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Profile: HSS Hire's Fiona Perrin

The leap from copywriter and journalist to key accounts and marketing director at a tool and equipment hire company is quite a large one. But Fiona Perrin, marketing director at HSS Hire, is one to take it all in her stride.

She left the world of journalism, she says, because she realised it was "hard to make a living." Instead, she set up a business writing newsletters and acting as an outsourced PR and marketing function for companies specialising in facilities management. Along with her then business partner, David Emanuel, they set up the portal, an online marketing intelligence service for the facilities management industry, which remains a success today.

After six years, the company employed 20 people and was going strong, but Perrin was eager for a new challenge. She was offered a role as european marketing director at Digiplex, which she describes as a large American data centre company. Just over a year in, however, she had to leave after the bank pulled the plug on the company following the loss of its key client during the dotcom boom and bust.