Margarita Kouklaki Ntourou, Account Manager, Lansons
In today's Money Talks, Headlinemoney Awards 2022 nominee Margarita Kouklaki Ntourou reveals her reaction to being shortlisted, discusses her journey into public relations, and explains why she finds travelling long distances so easy!
The main areas that I cover are:
Reputation management and corporate, consumer and customer communications, with a detailed focus on media and client relations. I work across a variety of sectors within the financial services industry, from asset management and investments, to banking and fintech. My role varies but a typical day includes media engagement, strategy, messaging, and content development, including podcasts, social media and press documents, and much more!
What was your reaction to making the shortlist?
I was over the moon and very flattered. Initial reactions all in the space of a few seconds were: shock, followed by a big smile, an embarrassing dance and a group call to my parents, sister, and boyfriend.
From your work so far, if you had to pick the campaign you are most proud of, what would it be, and why?
My work with The Royal Mint! When I joined the team, a key objective of the media engagement programme was to reposition the business as ‘more than coins’, by raising the profile of The Royal Mint’s precious metals business division, and position it as a leading provider of gold, silver and platinum investment products in the UK. So I worked on the launch of its first listed financial product, a gold-backed Exchange Traded Commodity, we created a buzz and generated over 75 pieces of coverage across pan-European, national and trade investment and asset management media.
What made you become a financial PR?
Completely fell into it! I started my studies by wanting to be a journalist, specifically a war or crime correspondent as I was 18 and wanted to change the world… then got a bit of a reality check at university and shifted my studies more into PR and communications.
When I was looking to start my career I found Lansons and fell in love with the company and people in the interviewing process. It just so happened to be one of the leading agencies for the financial services sector… and I’ve been here ever since because I find the sector and work we do really intriguing. They do say “money makes the world go around”, so hopefully my 18-year-old self will still like me!
2021 was a difficult year for everyone, but what were the challenges you faced, as a relatively new ‘rising star’ financial PR?
I had one year in the office before we moved from home and the biggest change for me was the access to expertise from more senior colleagues and having that “safety net”. Even though everyone was still there, and a Teams message away it was still not the same as having someone next to you and being able to ask them for a second opinion on what you’re doing. It did benefit me as I had to take more ownership of things, but it was definitely a big change!
In addition, as you mentioned, the year was hard for many people. As PR professionals we’re very aware of what’s happening, extensively read the news daily and even produce them. Especially in the work I do in the personal finance space, stories weren’t always positive, a lot of the time they were gloomy. It was a challenge to find some positivity in them and not to let them get to you, especially whilst trying to keep a sensitive tone when you haven’t had years and years of experience and I was still wrapping my head around all of the different terminology, schemes etc.
Finally, if you were up for an award for any hobbies/activities outside of work, what would you be likely to win, and why?
Guinness Book of World Records for the most house plants… I also love cooking! Don’t know if I’d win but would love to be up for a cooking award.
An award I would win would probably be a sleeping one, my record is 26 hours in a go (don’t know if that’s disgusting or impressive, I was very tired that day!). I can’t say I’ve done much of that in the past couple of years or so, but I can fall asleep anywhere at any time which makes travelling very easy. Next thing I know I’m at my destination!