60 seconds with Debbie Kirby

29 March 2016

Debbie Kirby, head of external communications and stakeholder engagementDebbie is head of external communications and stakeholder engagement, working across the Royal Free London.

What does a head of external communications do on a daily basis?

A head of external communications will strategically protect and enhance the reputation of the trust among the media, stakeholders and the general public and will oversee responses to breaking news stories.

What’s your greatest personal/career achievement?

Organising and facilitating the Prime Minister’s visit to a category B prison – only the second media visit to a prison ever by a serving PM.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The variety of work and the communications team.

What was your first job?

Sub-editor and journalist on a music paper.

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

Don’t compose emails when you’re angry.

What’s been your best day at work?

Flying to Paris to interview Mick Jagger!

What did you want to be as a child?

An adult – I wasn’t very good at being a child.

What would be your perfect day away from work?

Lying on a beach in Hawaii – though it might be tricky making it back to work on time the next day.

If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?

Another communications role in the public sector.

What can’t you live without?

I want to say love but let’s face it, it’s chocolate.

Do you have any nicknames?

Sadly none that I could share.

If you were singing karaoke, what song would you pick?

Nothing unless I wanted to empty the room. Tone deaf doesn’t even come close to how bad I am.

Tell us something about you that very few people know…

I’m scared of dogs. All dogs. Especially the tiny ones in people’s handbags.