Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry?
There’s some obvious big names like Sheryl Sandberg – I was lucky enough to visit her ‘Lean In’ organisation on a leadership mission to San Francisco back in 2015 and was hugely inspired by how she faced into challenges of gender equality in the tech sector and has created a global movement for change. On top of that, her career successes speak for themselves.
From a place brand and marketing perspective, Rebecca Smith, Director of New Zealand Story, has a deep understanding of the interdependencies of a country’s reputation, its people, products and businesses, and has long been a pioneer in this space.
Closer to home, Gillian Docherty, CEO of DataLab, is a champion for Scotland’s data sector and ambition, Polly Purvis, Chair of CodeClan, is an outstanding ambassador for digital talent and growing our tech workforce, and entrepreneurs like Celia Hodson are designing businesses for good – her company Hey Girls tackles period poverty whilst delivering sustainable sanitary products.
The thread that unites them all – purpose and passion.
The one campaign you are most proud of during your time with your organisation?
I am immensely proud of our ‘Scotland is Open’ campaign which launched back in March 2019, facing into the major challenge of that time – Brexit. It represents a lot of hard work and effort by the whole team and is a symbol of the power of a place brand narrative to capture the zeitgeist and create a meaningful emotional connection.
Maneuvering complex stakeholder feedback, whilst retaining creativity and feeling, the output was a piece of creative that really resonated with our audiences. It was a bold statement that unequivocally let EU citizens know how much we value our relationship with them. It demonstrated that we are a country that is open, welcoming, inclusive, multicultural and compassionate. And across the world, people engaged in huge numbers with our message.
The campaign exceeded all targets set and generated an incredibly heart-warming response. It demonstrated the power of collaboration – when partners can align behind a common goal and dare to be bold. As a marketer, there really is nothing better than working on a campaign that is about positivity and connection and seeing that reach and affect your audiences on a global scale.