The Scriba team is well-known for our way with words, but we also make it our mission to really get to know the people we work alongside – be it colleagues or clients. So, we asked each member of the team to suggest one thing they’d love to know about their colleagues, and adopted the format for our 2021 Q&A.
This month, we’re finding out a little more about our senior account manager – and Vera Stanhope’s biggest fan – Ruth Harrison-Davies.
You unexpectedly inherit £1,000 from a distant relative – what do you spend the money on?
Oh gosh, please don’t think I’m boring, but I’m a saver rather than a spender! I would probably put £750 into my pension or savings, and perhaps spend £250 on little luxuries from the likes of Aesop, Neom, or Molton Brown. As I’ve got older – and lockdown has stopped me spending money on cocktails with friends – I’ve grown to appreciate how much joy an opulent hand soap and moisturiser can bring, or the uplifting scent of a candle in my home office.
What’s your most-used emoji?
*Checks my phone* 💛🤣 I would say that summarises me pretty well too. I like to send lots of love and I’m usually smiling or laughing.
Which country is at the top of your ‘must-visit’ list?
Russia. I know it’s a bit left field, but I’m so intrigued by the whole country and its attitudes and architecture. However, Joanna Lumley’s documentary on the Trans-Siberian Railway saw someone bark at her: “in Russia, we speak Russian,” when she was trying to communicate with them. I’m not sure how my broad Yorkshire accent would fair in Moscow, if I’m completely honest.
Which member of F.R.I.E.N.D.S do you identify with the most? And the least?
I’d absolutely tag myself as a Phoebe Buffay. She’s eccentric and says things that make you want to hide behind the cushion – but none of it carries any malice, it’s simply the way she is. I probably identify the least with Ross Geller, because he comes across as a bit of a square.
You’ve been given a really short deadline to create a large piece of content for a client, what’s your go-to Spotify playlist?
Lord of the Rings – Full OST. I don’t know why, but I love this soundtrack and I enjoy listening to instrumental scores when I’m working, much to the annoyance of the team when I’m in charge of Spotify for the day. If it doesn’t require a lot of concentration though, I revert to ‘Ruth’s emo heroes’ a playlist I created when I had a sweeping fringe, wore two belts and applied far too much eyeliner.
If you could implement one rule in the workplace, what would it be and why?
That feels like a loaded question! I’d have to say, ‘don’t compare yourself to others.’ Punishment would be putting £1 in a kitty jar, the proceeds of which could fund copious amounts of Lidl Cava (I’m a cheap date) for when we are able to socialise as a team again.
We have such a breadth of talent at Scriba, and each one of us brings something completely different, but equally vital, to the party – skills-wise of course. I’m not still thinking about Cava.
In all seriousness though, some of us are fantastic at awards entries or have a flair for features, while others are awesome at design, unbelievably organised, or simply knowing when everyone needs a cuppa. Every single one of those skills form such an important piece of the puzzle, that I think we should all – myself included – be aware of how much we bring to the collective ourselves.
What’s your favourite productivity trick?
I know that I am more productive in the afternoons. So, where possible, I put meetings in for the morning, so that I can dedicate the latter half of the day to writing and being creative. I also make sure that when I’m planning my weeks, I put some time in to go for a walk at lunch. It does wonders for me to get outside in the fresh air and take a break from the screen. Hardly a trick, but it works for me.
What attributes do you look for in a desk-buddy?
Someone who doesn’t talk very much or works part-time! Anyone who knows me would find that unbelievable – because I never shut up – but it means I don’t end up wittering on about the latest developments in ITV’s current crime thriller when I should be writing 1,500 words about electrical engineering.
Describe a defining moment in your career
Being made redundant. I’d been unhappy in my job for a while, but some of the ‘perks’ of a career in motorsport, and the awesome people I worked with, made it very hard for me to leave of my own accord. In the end, that decision was made for me, but it also meant that I could take the time to figure out what I wanted to do next and, crucially, make sure I surrounded myself with the right kind of people.
I found that – and so very much more – at Scriba PR. There’s always this underlying narrative of ‘you left a career playing with racing cars to write about what?’ when I meet people from my old line of work. But they have no idea how utterly wonderful life at Scriba is – the people, clients, contacts and content – this is what a fulfilling career looks like. Give me these ladies and a hard hat over the pit lane at Le Mans, any day.
How would you describe Scriba to a relative?
We’re a team of 11 (and counting) fiercely determined women who harness the power of comms to share stories on behalf of the unsung heroes of engineering, manufacturing, demolition, tech and recycling. And I bloody love it!