Deborah Lewis


In my 25 year journey in London agency PR, I have met an extraordinary group of talented PR and communications individuals who now work with me to deliver campaigns for companies looking to leverage a little bit more 'oomph' from their PR spend. 

I started at Text 100 over 25 years ago, joining one of the best graduate training programmes in the business. Dealing with technology clients in the pre-web era was challenging and surprisingly fun. Who knew that I would learn to write about the benefits computer-aided software engineering and the programming 'waterfall'? I worked with brilliant people who taught me that there are stories lurking in the most unlikely places within every company.

I moved to a regional PR group to expand beyond technology, and worked on a range of business and consumer programmes for about four years, before setting up my own agency – Republic PR – with a colleague.

Republic was PR Week’s best new consultancy in 1998, and we were Marketing Week’s fastest growing agency in 2000. We were a hard-working and effective PR team who thrived with clients that other agencies often struggled to understand or find news value for.

In 2007, with a turnover of around £4m and a team of 25, we sold the business to Engine to help build MHP, now one of the UK’s largest PR and communications groups and an agency that I'm proud to say I played a part in creating.

By this point, my PR journey had taken me on a near 20 year expedition from graduate trainee to board director to entrepreneur and owner manager to one of three ‘chiefs’ at one of the UK’s largest agencies.

Time for a new challenge! So I created The Hero Machine to enable me to work hands on with interesting companies and clients that I love while also devoting myself to my time-consuming young family. I work virtually, and the time that I once spent commuting and handling office politics is now devoted to my children and my clients.

In addition to leading the team at The Hero Machine I am now also diversity communications consultant for the Global Diversity Practice, a world-leading specialist in diverse and inclusive company culture and leadership based in Bradford.

Would you like to chat about how to improve the quality of the stories in your business?