She describes herself as a ‘word nerd’ – but it’s no conundrum as to how Katie Mallinson’s career has reached award winning heights by the age of 30.
Her success has been down to pure hard work, and the knack of keeping things simple.
It is more than two years since Katie launched Scriba PR, set up with the help of the University of Huddersfield’s enterprise team.
The company is based at the Heritage Exchange, in Lindley, in an office Katie describes as ‘bijoux but packed with character’, given the setting’s history as a former textile mill. Scriba has just taken on its third employee, Amy Byram from Marsden joining Katie and PR assistant Louise Jaggar from Lindley.
It specialises in B2B communications for organisations large and small, covering sectors such as recycling, engineering, construction and HR. Clients include The Media Centre, Huddersfield, electrical firm Ti Installations, mobile app gurus Common Agency, global shredding specialist UNTHA UK and their Austrian-based parent company, Riverside Waste Machinery, HR software provider Cascade HR, motor auction specialist G3 Remarketing, Mothers Mean Business, equestrian and pet business Burnhills, and office furniture and fit out experts Fraser Projects.
Katie has lived in Huddersfield all her life, and after leaving Greenhead College studied business management at the University of Huddersfield.
“It was not the most ‘traditional’ route into PR, but it inspired my aim to make PR something with tangible business benefits – a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’.”
Armed with a first class honours degree, together with awards for BM Student of the Year and Work Experience Student of the Year, she began her career as a junior PR executive in 2006.
Within four years she had become account director, and in June 2013, was ready to launch her own company.
She said Scriba’s mission is ‘to demystify the world of PR and deliver results-driven communication strategies to organisations that feel their story is too complex to tell’. “I welcome the niche, technical briefs – in sectors such as recycling and engineering – that many agencies shy away from.”
In the two years that have followed, Scriba has grown entirely through word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations.
In March, Katie won the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award, and in November won ‘Outstanding Young Communicator’ at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Pride Awards Yorkshire & Lincolnshire. She is also on the University of Huddersfield’s Management Advisory Team, allowing her to shape the learning, development and career paths of current and future students. “I hopefully bring some much-needed ‘northern soul’ to the sometimes misunderstood and mistrusted PR world. A self-confessed ‘word nerd’, I inherited my analytical mind from my engineer father.
“He encouraged me to learn how and why things work – an asset when crafting communications campaigns for clients’ highly technical industry sectors. Rather than creating an air of mystery surrounding PR we empower them to become better communicators themselves. This, plus the time we spend getting to know their businesses, objectives and financial targets, fosters complete trust and demonstrates our commitment to delivering bottom-line benefits.
“Inspiring young people is important to me, hence my continued university work. With the need for another potential Scriba employee on the horizon, my plan is for this to be a student or graduate, so I can help nurture the next generation of local PR professionals.”
Katie made the news herself two years ago when she was struck down with what was then a life-threatening blood clot.
The large deep vein thrombosis appeared out-of-the-blue on her left leg.
But she used the condition to highlight the possibility that other young people could develop it, and to urge for more to be done to recognise the symptoms at an early stage. “I organised and publicised a fundraising event which earned over £2,500 for Thrombosis UK. Scriba raised a further £2,000 for the charity in 2015.”
Katie lives in Slaithwaite with her boyfriend, Steve. It’s our first winter up in the hillside, so it’s pretty chilly, but it’s a lovely little hideaway, our perfect home. When I’m not working, you’ll find me spending as much rare and therefore very valuable time with my friends and family as possible, usually over food or a glass or two of wine.” As for the future, Scriba is already on the lookout for larger office space within Heritage as soon as it becomes available.
“Life is so fast paced, the months whizz by. But I can’t complain as it’s all doing a job I love, with two fantastic colleagues, and clients you could absolutely never be bored with.”
Family: Live with my boyfriend Steve
First job: Working in an ice cream van!
Best thing about the job? Giving organisations and business people a voice.
Worst thing about the job? There are so many misconceptions about the value of PR and marketing (but we enjoy disproving them!) And forgetting to sleep!
Business tip: Always try to step out of your comfort zone to keep on learning – you’ll be amazed when you look back how much this fuels your progress.
Work: B2B public relations and copywriting
Site: Heritage Exchange,
Lindley, HD3 3HR
Phone: 01484 489333
Holidays: Are few and far between! But always somewhere new – hopefully
South America later this year.
Web: www.scribapr.com (arriving in February – finally!)