Meet the Team - Katy Stollery
Get to know our Managing Associate, Communications
How did you begin your career in PR?
I started in London on a graduate training scheme with an agency called LEWIS, just shy of 20 years ago. LEWIS specialised in IT PR and it was at the start of the .com boom so it was a fast-moving space, when online businesses like lastminute.com were just starting. Within nine months I had completed my training and I was an Account Executive working on around nine clients.
After two years of learning the ropes in London, I missed Scotland and my family and so returned to Edinburgh, where I joined Firefly Communications first in Glasgow and then in the Edinburgh office.
After five years I was ready for a new challenge and the opportunity to move in-house came along. Despite having no drinks/whisky experience, I joined The Famous Grouse as PR Manager. I worked with the Global Brand team and had a fantastic time leading and establishing its international PR programme. I got to travel to so many interesting places including St Petersburg, New York, Oslo, Budapest, Croatia and many more.
From then on my love for whisky and the food and drink industry started and I haven't looked back.
What’s been your most memorable experience at SPEY?
There are a few I could pick but so far the standout moment has been working with Whisky Auctioneer and delivering their first ever Summit of Collectibility.
It was a virtual event with an audience of collectors, industry professionals and media watching from around the world. We recorded it live and the panel only had an hour's rehearsal on the day before we went live. Thankfully all our hard work and preparation paid off and the live recording went off without a technical hitch!
What’s your favourite project to work on so far in your career?
A career highlight for me was overseeing the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to The Famous Grouse Experience. As it was their first visit to Scotland since getting married there was a great deal of excitement and expectation to make the most of the opportunity - so the pressure was on.
Although we were only one part of their trip, by capturing the right moments and photography during their visit we secured front page coverage across all the nationals and tabloids of Kate and William tasting the whisky. Overall we secured over 500 pieces of coverage for The Famous Grouse Experience.
What do you get up to when you’re not at work?
When I am not running around after my two daughters, I volunteer along with a group of other mums to help run the annual community Gala day. It's a tradition where the community comes together and we have a parade through the streets, a Royal Party of local children, community performances, community stalls and lots of fun games and entertainment. Before lockdown we had just under 6,000 people attend the last Gala day - so it's a huge event to organise and requires raising around £15,000 to put on.
What is your favourite book/podcast?
I do love reading but struggle to find the time or stay awake since becoming a mum. I am a big crime fan and so love the Linda La Plante detective novels and love discovering true crime podcasts.
One of my all time favourite books though is Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulkes. It really resonated with me as it's about a girl who lived in Scotland moves to London and then Paris. It's got a bit of everything: suspense, romance, history, but I loved it probably mainly because it reminds me of my time spent living in London and Paris.
Mental Health Awareness Week 2022
According to the Mental Health Foundation “Good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. Addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12%.”