Public relations graduate Lauren Martin is making a name for herself in the automotive sector, having won two awards for her work in the past two years.

Lauren was named one of Autocar’s Great Women Rising Stars in 2021, having already scooped the Newspress Rising Star Award (voted on by motoring journalists) in 2020.

The 26-year-old, who graduated in 2017, had her first experience of the automotive PR industry working for Honda UK during her placement year. Inspired by the fast-paced nature of the work – which included travelling to Portugal for a launch event in her first week and running a Pan-European event in Budapest by the end of her placement – she took up her first full-time role with Kia Motors in 2017.

Having made a great impression, Lauren moved to Genesis Motor Europe in 2021 to create and manage a Europe-wide press fleet operation. The role involves managing every aspect of how the brand’s cars are loaned to motoring journalists as they road test the latest vehicles – a key aspect of raising public profile.

Lauren said: “I love working in this industry, and my focus has always been to provide the very best service possible to the journalists on behalf of the organisation I’m representing. As a result, it’s really satisfying to get such positive feedback through these awards. I also hope the Great Women Rising Star Awards will encourage more young women to think about a career in this sector, and I am honoured to be named among some other incredible talent, particularly those working in the technical aspects of the industry. While this is still a predominantly male industry, there are more women coming through and I am personally pleased to see more women motoring journalists who can provide a voice that female readers can relate to.”

Reflecting on what has helped her work to attract such positive attention to date, Lauren says: “My degree and experience at Honda taught me to be brave, and to not be afraid to challenge the way things are done. My advice to others starting out is that if you see something you think could work differently, speak out. Most people in business are open to new ideas and will welcome the input. Other than that, it comes down to hard work and delivering what your customers need.”

While the pandemic put a stop to travel and launch events at car shows around the globe, it brought its own challenges for Lauren and her team. She said: “We still wanted to get cars out to journalists but obviously had to ensure this was done safely. At the start of lockdown we had cars that were only meant to be with journalists for a few days and ended up becoming long-term loans! We ended up needing to manage the longer-term arrangements that come with car ownership, such as arranging services and maintenance, and that all became part of the experience the journalists took away with them.”

Now that restrictions have lifted, Lauren is enjoying getting back to physical events, such as Goodwood Festival of Speed, European motor shows and a recent product launch in Portugal. She said: “It’s moments like these that make me say I am pleased that I ‘get’ to do my job, rather than feeling as though I ‘have’ to do my job. I think that’s something everyone should aim for.”