Meet Cathy Barlow

Hi Cathy! What’s in the mug?

First drink of the day has to be good black coffee, after that it could be any one of the weird and wonderful teas we have. Favourite at the moment is cocoa and coconut rooibos.

So, what inspired you to take the reins of the business in 2010 with Paul?

I’d reached a point where I had a choice – take a leap of faith and become a business owner, or essentially look for another job. I am a writer, I knew nothing about running a business, but I knew the clients, I knew the media, and I knew that this was an opportunity to take a well-respected name in the industry and grow it back to its former glory. I couldn’t have done it without Paul’s support, both moral and practical, and he has definitely helped to drive things forward to where we are today. It’s been tough, it’s been a real learning curve, but I don’t regret doing it for one moment. The leap of faith paid off!

What’s the secret to running a successful PR agency?

Having the right team around you and trusting them. Nobody is good at everything, and it’s important to recognise where your strengths are and where you need support. After that, it’s all about communication – with your clients, with your team, and with the media.

What would you say is the best bit of your job (other than being your own boss!)?

The people I work with – the team again, and we have some great clients too. Also, I love what we do, I believe it has real value, and I get a buzz when we help a client get a win, or we sign off on a quality piece of work.

Describe yourself at work in three words

Focused, inspired, effective.

Describe yourself at home in three words

Relaxed, happy, hospitable.

What are you happiest doing, when you’re not working? (Are you ever not working?)

Curled up with a good book, walking in the countryside with my other half, listening to music (live or recorded), pottering in my garden, spending time with my fabulous grown up family.

Tell us something about yourself people might be surprised by.

I’ve walked over hot coals. I’m afraid of heights and don’t like flying, but I’ve been up in a hot air balloon. I worked voluntarily for 5 years as a breastfeeding counsellor for the National Childbirth Trust. I’m not a bad artist, I can sing a bit, and I used to play classical guitar (but that was a long time ago…). Oh, and I can make an oven ready turkey out of a tea towel.

We have seen the evidence! Finally, if you could be anywhere other than here right this minute where would you be?

On the Isle of Arran, either on top of Goatfell, or looking out over Lamlash Bay from my favourite spot.

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