In our latest Admiral Spotlight, one of our new [well sort of . . . she worked at Admiral back in the early days] recruits, Julia Wailes-Fairbairn tells us about life on a farm, writing a novel and why she admires our MD, Georgie Cameron.
What do you do to relax?
I live on a farm and I love riding or walking the dogs, although when it’s cold and wet I like nothing better than curling up beside a roaring fire with a good book or film.
What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Nothing is ever boring: everyone and everything is interesting in some way. It was my grandmother who told me this and she was right. With the right attitude even the most serious technical subject can be fascinating and there is something to be learned from everyone you meet.
What is your biggest challenge to date?
Bringing up two children, one who is severely disabled, has been an enduring challenge. In personal terms, keeping a sense of self while the events of life pulled me in all directions has been important but it’s good to be at a stage now when there is more time for me. I am working on a novel which has raised new challenges as I have to rely solely on my own instincts.
Who are your heroes both in and out of business?
I love the writing of Rohintron Mistry, Penelope Lively, Albert Camus, Ian McEwan and Margaret Attwood while having an ill-disguised envy for historical novelists who can bring past events to life. I am also in awe of really clever people and could listen to someone like Stephen Fry all day; he is a renaissance man for our generation.
In business terms, it sounds suspiciously creepy, but I really admire Georgie for the way she is calm and focused all the time, as well as the fact that she is so humble about her extraordinary success.
What made you want to work in the PR industry?
As an historian, I was trained to read and absorb a lot of information, condense it down and write a reasoned argument. This skill is what started me off in PR but as time has gone by I have found great satisfaction in just writing good relevant copy. It’s important to feel we add value.
What has been the proudest moment of you career so far?
When I worked for a London PR agency I wrote an article for a financial newspaper which resulted in over 2,000 enquiries for the company’s service. For a brief period the sales team treated me with immense respect! Fast forward a few decades, I’m proud to have re-started my PR career after some time in the wilderness and transferred my experience to the social media age.
What is your key tool in any PR campaign?
I’ve become a huge fan of social media and I love writing copy with an eye on SEO. It’s important that all platforms are linked in a coherent way for maximum effect.
What is the best thing about social media?
Immediacy and informality.
What is your favourite aspect of your job?
I love keeping abreast of the news and having the opportunity to put forward diverse opinions in a blog.
What is your favourite quote…
It’s Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”