Pamela McDade, Associate Director
How long have you been at Weber Shandwick and what do you do?
I’ve been at Weber Shandwick since July 2015, so just over a year. My job is to plan and deliver strategic communications campaigns for clients and provide senior counsel to colleagues in the Glasgow team.
How did you end up working at Weber Shandwick?
I was working in PR even before I knew what it was. I remember saying to my boss in my first job in a chartered surveyors in Glasgow that I wanted to go back to college, but wasn’t sure what I’d be suited to. He said “either a union rep or a PR person”, because apparently they’re similar. I went for the latter.
I’ve worked my way up on the agency side ever since and was approached by Weber Shandwick when a suitable position came up. The stars aligned I guess, and here I am.
What do you enjoy most about working at Weber Shandwick?
I enjoy the fact that the business is way bigger than just one person. The sheer scale of Weber Shandwick is phenomenal which puts us in a different league. I believe that I personally am much better suited to a bigger outfit. It keeps my attention and that’s what I love about it. The people here are genuinely dynamic and there’s so many of them!
You won’t really understand what I mean until you walk through the doors as either an employee or a client. It’s completely different to anything I’ve experienced in my PR career.
What would you say has been your career highlight?
The highlight of my career happened very early on. The CEO of the first company I worked for saw potential in me that I didn’t see and basically put me forward for every new business opportunity and major client campaign going. That really helped grow my confidence as a young person in the industry.
That approach has stayed with me ever since. I throw myself into everything because how else will I know what I’m capable of.
What would you say is the most enjoyable aspect of working in public relations/communications in Scotland?
The most enjoyable aspect of working in public relations is that you are privy to new information before the rest of the world knows about. We get to experience everything first and that is a real privilege. From technology and infrastructure plans to business deals and consumer products, we are very much at the leading-edge.
Away from work, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m obsessed with my daughter. Any spare moment I get is spent with her. And when she’s had enough of me, I squeeze in dinner with my other half and a couple of runs a week. That’s about it really. I lead a simple life!
Who is the one person (in this industry or outside) you admire the most for how they communicate?
If my arm was twisted and I had to say someone everyone knows, then I admire Jack Jarvis from Still Game. Shoots from the hip and is hilarious with it.
Tell us something not many people know about you?
I can put my hands flat on the ground without bending my legs and can press my face against my knees.
I can also juggle three things and can open a bottle of beer with pretty much anything.
What do you consider to be your guilty pleasure(s)?
I also adore a steam genie. Give me a steamer and some anti-bacterial cleaner and I’m in paradise.
Who is your must read columnist / publication?
I love the Daily Mail Online and I ain’t ashamed to say it. I don’t have a favourite columnist mainly because I don’t want to upset anyone I’ll need to run stories for me in the future.
Who is your must follow on social media?
A must follow on social media is @JamesBlunt. If you don’t already know why, then get to following him.
What was the last book you read and last film/boxset watched?
The last book I read was The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 and ¾ – I love the author.
The last film I watched was Finding Dory.
What was the last live event you attended?
The Stone Roses, Glasgow 2013
What would be your advice to someone entering the industry?
Grab every opportunity with your hands and feet. Don’t be scared of what might happen if you’re being asked to leave your comfort zone. That’s what will give you the experience you’ll need.
And finally, if you could improve one thing about PR in Scotland, what would it be?
I think the industry is evolving nicely. When I first got into this, I was pasting cuttings onto a sheet of paper and measuring column inches with a ruler to work out AVEs.
We’ve come a long way since then. Today evaluation takes centre stage at the beginning of a campaign as opposed to being an afterthought dropped in at the end. We’ve earned our credibility as an industry, and I think we’re moving in the right direction to continue to improve our offering in line with client/market needs.
It’s a good time for PR. We’re branching out into new realms thanks to digital media.
LinkedIn: Pamela McDade