GOOD year, bad year? As 2013 draws to a close, we ask Malcolm Robertson, joint managing partner of new corporate communications agency, Charlotte Street Partners: ‘How has it been for you?’
Briefly, what is it that you do?
I’ve been running my own business for two years, but next month, Andrew Wilson and I will launch a new strategic communications consultancy in Edinburgh and London, advising businesses, individuals and other organisations on how best to engage with customers, investors, the media, politicians, policy makers and regulators.
Choose three words that sum up 2013 (so far), from a professional point of view.
Ambition. Change. Marmalade (see below).
In 2012, what was your biggest ambition for 2013, and to what extent did you achieve it?
My only real ambition was to build a new, bigger consultancy business with a great team of people. We’ve achieved the easy part of that, coming up with a name and a team that exceeds our expectations. But, the hard work starts in 2014.
I also became a non-executive director of a great start-up called ‘Tartan Marmalade’, led by Elena Torres, which will undoubtedly become one of the leading digital shop windows for Scottish tourism.
How has 2013 (so far) been for you, personally?
It’s been a good year, but with two children in their early years of primary school in Edinburgh, there have been some inevitable ups and downs. On the upside, my eldest son, Michael, who is 18 and lives in Glasgow, joined Cartha Queen’s Park Rugby Club and made his debut and a number of appearances for the First XV. I’m proud of him.
Any changes this year in technology, legislation, the economy, etc that have had a relatively significant impact on the business?
Technology has reached a point that, on the one hand, makes life relatively easy (certainly for my generation). But free and near universal access to communications technology brings greater challenges for corporations and individuals. I think business leaders are starting to think more carefully about how their reputation works in this context and how to mitigate the growing number of risks through more thoughtful engagement, and better networks.
What are you looking forward to, in 2014 – personally and professionally?
I’m looking forward to the new series of Revenge on E4. It’s been bloody ages since the last one. More seriously, family aside, 2014 will be about Charlotte Street Partners, and establishing the new business in Scotland and London. Andrew and I have put together an ambitious and competitive team, and are supported by some really great people, who have done it all before. We’ll enjoy it.