SOCIATE’s Founder, Rosa Bullock tells TMN about her current role and what she thinks about the PR industry in the Middle East…
Name: Rosa Bullock
Current Job Title: Founder, SOCIATE
When did you first arrive in Dubai?
Where did you work prior?
I was a PR and Marketing Expert for Club Fit for Business.
What were your first impressions of the PR and marketing industry in the Middle East?
I found that the local PR and marketing industry was the opposite of SOCIATE’s brand values. Companies offered minimal flexibility and maximal starting figures, completely ruling out start up entrepreneurs.
Has your opinion changed much?
I’m trying to be the change I want to see. SOCIATE strives to make up for what the UAE’s public relations and marketing scene lacks. We add a personal touch to our professionalism.
Tell us about your current role.
As Founder at SOCIATE, I currently oversee the mechanics of the agency. Dedicated to business development, I spend a significant chunk of my time out on the field. Backed by a solid senior management team, I’m knee-deep in growing the SOCIATE brand.
What challenges do you face?
Balancing cash flow and ensuring I have the best team.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Working closely with our clients, from start to finish, essentially as an extension of their in-house marketing team. Intimately understanding their objectives, achieving the results and celebrating the successes.
How has clients’ expectations in today’s digital community influenced PR and marketing in the UAE?
Tracking a campaign’s progress is more instant now. This helps us keep our finger on the pulse of the status of a campaign, in both the public relations and marketing industry.
What are the most common digital marketing mistakes companies make?
Creating content that doesn’t relate to the target audience, rushing the planning process of a campaign, not making a campaign’s core message clear and not having a smooth-running website.
How has social media in the region evolved over the years to become an integrated part of the PR industry?
Bloggers have heavily influenced the way PR campaigns are designed now. They’re an important element we consider. Sharing content on social media now impacts the way products are promoted.
How would you describe yourself at work?
I have a tight bond with my team. I’m permanently approachable and am always happy to lend a helping hand to any team member that could use one. I quite often enjoy accepting a helping hand too.
What’s the most exciting thing that has happened to you in your career?
It would have to be the opportunity to start my own agency. The independence you feel when owning and running your own company is invigorating and occasionally petrifying.
Describe yourself in five words.
Optimistic, sociable, approachable, tenacious and tall.
Who inspires you?
Karen Brady. She’s also charmingly known as the First Lady of Football. She’s made massive contributions to a highly competitive industry that is and has always been primarily dominated by men.
What’s your most overused saying?
It’s just Dubai.
Five things you can’t live without?
My daughter, my husband, my daughter’s nanny, laughter, oh yeah, and water.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to go to fashion college. My mother would buy me the most expensive magazine at the time, Vogue. I knew exactly what I wanted to be doing as an adult at age 13. I went on to attend the London College of Fashion and pursued a degree in fashion management, specialising in marketing.
What’s your most used social media platform?
What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a career in PR and marketing in the UAE?
Network, network, network. As the famous saying goes, ‘your network is your net worth’.