Having built a successful 15-year career in the private sector as a corporate affairs executive with organisations such as Centrica, Gatwick Airport and Dana Petroleum, I saw an opportunity to offer something different – the need for something different.
As a trusted advisor to chief executives, working with listed companies, private equity firms and government, I’d come to understand how strategic clarity, powerful stories and influential relationships could combine to transform organisations.
In 2015, I established Aspect, as a platform for strategic communication expertise. With our growing team of in-house experts and talented associates, we’re delivering on my original vision and helping a growing list of fantastic clients across a range of sectors tackle their biggest challenges.
It’s a long time since I turned my back on a musical career at the tender age of 21, but I’m proud to be orchestrating a bright future for Aspect.
Let’s begin at the beginning. I was born pre-term, two months early, and I’ve pushed myself to succeed ever since! That rather testing start ultimately led me to study infant nutrition and, following my degree, I became the nutritionist for a core division of a big pharmaceutical company.
That was straight out of university, so in some ways I had fulfilled my original ambitions by my early twenties. But, of course, new challenges came along, and I made the move from nutritionist to communications manager. For the next 5 years, I managed the team responsible for stakeholder engagement, organising educational symposia, exhibitions, and conferences from Sydney to Singapore, and also led several new product launches.
Having left that role to raise my two boys, I subsequently became a director of Aspect in 2015 – providing support with business development and planning. Doing a good job and caring about the outcome is what really motivates me. I love to get the best from people – and that includes the team here. My personal motto is ‘to be the best you can be’ – and when you commit to doing something – give it 100%.
Since starting my career in a small PR agency over a decade ago, I’ve been lucky enough to work in a range of corporate communications in the energy sector with oil and gas companies, government regulators, energy technology companies and in economic development organisations across digital, food, drink and agriculture.
With Aspect, I’ve returned to a consultancy environment bringing with me a broad range of experience in strategic communication, issues management and media relations. The dynamic we’re creating here at Aspect is pretty unique; with lots of senior level engagement in industry and government across a range of sectors.
I like to build strong relationships and make things happen – both core foundations at Aspect. Our clients trust us to understand their strategy, tackle complex challenges and deliver rapid results.
We’re building a very strong team – both staff and associates. People who are very good at what they do – which means I’m constantly developing and growing. And that’s another part of what makes Aspect tick – we’re always learning.
Faced with the choice of studying Engineering or Management, I opted for the latter and now have over 10 years’ experience in marketing, communication and media relations.
I’ve held a variety of in-house and agency roles predominantly in the energy sector and across both public and private sectors. This combination of client and agency experience is proving invaluable in my current role.
My approach is to get close to clients; to really understand where it ‘hurts’ and what they’re trying to achieve. Aspect often works as extension of a client’s in-house team, helping to formulate a strategy, developing great content and then delivering it with impact. It’s that end-to-end involvement that I really enjoy.
I’ve been involved in growing the Aspect team and helping shape the development of the business. It’s rewarding and energising to lead and nurture the people around me – while learning a thing or two from them at same time! At Aspect, we share the same work ethic, we’re all on the same wavelength, and we strike the right balance between hard work and fun. I think we’re building something very special.
I flirted with the idea of going to drama school but chose to build a storytelling career in a more commercial sense and studied marketing communications at Robert Gordon University. A love of travel eventually took me to Australia, via South America and New Zealand, where I worked in the fast-paced advertising and communications scene in Melbourne for three years. Working in a purpose-driven brand agency was a turning point; it taught me that repeatedly asking ‘why?’ is the foundation of truly effective communication strategies. You have to be comfortable asking the difficult questions.
Back in the UK, running my own communication business not only provided me with a broader perspective on applying brand strategy to address real business challenges, it also gave me the opportunity to pursue my interest in sustainability within different sectors. Now, at Aspect, I’ve the chance to further explore that passion across a great portfolio of fantastic clients – developing communication strategies that cut through the noise, connect with a wide range of stakeholders and deliver serious impacts.
I’m driven by clarity, love to produce content that is jargon-free, and appreciate clear and simple professional communication. I know that my colleagues at Aspect share that point of view, and it’s just one of the many things that enables this fast-growing team to consistently deliver such powerful solutions for clients of all sizes.
My career interests have always been driven by communication. When I was young it was journalism, when I studied it was broadcast and TV production, and then as my career has developed the focus has been on design and marketing. I have been lucky enough to work in a number of integrated communication agencies, and I’ve seen the difference a strong creative marketing idea can make across a whole range of sectors.
For me, the priority on every project is to bring together effective communication with great design to deliver solutions that work hard for our clients. Solutions driven by a clear overarching idea that then translates into everything else. Attention to detail is my strong point and I’m passionate about delivering an excellent client experience and building long lasting partnerships.
I’m a huge advocate of collaboration and love the buzz of working with a vibrant team in a creative environment. At Aspect, it’s great to have an extended multi-disciplined team to work with and learn from. It is a very supportive environment with everyone focused on ensuring that we come together in highly effective teams to deliver the very best outcomes for our clients. I find the work both inspirational and rewarding.
At one time I thought I might go into graphic design, but after university, my career took me first to the account management side of communications and then to the client side –and in both I’ve always enjoyed being involved in the creative process.
As the regional account executive in Scotland for a global London-based agency, I had an early opportunity to develop marketing strategies for major clients. It was a structured environment that taught me the value of overseeing the technical detail and ensuring advanced planning at every stage.
It’s really important to me to fully understand a communications project. I need to know the whole story – and always want to see a project through from A to Z – to ensure that it is delivered with integrity. Working with creative people is certainly an exciting part of the job, but at heart I’m an organiser – a deadlines and detail person.
Having worked in marketing and communications management on the client side, I also appreciate the real commercial and strategic importance of the work we do – and arguably that is more important than ever. Aspect is an ambitious business – and it’s exciting for me to join during a period of rapid growth. That in itself is no mean feat in 2020, so I think we can look forward to 2021 with real optimism.
My experience has prepped me well for this role with Aspect. I’ve been lucky enough to gain expertise across the whole communication spectrum from planning to delivery and learned about many different industries. In fact, looking back, I see how everything I did in University and with agencies since has been leading here, it was all training for this exciting role.
I enjoy executing strategic communication campaigns for a variety of B2B clients, from inception to completion. I thrive on creating compelling content for our clients and measuring its impact across the communication and marketing mix.
The work here is challenging but rewarding. It is fast-paced, always exciting and always different. Working on everything from government affairs to brand story telling, I’m learning so much, so quickly from so many different people – both from my colleagues and our network of associates.
I want to excel here at Aspect; and ultimately, I want to take on much greater responsibility for the management and development of client accounts – and with out a doubt, I believe that a busy strategic consultancy like Aspect is the perfect place to accelerate my career.
As a teenager I competed in athletics at national level and I’d put pressure on myself to always do my best. That stays with you, and I’m no different at Aspect, I want this team to be the best too.
As a graduate in Public Relations, my first role here was as a part-time social media coordinator, but I was so inspired by the Aspect vibe I asked to go full-time. Fortunately, they said yes, and since August 2019, I’ve supported colleagues and clients on a range of strategic communication projects.
I really enjoy producing engaging content for digital campaigns and always have at least three or four film and animation projects on the go. It’s really satisfying to see my ideas come to life on Instagram or LinkedIn and then digging into the analytics and sharing the results with our clients.
I’ve already learnt so many new things in a short time, and the support I get from the people around me is amazing. They’re continually pushing me expand my knowledge and skills – but I thrive on that pressure.
I joined Aspect in August 2020 – having just achieved a first class honours degree from Robert Gordon University.
I graduated in Public Relations, a course I chose of over media and marketing as I’ve always liked writing – and it just had a much greater focus on content creation. It also enabled me to complete a nine-month agency placement that gave me a lot of hands-on experience in social media management and media relations.
In my role at Aspect, I’m involved in supporting clients and colleagues right across the communication mix – but with a focus on digital marketing and public affairs. We’re working with such a diverse range of organisations – with different needs and communication challenges – and that really appeals to me.
It's been great starting my career here at Aspect. My aim is to learn as much as possible, while never giving anything less than 100%.
I grew up in Nigg on the Cromarty Firth, so the energy industry has always been a big part of life. However, my first love was for languages, and I originally planned to be an interpreter. I lived and worked in Italy for four years, but then having completed a degree in social sciences with politics, I returned to Scotland to start a traineeship with a PR agency in the Highlands.
Since then, I have worked in several client and agency roles across the PR and communications spectrum in Inverness, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen. Although I have experience across a wide range of sectors, my area of expertise has predominantly been renewables and energy -– onshore and offshore wind. Today, my professional focus is on the public affairs arena. I enjoy horizon scanning to see what’s happening across government and industry to inform our clients’ communications strategies and to help them engage with their stakeholders.
When the opportunity at Aspect came up, it just felt like the timing was right. A great match between my professional interests and the next phase of the energy transition. The Aspect team is very supportive, there’s such a brilliant culture here, and so many people to learn from. I’m loving the role and the clients we work with and what they’re doing in terms of the energy transition is absolutely fascinating.
I knew I wanted to be a journalist at a very young age, and when I wasn’t out running wild on the beautiful beach at Portgordon, I’d spend hours making my own magazines and newspapers in countless jotters. Realising my childhood ambitions, I worked as a reporter in north-east Scotland, before moving into corporate communications which I found to be a natural progression for my passion for storytelling.
Today, with 10-plus years on the corporate side, I recognise both the similarities with journalism and the differences. It is still really important to be able to identify and tell the real story, but it’s equally important to be able to manage the client relationships. Clients want to work with people who get them, who understand them, and who can work as an extension of their team. People who can add value.
At Aspect, the team’s intelligent approach to communications is underpinned by a deep knowledge of the industries and sectors in which our clients work. Our goal is to keep things simple and to communicate with integrity and clarity; and that’s what I’ve always endeavoured to do for clients who are seeking to navigate and succeed in a range of ever-changing and complex operational landscapes.
As a kid my dream was to be a professional footballer. I was in a successful juvenile team and secured a scholarship to an American college in Georgia. That was a great cultural experience, but I soon realised I was not the most talented of my teammates, and that making my mark meant communicating and leading as a key team player.
Over the years that realisation has been invaluable, and has enabled me to not only recognise, but also enhance the collective strength of groups. In my career to date, whether as reporter, media officer for Grampian Police, or more recently in PR and corporate communications, I’ve always put communicating with people at the heart of what I do. The breadth of my professional experience from providing operational support for engineering teams to media mentoring for leaders in the energy sector, has given me wide ranging insights into how teams need to collaborate effectively to maximise the impact, and not just the visibility, of any communications campaign.
I’ve worked with small businesses, international companies and in the public sector, and what attracted me to Aspect was that, as a consultancy, we likewise work across different sectors. There’s also such a range of expertise on the team; many people I can learn from, and others that I hope I can help to realise their full potential.
My expertise lies in marketing and communications with a particular focus on driving business growth. Since graduating from Robert Gordon University with a degree in Communications and PR, I’ve worked predominantly on the client side in technology businesses. Reporting directly to CEOs in these roles, I got to see the challenges that leaders faced, and realised how effective marketing and communications can help to deliver their strategic objectives. As a result, I think I’m very commercially minded and always focused on performance and results; attributes I take into my voluntary work helping local charities to raise their profiles and pull in more support and funding.
I spent the past seven years in the digital technology sector and learnt the importance of making connections in every sense. Every business has a story to tell, every business is more than the services or products it has to offer. A brand story can be a powerful tool both in terms of creating personality and building relationships. When it’s done well, a brand story will help with both client retention and new business development.
Moving into a fast-paced consultancy environment with Aspect has been great. There’s lots of moving parts, and I’m relishing the experience and the challenge. However, the goal remains the same: developing powerful communications that are results-driven and which are designed to help clients deliver on their strategic ambitions.
My passion for communications began in journalism. After university, I followed up on an advert for a trainee reporter at the Press & Journal in Aberdeen, and I’ve been telling people’s stories ever since. I learnt so much, so fast there – never assume, double check your facts and then check again, and always keep calm and think clearly in high-pressure situations. Basics that still serve me well in everything from public stakeholder engagement to crisis communications.
Having worked in both PR and corporate communications, latterly at Robert Gordon University, I still believe I can learn something new from every person I meet and love helping individuals and businesses to tell their stories – especially when it can create a positive impact. In recent years, I was a volunteer Press Officer for the RNLI Peterhead Lifeboat and valued helping the crew from my hometown to tell the world about their incredible work. It brought home for me how powerful internal and external messaging can help people and organisations to reach their full potential.
At Aspect, I’m relishing the opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge further surrounded by like-minded people. People who can help me to grow professionally, who understand the transformational power of focused and effective communications, and who share my enthusiasm for getting a story heard.
I’ve always been fascinated by storytelling. I’m obsessed with high quality magazines – across all kinds of subjects – and how the writing and design combine to communicate complicated messages in engaging and human ways. Although I studied journalism, it was in the energy sector that I found my creative storytelling home; creating strategies and thoughtful content that answered stakeholder needs, while also coaching internal teams to tell their own stories too.
Leading communications on numerous change programmes, I loved researching some of the day’s biggest subjects from digitalisation to the development of a low carbon culture in energy and finding creative ways to drive engagement. I’m excited about the potential for using data in business storytelling – empowering continuous improvement and delivering the evidence to support our clients’ messages in highly visual ways. I see this as a key way in which strategic communication can support business growth.
With Aspect, I have this opportunity to embrace a new challenge, building on my previous experience in both internal communications and external affairs. Working with clients across multiple sectors, we not only help to address the most pressing strategic communication issues, but we also create the unique solutions that simplify complex corporate or technical messages to deliver meaningful and sustained engagement with the target audiences.
I joined Aspect part-time while still completing the final year of my BA (Hons) in Event Management at Robert Gordon University. I like to plan ahead, and really wanted to have a job in place before my graduation in May 2022. While at school in Ellon, I thought I’d study business management – but was attracted by the idea of doing something more creative and practical. I chose the Event Management course because it had this unique ‘industry experience portfolio’, which involved more than 150 hours of work experience in various settings across events, such as golf’s Solheim Cup, and with the arrival of Covid lockdowns, online marketing too.
As my passion for marketing grew, I also started working or volunteering providing digital communication services to various businesses and charities, and I realised this was what I wanted to do post-graduation. Getting the chance to join the team at Aspect, and to work on interesting projects across multiple clients and sectors has really taken my experience to a new level.
I’m the youngest on the team for now, but I’m also very ambitious. I gained a lot of experience during my time at university, and now I’ve the opportunity to put it into practice. I am really enjoying the challenge, and with the support of my colleagues, I look forward to this continuing and expanding my professional knowledge.