What has your journey to Edelman looked like and how did you get into the communications industry?
I started my career as a journalist, first with the BBC and then with Sky News. It wasn’t too long before I realised I was more interested in the mechanics of news creation, rather than news delivery.
Having made that mental leap, I started looking at how best to sharpen my skill set into communications. This meant a return to university, where I completed a master's degree in politics and political communication which acted as a springboard into the communications industry.
In my first role, I worked for a small foreign affairs think tank, in a media and public affairs role before transitioning into consultancy.
For the next eight years, I worked with some major global brands such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and eBay on how they best shape, promote and defend their reputation. It was through these experiences that I developed my approach to reputation campaigning, taking a human-first view to drive change with the audiences that matter.
Ready for the next challenge I took up a role with Ogilvy in their global network – during which time I grew the corporate affairs work across their entire London client base. Working with the world’s largest full-service marketing agency, gave me invaluable experience into how communications and reputation integrate across the whole marketing matrix.
From there I made a move to Edelman where I’ve been in my role as Managing Director of the Corporate Reputation team for the last two years. I’m hugely proud to work for the largest consultancy in the UK and with such an incredibly talented and smart group of people.
What achievement are you most proud of?
This answer is double-edged. Thinking back to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us had little idea of the impact that would be felt across our business, our clients, and our teams.
Dispersed across the country, working from kitchen tables and bedrooms, the team came together as one, supported each other, and delivered real impact for our clients. We worked flexibly with our clients, showing them how to weather the storm and how they could continue to build trust, drive their reputation and add value to their audiences during a time of deep uncertainty.
The team not only rose to the challenge but thrived, delivering best-in-class work, ultimately deepening our relationships and expanding our client roster. I’m extremely proud of this achievement, but it was also undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced.
Having only been in the role for four months at the time, we were faced with a situation that neither myself nor my team had seen before. That said, we have come out much stronger for it, delivering bold and impactful campaigns and sharp consultancy.
This is testament to the culture at Edelman and our deep heritage and understanding of trust and what businesses and brands need to do to grow their trust capital. With 20 years of data from Edelman’s Trust Barometer to draw from, we were able to give advice and build campaigns that we knew would have traction and deliver against our clients’ reputational needs.
Outside of work, navigating a house move with a one-year-old in the thick of lockdown and staying sane was also a pretty big personal achievement!
What do you find most rewarding about the job?
Without question it’s the quality of experts, consultants and advisors you’re surrounded by at Edelman. Every day you’re working with extraordinary people who are constantly challenging perspectives, driving brilliant work and helping each other to learn and develop.
This perpetual state of learning makes working at Edelman so incredibly nourishing. When you combine the brilliance of the people with a client portfolio that includes some of the most innovative, dynamic businesses there are, you know you’re in a special place.
How do you see your team developing within the next three years?
Our long-term strategy is to redefine our corporate reputation practice to meet the changing needs of our clients. Building out more strategic, more creative campaigns that take a holistic view of audiences to deliver against any commercial or reputational objective.
We believe that trust is ultimately earned through action, with businesses and brands needing to go beyond words to deliver the impact desired. We call this Action Leadership - the insight, action and communication shown by a business that understands it is not here to merely transact with the world, but to build a mutually beneficial relationship with it.
We will build out a business that enables clients to become true action leaders over the next three years, developing a team to realise that vision. We’ll do this through a combination of investing in the development of our existing team, but also bringing in new talent from a diverse range of backgrounds to offer fresh perspectives and skills. With greater diversity, we will be able to better meet the needs of our clients in a more complicated and complex reputational environment than ever before.
How do you stay motivated?
I have a passion for communications and news, and I do everything I can to feed that passion. Whether that's setting aside time to get my daily fix of news or listening to a podcast, it’s important to ringfence time to indulge creative thinking.
In a remote environment, connecting with different people from around your business who you might not necessarily see each day is super motivating. It keeps me sharp and hungry to get in front of clients and talk to them about the issues and challenges shaping their world.
What do you do outside of work to relax?
With a 3-year-old daughter, “relaxing” can be challenging at times. But for me, there is nothing better than time with my family, whether that’s a walk, a swim, or a good pub lunch. It’s simple but you really can’t beat it.
What advice would you give someone considering a role in Edelman Corporate?
If you’re looking for a breadth of experience, to work alongside some of the most talented practitioners in our industry to support dynamic clients with fascinating challenges, then Edelman is absolutely the place for you.
The variety of work at Edelman ensures continuous learning and development that allows people to constantly feed their curiosity.
You will work alongside a diverse mix of communications professionals that will sharpen your thinking and empower you to challenge the status quo. But be prepared to have fun too. We of course take our work incredibly seriously, but we don't necessarily always take ourselves seriously and we like to have fun along to the way.
Big clients. Supportive team. Great culture. What’s not to love?