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Talking Stick Marketing

Understand Our Name

So why Talking Stick? The story goes something like this… Read more

what is a talking stickOur ancient forefathers (the word ‘ancient’ used loosely) often met to debate and discuss the issues of the time. Picture UK Prime Minister’s Questions in the Parliament House of Commons…histrionics, disorderly at times and generally a loud cacophony of noise! Well, legend (and history, although ‘legend’ sounds better) has it that it was during these gatherings that the “talking stick” was introduced aka Mr Speaker in the Commons. He or she who held the talking stick held the sacred power of words and determined who could speak. Nobody could speak during the debate unless they were holding the talking stick. Needless to say, mute fights broke out to get hold of the stick, but we digress!

Simply put, Talking Stick Marketing & Communications believe in holding onto the stick for the benefit of our partners. We will get your message across succinctly, professionally and most of all, through the cacophony of noise.

Meet Our Team

Marc Reading: Director

Account Director for Africa and Asia

About Marc | Contact Marc

Marc Reading: Director

Tel: +44 1278 661 592 | Skype: marc_reading | Email: marc@talkingstickmktg.co.uk

Marc, originally from Wales, moved to Southern Africa in the 70′s where he was actively involved in the development of hotels, lodges and adventure tourism products in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and throughout Africa. Marc then turned his focus to Sales & Marketing and became responsible for Thomsons Africa Sales and Marketing in Europe and North America and accumulated an intimate knowledge of these areas along with an excellent reputation.

Marc moved back to the UK in 2007 and setup Talking Stick Marketing in the same year, with promoting bespoke properties in Africa being the primary focus. Marc’s wanderlust travel spirit took him travelling to Asia, where upon his return, began the development of marketing strategies for clients in Asia. Marc is now a well known personality within the travel industry, with over 25 years of experience and has sat on the Board of the Southern Africa Travel Organisers Association (SATOA) in the United Kingdom, where his input was invaluable to the organisations success.

Talking Points: Marc has a love for mountaineering and high places, a qualified ski instructor and has worked for the international school of mountaineering, climbing Mt Kenya, Kilimanjaro, Ol Donio Lengai and the Ruwenzoris of East Africa

Byron Shirto: Director

Representation & Events Director

About Byron | Contact Byron

Byron Shirto: Director

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 506 444 | Skype: byron.shirto | Email: byron@talkingstickmktg.co.uk

Byron has accumulated a wealth of tourism knowledge with over 20 years in global travel and tourism having both inbound Operations and outbound Sales and Marketing experience. He spent several years in Africa with leading DMC’s specializing in adventure travel, photographic safaris and Event Management. He then worked for luxury Tour Operator Abercrombie & Kent in the UK for 9 years and was jointly responsible for Sales, Marketing and Product Development for Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, travelling extensively to these destinations.

In 2007, Talking Stick Marketing was born and the rest they say is history. Byron has been Chairman of LATA, an association that promotes travel to Latin America, helping to drive the association forward. Byron has also been a Trustee for the LATA Foundation, a UK registered Charity supporting projects in Mexico, Central and South America.

Talking Points: in 2010, Byron was involved in a Charity Football game to break the Guinness World Record for the longest football game, which stood at 33 hours. 11v11 with only 7 subs each, they succeeded playing continuously for 35 hours, scoring 626 goals and raising over £50k in the process, to build a school in India.

jake-stavrinides-talking-stick-marketing

Jake Stavrinides

Marketing & Events Executive

About Jake | Contact Jake

Jake Stavrinides: Marketing & PR Executive

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 506 444 | Email: jake@talkingstickmktg.co.uk

Jake is a veteran to Marketing, PR and Branding having begun his career by making tea for Richard Branson at his book signing. (Within months he was Marketing Executive at his Virgin Publishing empire!) Snapped up by Penguin Books in London, he then enjoyed a decade working across myriad business sectors including marketing and PR assignments for hotels, hospitality and an ongoing relationship with Abercrombie & Kent.

Talking Points: For those travel professionals in need of TLC he is a clinical reflexologist plus his fascination with Korean popular culture and regular lifestyle features for The Guardian means communication with Jake is always memorable.

Lucy Bainbridge

Marketing & Events Co-Ordinator

About Lucy | Contact Lucy

Lucy Bainbridge: Marketing & Events Co-Ordinator

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 506 444 | Email: lucy@talkingstickmktg.co.uk

Lucy is a SOAS and King’s College London graduate with a long-standing interest in languages, culture and travel. Lucy spent her early childhood in Greece at an international school, where she learned at a young age, the importance of experiencing and understanding other cultures. Whilst studying Chinese and Economics for her undergraduate, Lucy lived in China for a year, spending all her free time travelling around as much of China and South East Asia, as possible! In 2015, Lucy was awarded a scholarship to study Conflict, Security and Development at King’s College London, where she specialised in female gang culture in developing countries.

Talking Points: At the age of 10, Lucy was shipped off to stay with family friends in Chile, to spend her summer skiing and learning Spanish. Lucy has also studied Russian and Japanese over her academic career, and is always keen to practice them over a drink.

Sophia Scholz

Marketing & Events Co-Ordinator

About Sophia | Contact Sophia

Sophia Scholz: Marketing & Events Co-Ordinator

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 506 444 | Email: sophia@talkingstickmktg.co.uk

Sophia grew up in Germany and always had a passion for different cultures. During a holiday she fell in love with South Africa and moved to Cape Town in 2012. With her passion for the tourism and event industry, she studied Tourism Management in the Netherlands. During her studies she got the chance to pursue an Operations and Marketing internship at a luxury Tour Operator in the UK. Sophia speaks German and English but also can speak Dutch and Spanish.

Talking Points: Sophia won the first prize for flute playing at the “Jugend musiziert” competition at the age of 9.

Oonagh Mallinder

Latin America Account Manager

About Oonagh | Contact Oonagh

Oonagh Mallinder: Latin America Account Manager

Tel: +44 1242 (0) 506 444 | Email: oonagh@talkingstickmktg.co.uk

Oonagh’s long-standing love affair with all things Latin American began with her first visit to Peru as a backpacker 10 years ago, having been drawn to the region during university studies of the Inca empire. Returning from these first 6 months of addictive travel in Latin America, Oonagh couldn’t quite imagine a career without some kind travel involved, and hasn’t looked back since! Her subsequent nine years in the travel industry have taken Oonagh to some of the UK’s leading tour operators, gaining experiences in Sales, Product and Marketing – as well as getting to return frequently to the part of the world she most loves.

Talking Points: Oonagh’s various return visits to Latin America have developed some interests that she would have once considered pretty unlikely – bird watching for example! More mainstream interests acquired from these travels include hiking, Andean cuisine and Central American rum!

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