SP Spotlight: Annette Larkin


(Annette with His Holiness the Dalai Lama)

1. How did you connect with SP Consulting?

I used to work with Paul Johnson when we were both with Fleishman Hillard (FH), I left in 2004 to become a partner in a boutique firm.  One of my former colleagues from FH, the fabulous Samantha Edwards, reconnected me to Cindy Yaworske and Paul this summer – and I’m so happy she did.

2. What drew you to SP versus joining other firms or agencies?
I love the SP model – as a consultant, there’s no requirement to sit in an office all day, every day – you can work from home or wherever you are, and I think their model should be emulated – there would be more happy workers in the world if so.  I also love that if I bring in new business, they would help put a highly qualified team in place to support me.  So far, everyone I’ve worked with is fantastic.


3. What skillset or area of expertise are you most looking forward to utilizing and sharing with the SP team and clients?

I’m in this business because I love people – even the difficult ones, sometimes, especially the difficult ones.  What I bring to my clients and whoever I work with is a passion for what I do, humor and a good ear – I’m a great listener.  My mission in life is to basically make people happy.


4. What prior role or professional achievement are you most proud of and want to make the SP community knows about?

I’m proud that I worked on the media announcement for the first product that was shown to reduce HIV and HSV-2 infections in women, and I’m happy that I helped the previous president of Mongolia out of a PR jam so effectively that he was improbably reelected to a second term in office.


5. What was the most recent position you held prior to joining SP?

I’ve been working as a solo consultant for about 7 years.


6. Have you been working in the same career field the majority of your career or have you experienced a variety of professional fields?

I started my career as a production assistant at C-SPAN, which gave me a taste for politics.  Through one of the producers there, I got a job on a House Committee and then went on to intern in Al Gore’s Senate press office, as a legislative correspondent for Senator John Kerry and then two presidential campaigns and one senate campaign.  Sure glad I’m not working on the Hill now!


7. What was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I haven’t had a ton of unusual jobs per se, but I have had my share of interesting clients.  I’d have to say that representing the Al Faisal Saudi royal family was perhaps the most unusual, mostly because I’m a woman.  While I could take reporters on tours of the Kingdom, renegotiate contracts, etc, I was not allowed to sit in the front seat of a car while I was there.  Also, the exposure to royal life was fascinating.


8. What are three words you would use to describe your personality?

Compassionate, authentic, fun.


9. If you could go back 20 years and give yourself advice, what would you tell yourself and why?

Stay out of the sun.  My skin would thank me today, and so would my wallet.


10. What do typical weekends look like for you?
They’re a combination of exercise classes, eating, reading, mothering and benign debauchery.