PROFILE: Salli Randi, Blue Rubicon - Former Blair aide on consultancy course - Labour's loss is Blue Rubicon's gain as Salli Randi joins in consultancy role

Salli Randi, the newly-appointed senior consultant at Blue Rubicon,

hates having her photo taken, more so when she is about to be quizzed

about her 'other life' as a New Labour spin doctor.

Anybody would think she was up for root canal treatment. Her top lip is

close to breaking out in a sizeable tremor - and to think she spent four

years as a repertory actor (she passed over university for drama


'I prefer to be in the background, ensuring the spotlight is on someone

else. I hate this,' she says gesturing towards the photographer 'and

this,' she says nodding at her interrogator's notepad.

'I have no ambition to be on the front line. I'm not used to it. I

prefer the backroom. This is alien to me. If that equates to humbleness,

then so be it,' she continues, her nerves all the better for sharing her

apparent phobia.

Randi has been in her new job just three days. Blue Rubicon clients

include Transco, Rio Tinto and Netscaliber, though it is not yet clear

which she will focus on. She was recently at the heart of the Prime

Minister's re-election campaign, and can be credited with helping New

Labour win another, historic term in office.

She spent the last four weeks travelling up and down the country

exercising a top media events management brief on a pro bono basis. She

was also at the heart of the New Labour campaign in 1997 and her PR

talents are revered by many, including Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Mo

Mowlam, Blair's special assistant Anji Hunter and, of course, Blue

Rubicon MD Fraser Hardie.

Reason enough for the grilling, she acknowledges with a small

Mediterranean-like shrug. Randi is half-Italian. Her father owns an

Italian restaurant in Devon, and she lists pasta and supporting AC Milan

among her hobbies.

She is a New Labour stalwart (Tony Blair reportedly calls her Sal), who

rose through the ranks of old Labour as it went about its metamorphosis

to today's powerful government.

With the 2001 election looming, she was summoned back to again weave her

PR and communications magic around Downing Street, Millbank and the


She was director of corporate communications at Siemens Business

Services, a post she held for two-and-a-half years, when the call to

elections arms came last Christmas.

Siemens CEO Gary Pusey said: 'Salli developed effective, mixed

communications plans on complex issues, such as the National Savings

transfer of over 4,000 staff from the public to the private sector. She

brought a communications knowledge that was invaluable, and we were

sorry, though not surprised, to see her leave. Tony Blair obviously has

more draw than I.'

She had been 'in talks' with Rubicon, the fledgling corporate, financial

and brand consultancy after leaving Siemens, and takes up a holistic

brief, she says. Her six-year spell with the government-in-waiting

taught her how to be results orientated. 'I find change management and

culture change, researching, meaningful debate, and results delivering,

exciting. I love it,' she enthuses.

Prior to Siemens, Randi worked as a Burson-Marsteller account director

for 18 months, and was promoted to associate director.

Randi's preference for being in the background became apparent during

her four years spent as repertory actor: 'I realised I hated being in

the glow of the footlights, and I found all those resting periods soul


The disillusioned thespian signed up as a New Labour campaign activist,

and helped MP Keith Hill win the marginal seat of Streatham in the 1992

election: 'I found I could communicate well, write press releases and

initiate ideas.'

She was spotted by the MEP Anita Pollack, and helped her win the

marginal West London Euro seat in 1994. By then Randi was a rising star

in the New Labour firmament, and appointed a party youth and student


She was given a brief to mobilise youth and student backing for the next

election and initiated various campaigns, including the successful

celebrity Q&A sessions. Randi was then picked for New Labour's four-man

'advanced team', a US-style assembly of crack communicators.

The team would tour the nation, identifying examples of the opposition

incompetence. They would then prime the party's big guns for an assault

on the governing Tories, culminating in the May 1997 election turkey

shoot. She re-joined the A-Team for the 2001 tour of duty.

Will she be prepared to be enlisted for the 2005 election? 'Umm. I'll be

too old by then,' she decides, jokingly. She's 34.

Ironically, Randi lives in true blue Henley-on-Thames with her IT

consultant husband, Jeremy. 'Long term, I would like to open an Italian

restaurant. Perhaps in Henley,' she ponders. No doubt the house wine

will be an exceptional red.


1997: Associate director, Burson-Marsteller

1998: Director of corporate communications, Siemens

2001: Media aide, Labour Party

2001: Senior consultant, Blue Rubicon

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in