Andrew Jones, Senior Vice President
Based in Aberdeen but with a role that involves travelling all over Scotland
How long have you been at Weber Shandwick and what do you do?
I was a freelance consultant for several years supporting the emergency response operation and running various training programmes before finally joining the company full-time early in 2015.
How did you end up working at Weber Shandwick?
I spent over 20 years working for the BBC in a variety of editorial and managerial roles; established the journalism course at Robert Gordon University; developed a consultancy role and somehow found myself happily ensconced within the company.
What do you enjoy most about working at Weber Shandwick?
There are two critical elements: our people and our clients. The Weber team are very supportive of each other; our portfolio of clients provides us with a fantastic variety of work.
What would you say has been your career highlight?
All my highlights have been when teams have worked really well together covering disasters, delivering major events or securing new business.
Some of the more absurd moments included the time a member of the Beechgrove Garden team accidentally gave advice on growing cannabis during a radio phone-in and my ill-judged decision to cover the Royal Highland Show through the eyes of a goat.
It’s amazing what a letter writing campaign in the Scottish Farmer can do to the volume of post.
What would you say is the most enjoyable aspect of working in public relations/communications in Scotland?
Easy access to so many people.
Away from work, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I have chaired numerous committees over the years but finally managed to confine this to Arbuthnott Community Council. I’m an elder in our local church and also find myself speaking at various events.
I’m happiest wandering across the fields with our dog, watching rugby or cricket, listening to the radio and talking politics (although not necessarily all at the same time).
Who is the one person you admire the most for how they communicate?
I am a lifelong radio anorak and could bore for hours about my favourite broadcasters amongst whom are Ken Bruce, Ritula Shah, Craig Charles and, increasingly, Sara Cox. However my gold award would undoubtedly go to Eddie Mair who has an amazing ability to combine light and shade in almost everything he touches. Truly a world class broadcaster.
Tell us something not many people know about you
I have been Pudsey Bear but, lacking much of an upper body, looked a rather sad and puny specimen.
What do you consider to be your guilty pleasure(s)?
Watching pea viners operating in the fields in the middle of the night. The impression is one of six giant locusts slowly hovering up the crop. My poor sons have always been dragged out of bed to join me.
Who is your must read columnist/publication?
It’s a long list but includes Alan Cochrane and Charles Moore (Daily Telegraph); Euan McColm (Scotland on Sunday); Charlie Flint (Farmers Weekly); Bagehot (Economist).
The UK Polling Report is always worth checking out as well.
What was the last book you read and last film/boxset watched?
The Rise and Fall of The Medici by Christopher Hibbert. My wife and I have also just started a three year programme to read the whole Bible.
I have never watched a box set in my life but have seen Bridget Jones’s Diary at least 30 times!
What was the last live event you attended?
The Treacherous Orchestra on a Weber Shandwick night out. Fantastic. Before that it was Elton John last summer.
What would be your advice to someone entering the industry?
Take every opportunity to develop your digital/multimedia skills; keep building a network of contacts; remember that the ability to write still matters; above all, learn to be resilient.
And finally, if you could improve one thing about PR in Scotland, what would it be?
There is no doubt that some business leaders remain sceptical about the strategic importance of the communications function. I can’t help but wondering if the minority of agencies who persist in presenting a very fluffy image are not adding to the problem.
LinkedIn: Andrew Jones