SHARON STARKEY Managing Director, Resolution.
Did you always envisage a career in the Media industry ? Growing up, I wasn’t certain what I wanted to be when I was older. I was aware of my love of language and always had a strong desire to problem solve, as well as a respect for great design and clear communication. Back then, I wish someone had made me aware of the opportunities available in this sector. As an organisation, we think it is important to work with education providers to talk to students about our roles so they are aware of the considerable opportunity that lies within the creative sector. What has been your career path so far? I have spent my career working in various marketing roles both in-house and agency for small and multi-national organisations. I think it’s important to choose carefully between B2B and B2C as well as considering in-house or agency as they are very different roles; there is a risk of thinking the sector isn’t for you if you get it wrong. My work has taken me all over the world to deliver these services, but I do love being in the north. At Resolution we are proud of our Teesside location, there is something great about this region, its people and their innovative nature. What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far? I love marketing, it never fails to amaze me how powerful it is when activity is considered, aligns with company objectives and is both consistent and measured, but I never had a desire to be a business owner. I chose to create Resolution as a means to allow me to focus on more of the work that I loved; it was never in my thinking that I would create a business that employed a team, which of course has changed my role significantly. I don’t consider myself an entrepreneur and I am very aware that I am learning as the business grows. For a creative, tackling business elements such as accounting and legals can be tough. We’ve overcome this by doing exactly what we suggest our clients do with their marketing and have sourced experts to handle the elements that we don’t have in-house capability for. I feel incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by suppliers who look after our best interests so we can concentrate on doing the same for our clients. Who do you most respect in your industry? There simply aren’t enough column inches to answer this. I have worked with so many great people, the creative industry is highly collaborative and filled with inspirational characters. I still encounter opinion that our sector is a bit fluffy and not that important, however clear messaging and communication is critical for a business and I congratulate anyone who heads off to forge a career in an industry brimming over with talent and imagination. It is important that we showcase these people to create role models for the next generation to aspire to. Which fictional media character can you most relate to? If you have watched West Wing you will be familiar with CJ Cregg, White House press secretary. She is working in a fast-paced role and has to absorb information quickly before relaying it whilst reducing any potential negative fallout. She is usually in possession of high-level information and must hold the attention of the audience. She is empathetic and has an ability to remove emotion and apply logic in the toughest of situations. It is a delicate role and she is a master at it. I can relate to some of the issues she faces, albeit mine are not a matter of national security! I would like to think, like her, I am able to stand back and observe a situation before making informed decisions. How did you adapt your business during the coronavirus crisis and support clients? We are in the business of communication, so we did exactly that. Honest phone calls with our clients to understand the specific challenges they were facing followed by campaigns to tackle them. Nearly all of our clients had an updated message to share and it was all hands on deck as we adapted every single comms plan to make sure our clients’ brand profile reflected the everchanging landscape. We are proud of the relationships we have with our clients and it was really positive to see everyone pull together in what was an extremely difficult time for businesses.