“Saudi Arabia was just amazing,” says Jaguar Racing’s Media Officer Emily Hogg. “Working with the Formula E team - it was totally different. I feel very fortunate that I have this job.”
Emily Hogg has worked in the automotive industry since graduating from university in 2017 with a degree in business and law. Admittedly, though, she didn’t watch much motorsport until transitioning in her role at Jaguar Land Rover to the sporting side and a job which saw her lead the communications for the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY which supported the FIA Formula E calendar for two seasons.
“I knew Jaguar competed in Formula E but I didn’t know much about it,” she says. “I’ve watched F1 three or four times in my life. I turned up in Mexico City for my first race and met all of these drivers… I don’t even think I knew what qualifying was! But now I absolutely love it. I did two seasons of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, and this is my first season working with the Jaguar Racing team in Formula E. It’s just incredible and now I’ve got the bug!”
Like all motorsport, Formula E has adapted to the Coronavirus pandemic and Emily and her team have come up with innovative ways for the media - wherever they are in the world - to interact with their two drivers.
“When I looked after the I-PACE eTROPHY, pre-pandemic, everything was done face-to-face we’d take the drivers to the media centre and have the press conference - media would come along to the paddock and say can I have a word with X and that was fine,” she says. “You would do that and generate coverage but now everything is more virtual. Formula E have their virtual media website and virtual press conferences. We also had some media on the ground [in Saudi Arabia] which was amazing to see motorsport re-gain some normality.
“We held our own press conference virtually, with Saudi Arabian media, so it’s everything we’d usually do but on a much smaller scale. It’s more virtual work and also you’re relying on paddock Wi-Fi!”
Before making the transition to Formula E, Emily had the busy role of working on the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY. This support championship saw drivers like Alice Powell, Abbie Eaton and Simon Evans compete in the Jaguar one-make electric series.
“I had 12 drivers that we looked after and part of my job was filling the VIP seat, so that was incredible as we were able to have drivers relevant to the country we were racing in but also give people opportunities that wouldn’t happen otherwise,” she says. “We made history with Reema Juffali as the first Saudi Arabian women to compete in an international racing series in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that was just a real iconic moment. A year before women couldn’t even drive in SA, and here they are racing, and racing well.”
The eTROPHY support series continued to make history with its mission - from Katherine Legge being the first woman to win at an ABB FIA Formula E race weekend to having a disabled driver [Takuma Aoki] on the podium during an international electric race series event.
“It’s building a relationship with the drivers that’s important because they wouldn’t come with big PR teams,” she says. “Now I look after Mitch [Evans] and Sam [Bird], and if Formula E has any PR requests, they come to me and I feed that into the drivers, but with the I-PACE eTROPHY, we didn’t have that.”
Emily’s role expanded much further than just managing the communications aspect. She would have to help come up with ideas for the opening sections of the broadcast show. Creative ideas were played out and the segments even included drivers going into a Mexican food market to eat worms – a local delicacy.
“We would create these incredible opening VTs in the heart of iconic cities,” she says. “My role had this broadcast element as well as the social media element - generating all of the content - plus we had the PR side of things which includes writing press releases and media interviews; the role covered such expansive things.
“As I said before as I didn’t have any knowledge of motorsport before Formula E and the I-PACE eTROPHY but it became my baby and I just loved everything that it stood for. We had a number of women competing and all of them were incredible. It was brilliant!”
Before joining Jaguar Land Rover in 2018, Emily worked at Performance Communications and started her career as a Communications Assistant at Nissan. When she began her studies at university, she had aspirations of becoming a lawyer. However, that all changed.
“I applied for what I thought was an HR role at Nissan, went for an interview, and they came back and said we want to offer you the PR undergrad job,” she says. “I didn’t really know much about PR so I spoke to the manager, they gave me a job description and I thought this sounds fun. Why do I want to be sat behind a screen every day as a lawyer when I can be doing this incredibly varied role where every day is different?”
Emily’s degree gave her assets that she could transfer to public relations but, more importantly, the work experience she learnt in part-time roles whilst studying taught her invaluable skills.
“I worked as a waitress while I was at university, and when you’re working a 12–13-hour shift, you’re talking to customers, you’re talking to different people,” she says. “I also used to work in a hotel coordinating weddings and you’re looking after someone’s big day. You have to be able to communicate with people and work long hours. You’ve got to be able to understand what hard work is and that really translates.
“Getting a grade is one thing but hard work and experience are what drives you forward because you can be book smart but it’s a good thing to be hardworking and be able to communicate with a variety of people.”
When asked if there was a piece of advice Emily would give to those studying, she insists it would be not to have a plan.
“I wanted to be a lawyer, heart set the lot and now I am in my dream job and I didn’t even know it existed or that it was a dream job,” she says. “Opportunities come along; I signed up for a job that was sports partnerships essentially, and when they were asked if I’d like to do the I-PACE eTROPHY role I said yes. I could’ve said no, but now look at me - in my dream job but not at all planned.”
All images are courtesy of Jaguar Racing.