Q&A: Anna Hennessy spills the tea…  

Written by Mantis PR

1. How long have you been in the Mantis team at Ruder Finn and what’s your role?  

I’ve been in the public sector tech team for coming up to 12 years this July, which in dog years is a long time. 

I’m the ‘Head’ which means I lead up the Mantis business division. I’m responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the unit but each day is rarely the same. From liaising with clients, my team, the wider Ruder Finn family to new business leads, I’m kept busy being ‘chatty’ as my kids would say but us PR folks might argue it’s providing a highly strategic consultative approach 😉 

2. What do you enjoy most about working at one of the world’s largest independent global communications and creative agencies? 

 It’s great to be part of a bigger network again. We work with some exciting brands globally and it’s really valuable to understand more about what our peers are doing and how we can implement learnings and new practices with our clients too.  

I love also how I get to work with a great bunch of individuals within the business as well as externally with our wonderful clients. 

3. Why PR and why public sector tech PR?  

I decided early on I wanted to go into PR (maybe Eddie and Patsy are to blame) and studied it at university so it was a natural progression for me. I didn’t think tech would be my specialism when I first started out, but over 20 years on, I wouldn’t change it. 

I always worked for massive tech giants so when I joined Mantis, I loved the idea of making a difference working with tech companies that either have a public purpose or improve our public services through technology. As citizens, we all face the same issues, so when a client is truly making a difference, whether that be with the application of IoT in smart cities to improve air quality or how student engagement analytics is improving student mental health and wellbeing, it’s hard not to get impassioned and want to tell those stories. 

4. What is keeping you glued to the media at the moment? 

Well needless to say the General Election. Who didn’t tune into the first live debate with Sunak and Starmer this week? But it will be interesting what other key figures from those parties as well as the other parties have to say this evening on the next televised debate on the BBC. 

Being Welsh, I’m also following closely the fallout from the Senedd, the Welsh Parliament. With first minister, Vaughan Gething losing the vote of confidence, it doesn’t bode well especially since only holding the position since March, so it’s going to be interesting to see how this pans out too. 

And for light relief there’s always Love Island…. 

5. Finally… how do you take your tea?   

English Breakfast, usually Yorkshire Tea, with lots of milk in a china mug please. Although I’m a little obsessed with my Nespresso machine and have been indulging in far too many lately and probably way over the recommended daily caffeine intake. 

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