Meet Lotte Uttley, OMD UK’s Newsroom Editor

We were lucky enough to sit down with Lotte Uttley, the Editor of our Newsroom, this week to find out about the service, her inspiring career path and the things she is most proud of.

Hi Lotte – this is quite the week for you! Congratulations on reaching 150 editions of Newsroom…please can you explain what Newsroom is and your role in making it happen?

Thanks, I can’t believe we’ve reached 150 already, this last 8 months have flown by.

So Newsroom is our real time insight and ideas team and as Editor it’s my job to use a number of data sources to identify what is capturing people’s attention as it happens or just before something becomes viral, and help turn this into creative and culturally relevant ideas for brands, which we execute across media at speed.

How did you end up becoming the Editor?

Well it actually started a year or so ago when I worked on Reception, way before the role was even there! For a while I’d been writing for various teams in the company, but it was through OMD UK’s Licence To Switch programme that I was given the opportunity to start writing for the copywriting team with the goal of making a career change. I had so much support and advice from people all over the company during the switch, that when I was approached to interview for the role of Newsroom Editor (and after I’d got up from the floor), it seemed like too big of an opportunity to pass up. But I mainly did it for the new title.

What’s been your proudest moment so far?

There’s a few actually! But if we look at landing ideas, helping Carlsberg take advantage of the Beer Body Ready campaign was a particular highlight. Spotting a perfect opportunity to be quite cheeky, with a brand who’s brilliant with reactive media is a real buzz, especially when you get to see it being played out on social media. Then there’s the amazing response we got when we worked with Disney on ‘May The 4th Be With You’, where we got to work with the likes of Bel, Seat, Starbucks and Hasbro and it was the first time I could say I was excited about a piece of planned media. What can I say, I’m a changed woman.

But it’s also some of the smaller moments that make me proud; when you see teams across the agency responding to trends we’ve highlighted in our newsletter, like our new client Play-Doh joining the #RedHeadUK conversation (that piece of reactive content performed better than their planned content that week), and of course the Star Wars eclipse “Welcome to the dark side”, which got 1.6 million views (usually their video content gets a couple of hundred thousand).

But personally, I’ve been talking with OMD France and OMD Germany recently, as they’ve heard so much about OMD UK’s Newsroom and want to replicate it for their markets. When you’re walking someone through the process of what you’ve done over the past few months, you realise how far Newsroom’s come and what an amazing achievement it is so far.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I get in early and basically read the internet. All of it. We’ve a few different data sources that are part of our ‘secret sauce’ which help give a good idea of how things are trending, and the stories that don’t make it into the newsletter get sent on to the relevant teams. I also work on larger trending pieces with the Future of Britain team, most recently ‘The Rise in Feminism’, and we’re currently working on the trend of Body Shaming and Celebrating, with plenty more in the pipeline too. I really enjoy it when a team comes up with a specific thing they want you to look out for. The news is so unpredictable that when you find a moment that’s relevant to a campaign, it really makes it worthwhile. I’ve also been working with a client who had a very specific criteria of articles to look out for, and we were able to catalogue all our work in weekly reports so they were able to react appropriately to the sentiment of the public.

And finally, where do you see the Newsroom in a year’s time?

It’s really hard to predict (the irony isn’t lost on me, there…) as it’s constantly been evolving through its short life, but things that we’re looking at are how we can more effectively use data to predict how stories may trend in the future. We’re also looking at how we can work more closely with creative agencies and partnering with Drum to help us develop more ideas, and there’s no doubt we’ll be wanting to look at how we can work more closely with media owners. Basically, my real goal is to get some free lunches.


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