Staff spotlight: Kelly O’Haire, Director

Staff spotlight: Kelly O’Haire, Director

Kelly O'Haire Pr expert Seaside CreativeWe’ve met Martin and Alison, and now is the time to meet Kelly, co-founder and director of Seaside Creative and all-round PR and marketing expert.

What do you do at Seaside Creative?  I’m a joint Director in the company and head up the Content and PR side of the business.

Have you always worked in this type of business? Well, I had a Saturday job working in a specialist tobacconist when I was a teenager (hated selling cigarettes but loved weighing out the black forest pipe tobacco) and then I worked in a dementia care home while I was at university studying PR and English Literature (I could tell you some stories!). I got a job in PR almost as soon as I finished my degree, which then led to roles at full service marketing agencies and I’ve not looked back!

Do you have any workplace rituals?  Not really, I think I’m fairly laid back when it comes to that sort of thing. Although I’m not sure the rest of the team would agree!

Tell us an interesting but little known fact about you…  Quite a few people know that I sing and that I played rugby at a high level for a few years, but not many know that I’ve done what was then the highest bungee jump in the world when I travelled round New Zealand in 2001. You have to get a cable car out to the pod that’s suspended between two cliffs 134m above the river Nevis and jump from that. You freefall for 8.5 seconds. Yes it was scary! 

Kelly about to do the world's highest bungee jump

We do not want this to be our next team building exercise!

Where do you see yourself in five years time?  If you’d asked me this a few months ago I would have said working with a larger team at Seaside Creative. However, the way 2020 has gone so far I’m just grateful we’re still here! I think it’s good to have plans and goals as they give you something to work for, but I don’t like to make them too rigid as it can just lead to disappointment.

Cover of The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Have you read anything good recently, whether for fun, work or both? I’ve been reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood; I’ve read many of her books and love her portrayal of women, especially when I was a teenager. She is an amazing role model of our time.

I want to read Difficult Women by Helen Lewis too. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been described as one myself quite a few times during my working life so I’d like to find out more about my role-models!

What’s your greatest achievement, whether at work or personally?  That’s a hard one! Personally I am super proud of my kids and the people they are becoming. Being a parent is tough sometimes, but there’s no feeling like the pride you have in your own children.  Work-wise I suppose I’ve achieved lots of things over the years. I wrote an article in a Cover of Difficult Women by Helen Lewischarity newsletter I ran that secured a donation of £100,000, which was pretty amazing. In recent years I’ve been really proud of my track record of helping clients to win business awards; I’ve helped to win over a dozen in the last few years, 

across many different categories too. I’m also proud to have been running a small business for nearly 10 years now – it’s been a rollercoaster ride sometimes but we’re still hanging on!

If you could invite four guests for a long lunch, who would you invite and why? Where do you go for your lunch? Only four? Hmmm, well maybe Dave Grohl because I bet he’s got some stories to tell. I love the Foo Fighters and he just seems like a really nice bloke – plus he can bring his guitar.

I’d invite my Grandad Bill Beer (real name!) as I never met him and those I know who knew him tell me how lovely he was.

Then perhaps a historical figure like Margaret D’Anjou. The Wars of the Roses is a fascinating period in history and she had to be an amazingly strong woman to do all the things she did during that time.

Finally, I’d invite Joan Rivers. She would keep us all in our place and tell us to dress better and we would cry laughing listening to her do it – well maybe Margaret D’Anjou wouldn’t, who knows what Joan Rivers would say about her medieval outfit…

I think I’d have lunch in the tiny restaurant I went to once in the beautiful old town of Taormina in Sicily. The food was delicious and we could sit on the terrace and overlook Mount Etna and the Roman Amphitheatre with the Mediterranean sea in the background – just breathtaking.

If you could be transported to anywhere right now, where would it be (and without any quarantine restrictions!)? I have travelled a bit but there are lots of places I’ve not been to that I’d love to visit. I watched a programme about the forests of Cuba recently where the presenter visited the home of the world’s tiniest bird – the Bee Hummingbird. We saw it feed and build a nest the size of an eggcup. I’d love to see that for real.

Thanks Kelly! We’re all sitting here thinking how bonkers you’d have to be to do that bungee jump! Perhaps we’ll stick to a nice nature holiday in Cuba instead…

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