Spotlight on... Laura Cooke, Founder and Managing Director, Explore Communications

Spotlight on... Laura Cooke, Founder and Managing Director, Explore Communications

Welcome to the Telum Spotlight, an ongoing series showcasing people working in the PR and Communications space, freelancers and those launching their own boutique agencies. Today we shine the Spotlight on Laura Cooke in Singapore. Laura is the Founder and Managing Director of Explore Communications which was set up against the backdrop of a global pandemic to offer flexible strategic communications to help companies manage uncertain times and grow. 

By way of Introduction: I’m Managing Director of Explore Comms, set up to offer flexible communications services in the midst of uncertainty thrown up from the global pandemic. It’s never been a better time to freelance and I’m enjoying working with a mix of clients that I’m really passionate about.

First job: I worked in a factory packing dog food. Not the most glamorous but it paid well for a 16-year-old. I survived two very long eight-hour shifts before deciding to get a waitressing job.

One thing you would change about the communications industry: The view that if you have experience in one sector it means you can’t do comms for a company from a different industry. In reality the skills are fully transferable and adaptable - building an understanding of a different industry takes a bit of time but it’s easily done if the interest is there.

Most admired person in comms: Angela Campbell-Noe, Senior Partner at Tulchan Asia - she is head of the agency in Asia and has always given me so much time and support for my career. A great example of women supporting women.

Most admired journalist: Terri White, Columnist, Author and former Editor-in-Chief of Empire Magazine. I used to work with her in the UK when I looked after Virgin Media but since then I’ve followed her successes through social media. I think she's a very real and inspirational journalist.

Advice to anyone starting out in comms: Never stop challenging yourself and your colleagues to do new things and learn. Innovation, big or small leading to failure or success, is important for personal growth and to deliver over and above for stakeholders / clients.

Essential daily reading: BBC to keep up with what’s happening in my home country, Straits Times for Asia news and Daily Mail for a bit of ‘light’ reading.

Favourite book: All Quiet on the Western Front.

Favourite film: Midnight in Paris.

Social media app you can’t live without: WhatsApp.

Your proudest achievement: Getting into LAMDA drama school. That experience taught me good communications skills, setting me up well for my career in comms.

Quotable you (what’s your most often used saying or quote?): “Why not, hey?” when faced with a challenge which roughly translates to “fortune favours the bold”.

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