What I've Learnt: Peter Ibbetson, Founder Director at JournoLink

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo
Peter Ibbetson, JournoLink

Many journalists will know of JournoLink - the online PR platform connecting businesses and reporters.

Writers looking for comments, spokespeople and expert advice to complete a story often take to Twitter with the hashtag #JournoRequest, and the team at JournoLink are quick to respond with an offer to connect them with an invaluable database of contacts.

Peter, along with his daughter Gemma Guise, and friend and broadcaster Tet Kofi, founded JournoLink to support smaller businesses who couldn't afford the high-profile work of large PR companies and hadn't the time to do it themselves.

Today, their platform supports a wide range of companies, providing easy access to media coverage. With years of experience across a range of sectors behind him, we heard what Peter's learnt in his career.

Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

Lifestyle - porridge. It keeps me going with slow energy release, and is now an OCD necessity! Work - Trello. The management tool now runs my business day.

What's been your luckiest break?

Lifestyle - meeting my wife. Yes, I know it's cheesy, but not many people would put up with the business/life balance I have. For work, it would be being able to exit corporate life with sufficient energy to build a business in my own right.

What's your best failure?

Listening - my brain and mouth work faster than my ears!

What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?

Lifestyle - a garden shredder, which does a brilliant job, but also is hugely relaxing to use. It's sufficiently noisy so I never get interrupted by my mobile phone, and it gives me a great excuse to get into the garden. And for work - a black book.

How would you describe your work/life balance?

I see the balance more as a mental stimulation/downtime balance, and I tend to try and keep young through mental stimulation, which in turn plays havoc with the actual work/life balance. It's why I'm lucky to have a very tolerant wife!

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

Churchill’s diaries. They have wit, but breed great strategic thinking.

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

"It's better to fail trying than fail to try."

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

My father. On my first day of work, he reminded me to "Do unto others as you would have done to you." In other words, whatever the situation, treat people properly.

But in good time for me to make good use of, he added "Do unto others before you yourself are done to." Both approaches have served me well.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

My first speaking engagement was at age 12 to a Girls Friendly Society Regional Conference on how to make miniature gardens, for which I got paid the equivalent of four months' pocket money.

What does success look like to you?

Delivering the dream.