Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Alison Cran at start of ‘new chapter’ with PR and marketing firm Korero

Alison Cran, of Korero.
Alison Cran, of Korero.

Every Monday, we ask small businesses key questions. Here we speak to Alison Cran, founder and director of Aberdeen PR and marketing firm Korero.

How and why did you start in business?

There were two things I always wanted to be from a young age – the first was a journalist and the second was to be a business owner.

Even in primary school I helped start a school newsletter, while also making and selling jewellery at craft fairs.

I feel fortunate to have been able to combine a career in journalism with senior roles in public relations (PR) and marketing. This eventually allowed me to start my own agency.

How did you get to where you are today?

I was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged me to follow what I loved doing, rather than focusing on securing a well-paid job.

When you’re doing something you enjoy it’s much easier to get through the challenging times.

I studied journalism at Sheffield University and then went on to work as a reporter in local radio and on an evening newspaper in Yorkshire.

‘Now or never’

When I returned to Aberdeen to be closer to family I decided it was time to move into PR, and worked for two international agencies before working in-house for an oil and gas operator.

I took redundancy from that role when my daughter was a baby. The downturn was just starting to bite and there were very job opportunities in Aberdeen.

I decided then it was now or never to set up on my own. While it was daunting to get started, it felt like the right move and it’s been an exciting journey ever since.

Who helped you?

One of the best things to come out of setting up the business is it really opened my eyes to just how much support there is out there.

If it wasn’t for the support I received from people I’d worked with in the past and also other small business owners, I’d have struggled to get the agency off the ground.

It’s support from the business community and organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses and others that continue to help us shape and grow Korero.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?

There are a couple of pieces of advice that I try to live by in business. The first is to only compare yourself to your own aims and progress. It can be all too easy to get sucked into what others say they are doing, but you really have no idea of what’s going on behind the scenes.

The other was from Norton Bertram-Smith, at On Purpose, who taught me the importance of responding rather than reacting. That’s critical for any leader.

In life and business I think Dory from Finding Nemo nails it with “just keep swimming”.

The lovable but forgetful Dory, one of the animated stars of Finding Nemo and it’s follow-up, Finding Dory.
What is your biggest mistake?

I try to always find the positives and learning whenever things don’t go as expected.

Rather than big mistakes, I think the one I’ve made more than once is not trusting my gut instinct.

It can be easy to convince yourself to make a decision that deep down you know isn’t the right one.

I always try to give myself some thinking space before making any big decisions.

What is your greatest achievement?

Building a business through some challenging years both economically and personally.

Today, I’m supported by a fantastic team who not only deliver work that I’m excited for us to share with clients, but I also have a business that allows me quality time with my daughter.

If you were in power in government, what would you change?

Getting the basics sorted would probably be a good start, as well as having a government that has the best interests of the country at its heart.

A government that is respectful of everyone who is part of the democratic process as well as the law would be a close second.

What do you still hope to achieve?

Although Korero has been going for seven years, in many ways it feels like we are at the start of a new chapter.

We have so much more to do to build our core strategic offering, as well as grow our new digital service for smaller businesses.

Lockdown really brought home how important relationships are with my friends and family, so spending more time with them is a key priority for me.

I love exploring new places in Scotland and further afield, so the travel list is growing.

What do you do to relax?

If I’m not catching up friends or family over a nice meal or drink, I’ll usually be out walking in our stunning countryside or catching up on the gardening.

With so many great shows and events returning to the city’s venues I’ve also been busy booking tickets.

What are you currently reading, listening to or glued to on TV?

I’m part way through You Ask They Answer (Marcus Sheridan), which is a great read for anyone wanting to learn more about digital selling.

I enjoy listening to Steven Bartlett’s podcasts while I’m out walking, and I’m currently trying to catch up on the latest series of Ozark.

What do you waste your money on?

With the rising cost of everything, it’s getting more difficult to justify wasting money on things, but short breaks will be my big splurge this year – making the most of our freedom again.

What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

I would really love to be a morning person but I’m not. So, it’s just a coffee, breakfast and a quick check of emails before heading out.

What do you drive and dream of driving?

I drive an Audi Q5 – I wanted something I felt safe driving. I don’t spend much time dreaming about driving anything in particular but if I had unlimited funds, it would be an Aston Martin Vantage.