For the latest edition of our #Girlboss blog we caught up with the formidable Sara Robinson. Sara started her working life as a music writer for a local newspaper aged just 14. Now, in 2018, Sara is the managing director of Cardiff and London based communications agency, Brighter Comms. Brighter Comms are currently working on a number of exciting projects for clients across a broad range of sectors. From charities to online retailers, and from sports governing bodies to commercial property. No two days are the same, and that’s Sara’s absolute favourite thing about her job. It’s true, variety really is the spice of life!
Sara always knew she’d like to work for herself. ‘One of my biggest bugbears is the way little girls get told they’re “bossy” – while boys are “strong” and have “leadership” skills. I used to hear that I was “bossy” a lot as a little girl, but I never saw it as a bad thing. I liked being in charge, and making stuff happen. I think it’s important to listen to that impulse. Working for yourself has lots of challenges, but so many plus points it’s hard to mention them all. There’s no price on autonomy and freedom.’ Wise words indeed. By being her own boss, Sara has the power to shape her own destiny, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t want the opportunity to do that.
When building a brand, Sara explains how the use of social media is absolutely vital, ‘It’s your opportunity to connect with your audience, amplify your message and really engage with people’. Sara also explained some big social media no-no’s! ‘The mistake many people and brands make is to use it as a broadcast tool, shouting their opinions or promotional messages. If you did that in the pub, people would just ignore you, eventually.’ And rightfully so! ‘The best brands on social media are the ones that have a clear voice, that invest time in having conversations and engaging with the audience. Make people laugh, or feel special, or inspired or entertained, and they’ll remember you. And the best bit is, it’s FREE.’ Amen to that!
Despite being career-driven and extremely social media savvy, Sara also recognises the importance of logging out. ‘If I’m in need of some inspiration, I know I need to get myself to a cliff-top, a gallery or get my headphones on.’ Sounds good to us! Sara is also big believer in the restorative power of art, ‘Sometimes, a painting will really touch me, almost as if you can hear the artist talking to me, personally, through the ages. There are some Impressionist paintings that never fail to move me.’
Sara is also a mother and notes how her 11-year-old son is one of her biggest motivations, ‘I want him to see the value in working hard at something you love, so I try and lead by example.’ He’s also Sara’s proudest achievement, ‘Every time I look at him, I’m amazed he came from me. I’m so proud of the funny, talented, adventurous little man he’s growing into.’
Giving back is really important to Sara, ‘At Brighter, giving back is central to our ethos. I am passionate about inequality and social justice, and we try and do our bit as much as we can. For example, we work closely with The Big Issue, and took part in the Big Sell Off challenge which really opened our eyes to the difficulties faced by vendors every day. After that we worked with the team to arrange the first ever Welsh Vendor Awards, which was a big success (we even picked up a “Supporter of the Year” award ourselves!). We now sponsor the Big Issue Cymru football team, which competes in the Street Football Wales league, and recently climbed Pen-Y-Fan with vendors to raise money for equipment. I like to think that everybody can do their little bit, whatever it is. And that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.’
We asked Sara what advice she would give to her 15-year-old self, Firstly, ‘make the most of this time. It’s golden, and you don’t realise it yet. You’re too busy worrying about your skin and having the right trainers. Treasure the freedom, and the infinite possibilities ahead of you. And the fact all your bills are paid by your parents!’ Secondly, ‘Believe in who you are and what you have to offer the world’, and finally, ‘Never give up on the idea that the world could be a fairer place. It’s not childish, or idealistic. It makes you a decent human being.’ Inspiring words, we think you’ll agree.
On what advice Sara has for other women who are looking to pave a way for themselves she defiantly stated, ‘Believe in your abilities. Don’t ever let yourself be talked over if you have a point to make. Hold your head up high, and even if you don’t always feel confident, fake it until you make it.’ Girls, you’ve got this.
Unlike the dreary wet weather we’re currently experiencing (in April, when Spring should be in full swing, cheers Welsh weather…) when we met up with Sara it was a gorgeous sunny day. As the weather begins to improve it’s the perfect time to start lightening your hair up for Summer! And that’s just what we did with Sara. We’ve added some natural balayage pieces to enhance and add variety to Sara’s base colour. Colour really can be as subtle or dramatic as you like, our Wella Master Colour experts are trained to colour your hair to the shade that’ll suit you best! For styling, we’ve gone for beachy waves. They’re quick, easy and perfectly modern!