restore. I read cookery books for fun but Gizzi’s Restore blew my mind. She talks passionately and intellectually about soil health and regenerative farming and it has informed my thinking on food sustainability ever since. I have been lucky to work with Gizzi through our client the Future Food Movement and she’s just as passionate in real life too.

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Don’t let anyone tell you how you should behave. Don’t diminish yourself just because you make some people uncomfortable. Don’t ever stop asking questions.

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

Sophie Spyropoulos. She was the Head of PR at Poulter Partners where I (re) started my PR career and employed me for a second time many years later at Lucre. She taught me that doing brilliant PR requires intelligence and a questioning approach. She allowed me to be myself and challenged me to grow and evolve. She supported and inspired me to launch my own food and drink PR agency. Thanks Soff!

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

This isn’t surprising because everyone knows this, but I am obsessed with cheese. I once had my own cheese restaurant in Leeds and I also did the PR for very famous cheese-loving Britpop musician.

How will the COVID crisis change work for the better?

It has fundamentally changed how, when and where we work. I don’t want anyone working for North PR to work full time so I have introduced a 4 and half day working week so people can spend more time doing things that bring them joy.

What does success look like to you?

Working with inspiring food and drink brands that challenge me and bring me joy. Spending time with my family. Eating cheese.

Check out the article on Prolific North here.