Sarah Ward, Senior Account Executive
How long have you been at Weber Shandwick and what do you do?
I’ve been with Weber Shandwick for three and a half years and I work on consumer accounts. Most of my clients are involved in the tourism and hospitality sector.
How did you end up working at Weber Shandwick?
Weber Shandwick was one of the first PR consultancies I heard about at University so I was well aware they were leading the game.
While studying, I did work experience in Edinburgh Zoo’s press office right after the Panda’s arrived. I heard about the support Weber Shandwick provided around their arrival so I was very excited when I graduated to see there was an Account Executive position available. I couldn’t miss the opportunity.
What do you enjoy most about working at Weber Shandwick?
Every single day is different and no one size fits all. It means we constantly get to challenge ourselves and our clients to think about new ideas and try different things.
What would you say has been your career highlight?
I was one of the lucky 15 to take part in Weber Shandwick’s 15th anniversary celebrations this year.
The 15×15 Worlds Traveller programme provided me with an exciting opportunity to experience our Chicago office, known as our consumer powerhouse, it was a great chance to see how we operate in different markets and with very large clients.
I also loved getting the chance to meet Sir Chris Hoy through the work he does with one of our clients, he’s my mum’s hero and even posed for a selfie!
What would you say is the most enjoyable aspect of working in public relations/communications in Scotland?
Scottish humour, because almost anything goes!
Scottish brands have a real cheeky sense of humour which is great for us to play with and our media can be a lot of fun.
Away from work, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love films and could spend every night at the cinema.
I also love discovering new restaurants and foods and channelling my inner Jamie Oliver at home.
I really enjoy going to the gym and trying out new activities. This year I’ve tried Snowboarding, Skiing, Trapeze and Canoeing. I also ran my first 10k (with a lot of help from my colleagues Lynne and Phoebe) I’ve taken on a volunteer role with Clyde Scouts which also gives me an excellent opportunity to try out new activities.
Who is the one person (in this industry or outside) you admire the most for how they communicate?
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West. Love or hate them, everyone is talking about them and they rule social media like no other, especially Kim.
Tell us something not many people know about you?
I socialise a lot, but I’m a secret loner and love spending time by myself.
What do you consider to be your guilty pleasure(s)?
Skipping push-ups at the gym… and chocolate Easter eggs.
Who is your must read columnist / publication?
I love Jay Rayner’s restaurant reviews for the Observer Magazine. The man knows his grub!
Who is your must follow on social media?
Refinery 29 is my favourite Facebook feed to follow. On Instagram, @wonguy947 is fantastic, he’s a French photographer, his images make me want to explore Paris all over again. Joe Wicks @thebodycoach is a must follow on Snapchat if you are a fitness fan.
What was the last book you read and last film/boxset watched?
Terry Pratchett’s Raising Steam. Fantasy is my favourite genre and he is the King.
The last film I watched was Hell or High Water at the cinema; I expected more from it however it’s still an interesting watch.
What was the last live event you attended?
My flatmate and I went to see Rudimental in Glasgow, they have crazy energy and we ended up dancing all night.
What would be your advice to someone entering the industry?
Fail fast and fail big, it’s the only way you learn.
And finally, if you could improve one thing about PR in Scotland, what would it be?
We need to think bigger!