Balancing the Grind with Jane Lunn, Founder & Director of LUNN & Co.

Jane Lunn is the Founder and Director of LUNN & Co., a talent and entertainment consultancy, specialising in strategic public relations and brand collaborations.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Some people may think I’m a little mad as I currently have roles across three different companies – four roles if you include being a mum.

I am a marketing communications consultant to a leading Australian agency, NAC Media Group where I oversee PR campaigns for brands including Louis Vuitton, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia and Maserati.

This complements my regional director role of LA based business, International Celebrity Relations which specialises in brand partnerships with Hollywood talent such as Chris Hemsworth and Naomi Watts.

As if that wasn’t enough to keep me busy, I launched my own talent publicist and entertainment consultancy business, LUNN & Co, representing A list talent such as actress Elsa Pataky.

How I arrived here would be a few pages long! In brief, I’m a marketing communications specialist with over 20 years’ experience, working with many of the world’s leading brands in Sydney, London and Paris.

I started agency-side and cut my teeth at The ARC Factory in Sydney. I subsequently moved in-house as Head of Marketing Communications at Gazal Apparel until my husband and I felt ready to take a leap of faith and make our dreams come true in Paris.

Whilst juggling being a mum in a foreign city for the first time, I decided to immerse myself in the digital world. I worked for global agency Grayling leading creative communications for PayPal across EMEA.

Working 60% of the time in French and being responsible for creating concepts that resonated across 23 markets was challenging to say the least! It did educate me on all things digital for which I’ll be forever grateful.

After 8 years overseas, we ventured home, where I decided to centre work around my love of film, fashion and people.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

In three words. Hectic and varied.

My day starts at 6.30am with a workout with my husband or earlier if walking the dog with a friend. From 7.30am it’s all systems go, getting my five and nine year old daughters ready for school.

Once they’re sorted, my workday begins. I’m on the phone a lot – much to the delight of my husband who is currently working at home with me due to Covid-19.

Phone calls allow for deeper connections and the simple fact is that you can brainstorm or discuss issues so much more effectively in a 10min call, than you can over lengthy and numerous emails.

A typical day is hard to define, as each differs from the last.

A recent work day involved developing a communications strategy for Maserati’s three new model launches, with each approach tailored to different customers due to the price point and type of vehicle.

At the same time, I was liaising with the Editor-in-Chief of Body & Soul magazine regarding an interview and photo shoot with Elsa Pataky in Byron Bay; reviewing a film script for publicity purposes; then leading a mentoring session via Zoom with a NAC Media Group team member.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Absolutely. I work three days at home and two days in the office at NAC Media Group.

For a working mum, this is the ultimate as I’m able to enjoy the creative energy and camaraderie of an office whilst having ‘blue sky thinking’ time at home when working on strategies. It also allows me to do school drop offs and be there for netball training and those all-important after school chats with my girls.

There are times when I feel completely stretched, juggling client calls whilst waiting outside the ballet studio however, for the majority of the time, it works.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

The balance of career and motherhood is tough. On the one hand, I’ve always been ambitious and enjoy the creativity and challenge work brings to my life.

However, I also love being a mum and want to be there for my kids to support them through school, friendship and general life hurdles.

To make all of this work, I know that I need to find time for me amongst all the crazy. I find this through early morning walks with girlfriends or my husband where we talk about everything and nothing. There’s something about walking around my beautiful beachside neighbourhood that just calms the soul and clears the head.

I’m also a horse lover, so you’ll see me playing with ponies any chance I get! It’s the ultimate stress relief for me.

My husband is also incredibly supportive and involved despite having a full-time senior role. We work in similar industries which makes for fascinating conversation and lively debates sometimes!

It also brings wonderful understanding and compassion, when a work project takes over. When I feel like all the wheels are falling off, I know he’s there, holding my hand and that makes it all ok.

Preorder our Daily Routines ebook today! Featuring first-hand interviews, insights and revelations compiled from 50 of the world’s most successful people.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I’ve always tried to ensure exercise is a constant in my life, but the reality is that when work starts to get beyond busy, it’s the first thing to drop away.

My husband and I are now committed to exercising together and eating a diet predominantly consisting of whole food as we want to enjoy a long, healthy and active life with our children.

Let’s be honest though, have a glass of wine, eat the cake – I say to all parents with young kids: whatever gets you through!

We’ve also stopped using mobile phones in the bedroom, to help wind down in the evenings. I’ve also started to meditate ever since my daughter came home and gave me a class – which is one she learnt and practises at school! Such an amazing initiative from NSW Education.

The ‘upside’ of Covid-19 is we’ve been able to see and feel the benefits of a slower pace and I’m looking for ways to continue this, once life returns to normal, whatever that may be.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I love Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin – he interviews an array of fascinating people from different industries and eras.

I have also been family friends of Mia Freedman for a long time and admire how she’s built her Mamamia business. Her unfiltered podcasts are funny, insightful and always a little thought provoking.

If you want to laugh out loud, My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast is hilarious!

Call me old fashioned, but I love reading magazines and newspapers. Everything we consume via social and digital media is so filtered by algorithms and I enjoy the process of ‘discovery’ in traditional print titles.

It’s been distressing to see so many talented people lose their jobs recently with the closure of Bauer and I’d encourage anyone to buy and support Australian publications. I saw UK ‘Hello’ at Woolworths the other day and was beyond frustrated and sad that we are not supporting our own home-grown talent.

I also live for the Business of Fashion newsletters and In The Envelope – The Actors Podcast.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

My phone is my office, so without doubt my iPhone XR and AirPods. For someone on the phone as often as I am, AirPods have literally changed my life and given my poor hands and wrists a break!

The fitness app, Centr is one I’ve come to love. It’s the antidote to the madness of my days! I don’t have to think about or plan exercise anymore.

I wake up, work out and 30mins later, it’s all done. The trainers are terrific although the workouts can be brutal. With the recipes and meditation offering as well, it really is my one stop health shop.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Brigitte MacGowen and Desley Maidment , founders of State of Escape. They used a simple insight and idea to create a phenomenal global brand whilst being mothers and incredibly kind, down to earth people at the same time.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I’ve learnt over the years that it’s important to say ‘No’ sometimes. It’s a powerful word and the sooner you stop seeing it as a negative, the better and harder it will work for you. It’s taken nearly two decades but I’ve realised that sometimes you can’t or shouldn’t do it all.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.