My personal history
It was while I was still at school that I was bitten by the media bug — being chosen to take part in the BBC Radio Scotland teenagers show Sunday Club. There I first took part in studio group interviews with notable people and celebrities before being selected to conduct solo pre-recorded interviews with stars as well as reviewing gigs.
My heart set on a career in the media, I went to Glasgow University to study English and Philosophy for a Joint Honours degree (I gained 2.1) to get the degree I needed to gain entrance to postgraduate journalism training.
An enthusiastic 35mm photographer since I was 16, while there I became Chief Photographer of the Glasgow University Guardian and was also News Editor of Glasgow University Student Television.
On graduation, I beat more than 700 other applicants to one of the 60 places on the postgraduate journalism diploma course at what was then University College, Cardiff (now Cardiff University). After 10 weeks basic journalism training, I specialised in broadcasting.
After graduating from Cardiff, I briefly worked as a researcher on BBC Radio Scotland morning show Macgregor’s Gathering before getting into newspapers with The Sunday Post.
My career (in brief)
I worked in regional and local newspapers as a photojournalist, editor, sub-editor, picture editor and web editor until April 2011, when I took voluntary redundancy from The Sunday Post as part of a restructure in which my job disappeared from the organisation chart. In my 23 years in newspapers, I covered a vast array of events – from Lockerbie to post-Revolution Romania – and launched a newspaper in 23 days in 1995. See my LinkedIn profile for details of the many things I did and achieved.
I moved into PR as the natural way of using my storytelling skills, in words and pictures, alongside the marketing skills and knowledge I gained while doing my MBA.
In April 2012 I decided to set up ASM Media & PR as a way of using my complete skill set to work for myself (to achieve better work-life balance) and to offer better value for clients — allowing me to be a one-stop publicity shop for SMEs.
On the PR page you can see case studies of some of the campaigns I’ve conducted for clients and the coverage they’ve brought them.
What I believe in
If you look at the praise I’ve received from clients, contacts and colleagues over the years, you’ll see a common theme — absolute dedication to doing a thorough, top-quality job and maintaining good win-win relationships with all stakeholders.
I believe in proper relationship marketing — going that extra mile for each customer so he or she is both delighted and wants to maintain the relationship by keeping working with you. Treat people well and they will come back. Cut corners and they’ll find someone else next time.
Yes, of course I want to make a profit, but the best way to do that consistently, and make it grow, is to ensure that every one of my clients is so happy with the service they get that they keep using me and recommend me to other people. There’s nothing as good as a personal referral from a happy customer and if you look at my LinkedIn profile you’ll see I’m already succeeding on that front!
I also believe in responsible and ethical business practice, including minimising your impact on the planet, so I have a car that has pretty low emissions and try to maximise the number of meetings per journey to maximise the ROI on mileage.