Each day we speak to a journalist about their new normal, today we hear from Hatta Byng.
Hatta Byng is Editor of House & Garden Magazine.
Where are you working from right now?
I’m not sure I dare own up to this, but I’m at a desk in my bedroom in a cottage my parent’s have at the bottom of their garden in Wiltshire. It is making life possible with three small children and us both working. I feel very lucky.
What’s your new morning routine?
As it’s school holidays, I’m allowing myself an extra half an hour in bed. Then it’s breakfast with the kids, a little bit of homework, before getting to my desk for 9/9:30, depending on how long the homework takes.
Have you got dressed today?
Yes – no make-up but I’m in proper clothes, that I want to be seen in. It makes me feel better and I have endless zoom meetings!
How has your working week changed since Covid-19 hit?
No commute, no events to go to and a lot of zoom meetings and sharing of screens. I bounce from one zoom meeting to the next, grabbing quick chats with my children when I can.
What are the current plans for filling your pages?
Luckily at House & Garden we shoot well in advance and have a library of houses so in many ways we continue as normal. But we are having to be more resourceful. And we’re going to have to work even harder when we are allowed to move, to replenish stocks!
What does a work lunch look like these days?
I eat what my children are having, on the run. I’m longing to be able to sit down properly with them, but work is very busy.
What’s the biggest challenge for your desk/publication right now?
Keeping morale up within the industry, when so much is on hold, shops have shut their doors, building projects have stopped, fabric mills have ceased printing etc etc. I really want us to be supportive as we can, so I’m doing a lot of listening to see how we can help.
Has anything positive come out of this?
The sense of community – that we all want to support each other. In many ways we are all chatting more, whether it’s with colleagues, our family and friends, or the outside world…
What’s your top tip for PRs right now?
Appropriateness is key. Sending the right type of press release/information to whichever journalist you are targeting. Read the magazine and know what a particular journalist writes about/features and is interested in. Don’t bombard.