Life in Lockdown - Penny Walker, The Telegraph's Travel Commissioning Editor

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Life in lockdown


Penny Walker, The Telegraph's Travel Commissioning Editor

Each day we speak to a journalist about their new normal.


Today we hear from Penny Walker, Travel Commissioning Editor at The Telegraph.


Where are you working from right now?
My house in Reading – for the first time ever, I feel very lucky that I chose a house with a very long commute over a flat in London


What’s your new morning routine?
I walk every morning before work and treat it as a commute – it really helps me separate 'work' from 'home'


What is your workwear looking like?
Tracksuit trousers and a comfy shirt.


How has your working week changed since Covid-19 hit?
I've found myself busier than ever before reporting on various aspects of Covid-19. I've covered a number of different projects in just a few short weeks. I probably work even longer hours now, and often forget to take a lunch break


What are the current plans for filling your pages?
We're running week to week, really. Waiting for government advice and waiting to see what we can cover. It's a real mix of things we can do now (look out for our walking front), consumer advice/interest, news stories and 'when this is over' inspirational travel features.


What does a work lunch look like these days?
If I have more time, a nice goats' cheese salad. Although it's not unusual for me to grab cereal if I'm in a rush instead.


What’s the biggest challenge for your desk/publication right now?
Trying to anticipate what is going to happen and adapting features quickly when the news/advice changes.


Has anything positive come out of this?
There are some really lovely stories out there – especially of small independents and how they are adapting to serve their local community and keep their staff employed. I also love the initiatives (like The Pig's involvement in #treatournhs) rewarding our amazing frontline workers. My brother is an A&E doctor, so it's really nice to see the travel industry giving back.


What’s your top tip for PRs right now?
Don't stop communicating. What we need changes so rapidly that it's worth telling us about a new scheme/project/opening, even if it doesn't seem that pertinent right now. It might do in a week.


What’s your comeback plan?
While I don't think we necessarily need a 'comeback' plan (the Telegraph is the only national still running two travel sections each weekend), we certainly anticipate that when this is over, travel will come back with a boom and we'll have more pages than ever to fill. Again, for us, it's all about planning, adapting and anticipating those needs – and making sure we have plenty of great content up our sleeves.


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