A day with…Lucy Siebert

In this new series, we’re going behind the scenes with communications professionals across the APAC region, learning more about their diverse roles, what they love most about their jobs, and how they got there in the first place. To kick us off, we sat down with Lucy Siebert, Global Corporate Communications Manager at Intrepid Travel.
Briefly describe a ‘day in the life’ of you as a communications professional

I work in a global team, with a number of colleagues based in North America, so I start early in the morning with video calls from home. Intrepid Travel is the world’s largest adventure travel company, operating trips in more than 100 countries, so anything can happen on any given day. We need to constantly communicate to ensure we’re up to speed with what’s happening on the ground and in our three key markets around the world. Three days a week, I will head into the office in Melbourne’s CBD – I commute by train and I enjoy being in the office and working alongside our executives and different teams. I usually grab lunch in the city – we’re spoilt for choice in Melbourne – and the afternoons shift to calls with our teams and partners in Sri Lanka and the UK. My day could consist of anything from writing a media release or statements through to working with the creative team on corporate comms assets, or connecting with other brands and B Corps on advocacy campaigns. I’m also part of Intrepid’s Reconciliation Action Plan working group, which is a real highlight of my role.

Working in communications can be intense, so I try to maintain some balance – I play tennis at least one evening a week, fit in a personal training session and try to cook at home as often as possible. That being said, Intrepid’s global structure and the nature of this role means our team all work unusual hours. Flexible and hybrid work options help, including ‘work from anywhere’ for up to four weeks per year. Earlier this year, I worked for a couple of weeks from Johannesburg, allowing me to spend time with my family and meet our team in South Africa.

What’s the best part of your job?

Intrepid’s mission is to create positive change through the joy of travel. That means our work has a real, positive impact on people and the world. This connection to a greater purpose is important to me. Getting to travel and meet people all around the world is a highlight, too – in October I’m going to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UK for work, and I’m also taking advantage of our ‘one free trip a year’ benefit to visit Iceland.

What is communications best practice where you are based and how does it differ from other markets in the region?

I’m part of the global team, based in Melbourne, and we set the global PR, Communications and Advocacy strategy at HQ. Our PR managers in the three key sales regions (ANZ, EMEA and North America) have the flexibility to tailor approaches for their particular markets and its interesting to see the differences across the globe. In the global function, I’m focused on advocacy, executive thought leadership, crisis communications and supporting our employer brand.

How did you enter the communications industry? (i.e. university study, internships, worked your way into communications, another route?)

I studied Journalism and Media Studies at university in South Africa. My first job was as a reporter in the travel trade media in Johannesburg, which gave me a brilliant introduction to how the travel industry works – and I had the opportunity to travel as well. I moved to London a few years later where I worked as a news editor, focused on the aviation and travel sectors. That experience has been invaluable, both through the professional networks that I’ve been able to develop but also the opportunity to interview CEOs and senior execs and get under the hood of different businesses.

When I moved to Melbourne in 2013, I changed direction and worked as an editor in content marketing agencies, which exposed me to a range of clients and communications challenges. I always wanted to move back into the travel and was also ready for a change. When a corporate communications role came up at Intrepid Travel in late 2019, I jumped at it. The pandemic hit a few months later, which was extremely tough time, but it also highlighted the value of communications in our business.

What’s the best piece of communications advice you’ve been given.

Keep it simple. It’s harder to be disciplined than it sounds.

Would you like to feature in our series? Get in touch with Andrea de Palatis or Tom McPherson