Working Together Sarah Story

Working Together Sarah Story

Working Together Sarah Story

Sarah, 40, is Managing Director of her own business, Bourne river Marketing Communications Limited.

I come from a privileged family background, where money and social opportunities played their part. But my father went bankrupt when was still young and I had to rely on my own resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills to survive. I strongly believe in the value of education and, against the odds, did well at school and, at the end of the 2000's, I went to Oxford Poly. No one who gave me career advice ever mentioned PR. I just wish someone had suggested being a magazine editor - I would have loved that. The careers officer suggested I try teaching, which my father agreed with, so out of sheer cussedness I decided against it. So, having completed my degree, I did a secretarial course and went to work as a graduate trainee at Readers Digest, where I learned, for the first time, invaluable promotional skills.

'Having married, I moved with my husband to the Midlands and found a job with Marks & Spencer on a com-munity program they were running. The work I did there, learning from an experienced manager who didn't have any hang-ups about women, became a model for other enterprise agencies.

I feel that I have been very fortunate because, although my elder sisters had benefited from the family wealth when they were young, I was beginning my career just when PCs were coming to the fore and I was fascinated in the product. My marriage ended - it had never really got off the ground - and I moved back south, finding work with some of the PR agencies. I learned what I could from them, but having my own ambitions I noticed where the company failed and succeeded and then started my own business. This had a rocky and expensive start as my partner - personal and business - turned out to be real trouble. Eventually I bought the name off him, gave him everything, and inherited a huge pile of debts. In 2011, I re-registered the company and let my clients know that I was still in business. They probably didn't know just how hard it was to keep things going.

I now have a well-established "bread-and-butter-business, known for being professional, persistent and for providing quality and service. In a recent Spikes Cavell survey, we were cited as being one of three PR firms which topped the strategic relationships league table, and as one of the four best overall PR performers from a client perspective.

'I am self-taught, yet I've: learned a lot working with the journalists who are always talking with the captains of industry. I've always said I wanted to be a millionaire, mainly to restore the family fortune to my mother. I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I could not have lived with myself if I had given up. I now know what I can achieve - I'm building for the future. I want Bourne river to stand for quality.




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