Definition of angel; guardian; invisible helper; backer.

Word Angel

Samantha McKay-Challen
LLB (Hons), Journalist, Dip CIPR

A dedicated and creative communications professional with thirteen years' experience; three in journalism and ten in Public Relations, both agency and in-house. I set up my own business in 2010 and I'm now a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and PR consultant.


Personal

Address: Based on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Mobile: 07818 164639
Landline: 0131 629 9915
Email: sam@thewordangel.co.uk
Follow me at: twitter.com/smckay72


Work History

1) Freelance writer, editor, proofreader and PR consultant at The Word Angel (July 2010 – present)

Ranging from the one-person start-up to larger corporates located in Scotland, the UK and Europe, my clients include: Sam Foster Architects; Gabrielle Creative; Kestia; The Katie McKerracher Trust; the University of Dundee; Book Your Golf; the Email Protection Agency and Morena.

Key responsibilities:

2) Senior Account Manager at Niche Works PR & marketing agency, Edinburgh (Oct 2009 – March 2012)

Key responsibilities:

Clients included: The Rutland Hotel; Kyloe Restaurant & Grill; The Stockbridge Restaurant; First Psychology Scotland; Cullen Property; The Living Room; Skin Solutions at Mulberry House; Isle of Eriska Hotel; Grassmarket Area Traders Association (GATA), and Scotbet.

3) Public Relations Account Director at Formedia, a creative marketing agency in Plymouth, Devon (August 2008 – August 2009)

PR Account Manager at Formedia(April 2007 – July 2008)

Key responsibilities as above plus:

Clients included Tamar Science Park (home to 50+ medical, science, technology and knowledge-based SMEs including the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry and Derriford Hospital); Plymouth City Airport (I wrote and edited the airport's ‘Airlink' magazine so have a good understanding of the design and print process); The British Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy; Plastic and cosmetic surgeon James McDiarmid; the CHICKS (Country Holidays for Inner City Kids) charity; Gill Akaster Solicitors; Shetland Islands Council; Salcombe Chocolate Academy; Michael Spiers jewellers; Finance South West and Finance Cornwall plus their investee companies (e.g. Cornish Sea Salt); Executive Lets; sailor/adventurer Pete Goss MBE; OSTAR (the Original Single-handed Transatlantic Race); Mayflower Marina, and Poshtotti clothing.

4) Senior Press & PR Officer, Plymouth University (September 2002 – February 2007)

Key responsibilities:

The university press office gave me fantastic experience in writing about everything from world record rocket attempts to teaching fish the time. As a result, I am adept at understanding complex subjects quickly and turning highly technical language into great news stories that will appeal to a wider audience. I worked closely with marketing colleagues to increase student recruitment numbers (at a time when applications were down due to the introduction of top-up fees) and our PR team's successful media relations campaigns did much to raise the university's profile, resulting in increased funding and a significant jump up the university league tables.

During my time with the university, the Vice-Chancellor was, tragically, killed in a freak accident, plus two campuses were closed (causing much negative local and regional press) giving me wide experience of managing crisis communications and dealing with controversial and sensitive issues, often while under extreme pressure and working to tight deadlines.

5) Journalist, Lincolnshire Daily Echo, Lincoln (October 2000 – August 2002)

Key responsibilities:

My time on a daily newspaper gave me unparalleled experience of writing accurate, interesting copy to extremely tight deadlines (we produced three daily editions) as well as working as part of an effective and dedicated team.

6) Journalist, Tameside Reporter, Manchester (September 1999 – October 2000)

Key responsibilities:

In my first month, I was asked to cover the Harold Shipman murder trial at Preston Crown Court. This experience gave me the confidence to cover Crown Court on a regular basis, giving me a good understanding of medical terminology and employing the legal training I obtained while at university.


Education

  1. CIPR Diploma, University College Plymouth, September 2004 – September 2005
  2. NCTJ Journalism Certificate (plus 100 wpm shorthand), Norton College, Sheffield, September 1998 – September 1999
  3. LLB (Hons) Law degree: University of Plymouth, September 1995 – July 1998
  4. Two A-levels and eight GCSEs (Grades ABC), Devonport High School for Girls, Plymouth (1983-1990)

Hobbies

I am passionate about ethical and vintage fashion and have recently started learning how to customise my own clothes. I enjoy travel, dancing, cooking for friends, long walks, and curling up with a good book or two. I also like to keep up to date with current affairs and read daily newspapers, magazines, and websites, as well as regularly interacting on social media (facebook, twitter, LinkedIn etc)


Referee

Jonathan Mills, owner of Formedia
For contact details please get in touch


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