Meet the Team : Marion Cordiner
Sit down chat with newest member of the SPEY Team, Associate Partner, Marion
How did you begin your career in PR & marketing?
After I graduated from University with a degree in Marketing, I went travelling to Australia with the aim to go for six weeks. I landed a job at an art and directive agency called The Glue Society in Sydney, was then sponsored to stay and didn’t end up leaving for two years. That was over ten years ago and I’ve been working in marketing and PR agencies ever since!
What’s the best thing about working in PR?
I love that I can be creative every day. I’m so lucky to have worked with some incredible brands over the years, from Virgin Galactic and The Caledonian Sleeper to Instagram. The opportunities to be creative every day are endless. For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with reading magazines and newspapers so I love that working with these outlets and their talented journalists is a huge part of my job. More than anything, I also strongly believe in the power of PR. I read once that a news item about a brand carries three times the credibility and six times the visibility of an advert, which really resonated with me. However, nowadays the traditional role of working in PR has been blown apart by social media. I don’t really see myself as working just in PR anymore, especially at an agile company like SPEY, where we are truly full-service.
You’ve worked for an agency in Dubai, what are the differences between working in PR in the UAE compared to Scotland?
There are stark differences to living and working in Dubai compared to working in the UK. Tax, salaries, employee benefits, healthcare, climate and schooling to name just a few. Dubai is the most convenient place to live and work. You can literally get anything delivered to your doorstep 24 hours a day, including petrol for your car or a box of paracetamol from the pharmacy. In terms of PR, the work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and creativity are no different. Expats make up 80% of the population in the UAE and Dubai is an exciting and fulfilling place to work. But the inequality divide is huge and you witness it everyday. I loved working in Dubai but I’m incredibly happy to be back on home soil.
What has been your favourite project to work on so far in your career?
There have been so many projects I’ve loved working on for a huge amount of reasons, but if I had to pick one I think it would be the rebrand of NorthLink Ferries, the lifeline service that transports passengers from Aberdeen to the Northern Isles. We came on board to work with the team when Serco was awarded the management contract and implemented a complete re-brand alongside a 360° marketing campaign. We built a new website, rolled out a whole new marketing strategy including social media, advertising, media buying and design. We designed new logos, re-branded the ferries both inside and out, and launched a new PR strategy. It was a huge project and one that was very satisfying to work on from day one. It also meant I was lucky enough to travel to Orkney for work, one of my favourite places. The locals are so friendly and it is such an enchanting, tranquil island. I loved it and can’t wait to go back one day.
What can we find you doing when you’re not in the office?
I have two little girls who keep me busy when I’m not in the office. We live right by the beach so we are often running about on the sand, building sandcastles, collecting shells and enjoying the fresh air. I’m a Highlander so most of my family still live nearby which is great. I can often be found drinking wine with one or more of my many siblings while all our children are having fun playing together. I’m very lucky. I also like to keep active when I can. I love running, have run the Loch Ness and Paris marathons and I adore yoga. I recently qualified to be a children’s yoga instructor but it’s hard to find the time to start teaching, so my girls are currently my only clients!
What are your top tips for working from home during the Coronavirus outbreak?
At SPEY we’re used to remote working and working from home. I’d say try and keep to a routine, if the body is in routine, the mind will follow. At SPEY we’re lucky to have standing desks in the office, which I do miss at home, so a top tip would just be to get up and about. Walk about in the garden if you can while on calls, and drink up that fresh air. Create a decent, uncluttered workspace. With two toddlers at home, I’m yet to master this one! And make the most of the tech available to you. We are never off Gsuite. Google Hang Out and G Chat keeps us sane, so we feel like we’re together, even though we’re not.
What is your favourite book/podcast?
I read and listen to on average a book a week so I always have new favourites. I’m currently enjoying listening to The Dutch House by Ann Patchett and have just finished American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. The furore surrounding the book has totally overtaken the novel itself which is a shame. Because of my Audible obsession, I don’t listen to a huge amount of podcasts, but my one favourite is The High Low with Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes. I love their book recommendations and aspire to be as articulate as them!