She specializes in advising regional and international organisations on how to build and maintain a positive reputation in the Middle East.
Sarah supports regional and global clients in their reputation management across the Middle East.
Sarah has extensive experience in corporate communications, government communications, consumer communications, issues and crisis management, corporate citizenship and cross-cultural advisory.
Sarah read European Languages for Business and holds postgraduate qualifications in corporate governance and strategic marketing. She is currently studying for a MBA.
A native English speaker, Sarah also speaks French and Spanish and conversational Arabic and Italian.
Q&A with Sarah
Take the most interesting project you have worked on recently: Why was it interesting?
There are too many to list! But two that stand out both took place in Saudi Arabia: the first on advising an entertainment industry client on the reintroduction of cinema into the country after a 35 year hiatus and the other was designing the corporate citizenship strategy for an oil industry joint venture in a small city I had never heard of before. On this project I spent much time out and about in the community meeting with local people to co-create a strategy which was both a win for the client and a win for the people of the city, who taught me much and to whom I am grateful.
What advice do you have for aspiring communications professionals?
To keep actively learning and to look for knowledge growth outside of your direct job role too. I undertook two postgraduate qualifications, one in marketing and one in corporate governance, while working full-time earlier in my career, and am now studying part-time for a MBA. It is hard work but I have no doubt it makes me a more ‘rounded’ adviser, as well as more intellectually fulfilled.
What are the major industry challenges in the next 3 to 5 years?
My focus is the Middle East and helping clients build and maintain positive reputations in our region. It’s a fascinating region to work in because of the tangible impact of geopolitical events and because of the overwhelming popularity of digital platforms to exchange information at lightning speed, even more so than in other parts of the world. Both of these present challenges to communications professionals in the Middle East, but they also present opportunity for disruption, innovation and authentic stakeholder engagement.
What has been the biggest change in the industry since you started working?
Without a doubt it has been the opening up of the potential for direct stakeholder dialogue via digital platforms, and the science-based data and insights we can gain in doing so. I believe that our industry is an even more exciting place to work than when I started 25 years ago – and it was exciting then!
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Moon, my husky mix rescue dog. I sit on the Board of the largest animal rescue organisation in the UAE and have seven rescue animals. Moon needs a good hour’s walk before I leave for work, which means a 5 or 6am alarm clock call five days a week. But he’s worth it!