She has more than 15 years’ experience in planning and strategy having held roles at agencies including VCCP, Havas and SapientNitro. She has a passion for working with businesses committed to enlightened and sustainable practices.
I am a Planning Director working for Strat House. Strat House is a strategy practice set up by Melanie Welsh and Rachel Clarke and is consciously a practice rather than an agency or consultancy. We work in different ways: by slotting into client teams as their strategic department or voice, or by running strategic projects for our clients. We tend to nurture long term relationships and have worked with most of our clients for years.
I work specifically in brand planning and comms.
No, I didn’t. As a younger person I wasn’t hugely ambitious or confident, and I didn’t leave university knowing the journey or destination I was heading for. Steve Jobs said that it’s only when you look back you can join the dots: so from producing events for an arts festival, to volunteering at the Samaritans and then moving through agency land with a talent for writing, a knack for understanding people and the fortune to be there when social media launched into our lives, I just ran with it.
Obviously now I’m ancient and don’t even have a TikTok account but, you know, I’ve developed other skills.
Yes – I basically didn’t really know what I was doing for quite a lot longer than is reasonable. I had no formal training and so I would say I’ve have had more than my fair share of ‘aha!’ moments along the way. I expect there are more coming.
I’ve worked with some challenging people: sometimes my experiences meant I slipped and fell, but the better ones left me stronger, clearer and more capable.
I don’t feel like I’ve had one big massive win I’m thrilled with, more like handfuls of smaller achievements as I’ve gone along the way. Unlike lots of people in this industry I’ve never been interested in awards and so on. I get my kicks from making connections: insights. Stepping outside my world and frame of reference and into someone else’s.
Slowing down. Knowing myself. Committing to the process. And all these things have come as I’ve got older.
And I’ve a knack for an insight.
I haven’t mentored and I don’t have one. I should totally get a mentor: *That’s* what’s been missing! Mel, one of our founders, is probably the closest I have; I’m very lucky to work with her.
I really believe that none of us win unless we all win: that we need to rise together. Agencies are all about winning and rising but it is often – in the broader and smaller picture – about achieving at someone else’s expense. In the long term I believe it to be a flawed strategy: Our opportunities, our vantage point, our ability to understand and create all expand when we reorganise to succeed together.
Not one piece, but one dossier of all the things I have learned along the way. And I’d say: breathe. Pause.
Actually that’s advice I use now. I’ve a post it note on my monitor that says: PAUSE.
I am working with a hair care business in Greece, aiming to bring their product under a new brand which I’ve created to the UK.