As Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of this global media platform & Chief Encouragement Officer of our affiliated pro bono social impact enterprise; GoodWorks 360°, I was delighted to have the opportunity to get better acquainted with Sara Price, Founder of ACTUALLY, based in London, England, whose mission is to work with social enterprises, charities, individuals and campaign groups…anyone who has a big vision to actually change the world. Learn more as you enjoy our inspiring #gamechanger Interview with Sara below ⤵︎
We’d like to hear about your professional journey before Actually.
I stumbled into public affairs and then wider communications after my one major moment of teenage rebellion. Everybody in my family expected me to become a lawyer when I grew up. I was talkative, loved a good debate and was absolutely in love with words. I understood their power and was fascinated by how words could create and change worlds. I also had a profound sense of justice and a loathing of inequity. I guess it was a logical that my parents would assume that I’d go into law. But, at the last minute, I decided that I’d rather spend four years at University studying something I was really interested in and so I secretly applied to study politics instead. Four years later I was hooked. A Masters degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science followed and then there I was…at the centre of power in the UK…working for a member of the UK Parliament and loving every minute. After my stint in political circles, I moved on to UNICEF and then – when I couldn’t afford to pay my London rent on my third sector salary – I went into the advertising business. By the time I was 28 I was one of the chief lobbyists and communications strategists for the ad industry in the UK working on legislation that would fundamentally change the way the sector was regulated.
My entrepreneurial journey started a few years later. After a stint on the UK Board of one of the world’s largest PR agencies (H&K Strategies) – and in the midst of a global economic meltdown – I co-founded the award-winning independent communications agency Pagefield in 2010. Mark (my co-founder) and I wanted to shake things up.
We wanted to create an agency to challenge the status quo in a sector that was too often failing to understand the real challenges faced by clients.
We wanted to create the agency we had always looked for as clients but never found. It was exhilarating, exciting and at times utterly terrifying – but it was a huge success. And from day one, I knew I’d never work for someone else’s company ever again.
Tell us about Actually and the inspiration behind it.
Remember that young woman who left UNICEF because she couldn’t afford to pay her London rent? Well, the day she left UNICEF, that woman made herself a promise. I promised that one day, I would find my way back to doing the kind of world-changing work that I had felt a part of there. Twenty years later, I realised that it was time to keep that promise. I sat down with a big sheet of paper and wrote a list – of all the causes I was interested in; all the campaigns I wanted to contribute to in some way; all the ways that I wanted to help change the world. It was a very long list and I was overwhelmed by the idea that I had to try and choose between plastics in the ocean or child labour or gender inequality or social care.
I was in the middle of a sabbatical – recovering from burn-out and exhaustion – when I realised: I didn’t have to choose. I remembered all the social enterprises, charities and campaign groups that I had seen over 25 years in communications. Organisations with great vision and huge passion but little in the way of communications expertise. Businesses and charities that had insufficient funds to work with PR agencies and were either reliant on sub-standard pro bono work or struggling to try and get their voices heard without any help at all. I realised that I could help them. I could help them to build their capacity in communications and campaigning. I could advise and support and train them. I could lift the veil, demystify communications and show them how to develop unstoppable campaigns.
I could take 25 years of communications expertise and develop a business that would share that knowledge and experience with those who were working so hard to make the world better for the rest of us.
I could help others to change the world and in so doing, fulfil that promise I’d made twenty years earlier.
And that’s when I started Actually.
We help visionaries to harness the power of great communications to change the world or promote their world-changing business.
Our focus is on mindset, skills, and support and we offer in-person and virtual training, consulting and advisory support. And we are building a thriving community of changemakers to inspire and support one another.