What was your first job after leaving school/further education?
After graduating my first role was News Reporter at The Dundee Courier and Evening Telegraph. I’m originally from Dundee and to return to the city for which I have a huge affection to begin my professional life working for a family business like D.C.Thomson was the greatest start in the media business I could have hoped for.
When did you start your business & what prompted you to do it?
After 20 years in Journalism and Public Relations, both in-house and agency-based, and having two children, I decided that I could use the skills and contacts I have gained over the years by setting out on my own path. I launched Meldrum PR in April 2017 and it has been quite some year.
What did you find most challenging at the beginning?
The fact that I needed to gain knowledge about areas of business management very quickly and I no longer had colleagues sitting next to me who I could turn to for help and support on the tough days.
Who did you ask for advice & why did you choose them?
I’ve been lucky not only to have great support from my family and friends but also from an exceptional mentor from Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce who has given up so much of his time to help keep me on track.
How did you fund your business?
I was self-funded.
What would you do differently now looking back?
It’s still very early days so it would probably be premature to claim the wisdom of hindsight as yet!
What or who has helped you to grow your business the most?
Aside from those mentioned above, I would say the most important factor so far has been taking the opportunity to meet as many people as I possibly can from a diverse range of business sectors and sizes. I’ve learned that business leads can come from some of the least expected places.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
As a start-up business, it can be quite isolating having to make all the decisions yourself but I’m confident that the wide-ranging skills and experience I have picked up from some inspirational managers and leaders over the years will stand me in good stead.
What are the future plans for your business?
Short term, my focus is on delivering the best possible results for my clients and building the Meldrum PR brand through reputation. Longer term, it’s about balancing the growth of my client base while remaining at the forefront of PR Industry practice.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to set up their own business?
It’s definitely not for the faint hearted but, on the good days, it’s also one of the most rewarding challenges you could ever imagine.
Tell us something about you that isn’t commonly known.
Of all the lucky perks of the job I’ve had so far, I think the greatest was meeting the remarkable Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town while overseeing a Radio Times interview. Hilariously, he asked me if I was watching Footballers’ Wives.
And finally, why did you join WeDO?
As a working Mum, I don’t have a lot of time for networking groups so I wanted to pick one whose ethos I believed in. The supportive environment championed by Belinda and WeDO was impossible to resist!