Total’s global family still bound by strong ties

Over 25 years the agency has been served by a wonderful, international collection of professional people who had one thing in common, they were all considered to be part of the family and, while many are now scattered across the globe, they still are.

With us for two years from September 2013, Sarah Brook is now CEO and Founder of The Sparkle Foundation, a UK registered charity supporting hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi.

Currently living between Africa, Dubai and the UK, she talks of valuable experience gained at Total. “Never stop learning. In PR, once you understand the basics it can be easy to take your foot off the pedal and get stuck doing the same thing, day in day out. There’s always something new to learn; something to do better or differently.”

Now a business owner and multi award-winning online restaurant reviewer in Dubai, Samantha Wood also takes on consultancy projects in food, travel, influencer engagement and social media.

Working in our client servicing team between September 1999 and July 2001, Samantha points to key lessons learnt. “Never take a yes for granted, always follow-up,” she emphasises. “Tony also taught me how to write, and how to think - write like a journalist, not a PR! I often quote him when I consult others.”

Anya Leonard arrived at Total straight from university in mid-2007, leaving in late 2008 to travel in south east Asia.

Now married to her long-time partner and proud mum to a toddler, she lives in Buenos Aires, running her own online publishing company dedicated to the ancient Greek and Latin Classics. “Self-motivation, discipline and organization were huge lessons,” she says. ”With each convention and show, I got to learn all the ins and out of many niche industries, which I found fascinating.”

Danielle Goff joined Total in September 2007, leaving three years later to return with her husband to their native Australia.

After two corporate communications roles and two internal PR jobs since, this Sydney mother of three says: “Overall I had an amazing time working at Total and often think about my friends there, and clients.”

It wasn’t always smooth recalls Danielle: “I remember being in the office one day when a huge earthquake hit Iran and was felt in Dubai.”

Gareth Wright, a race horse exercise rider when he joined Total in late 2011, earned four promotions up to Account Director before moving on in May 2014.

Still living in Dubai, he heads communications for Messe Frankfurt Middle East, one of the region’s leading trade fair organisers.

Gareth says: “I regard my first couple of years at Total as among the most enjoyable I’ve ever had, from a professional standpoint and the work-life balance. The overriding lesson - to excel in PR, you have to ask a lot of questions, know your audience, and be a prolific writer. The rest will follow.”

We miss you all guys. But you’re still one of us.