The Motor Industry Communicators Association’s Poppy McKenzie Smith has scooped a prestigious industry award for promoting Ford products to a wider, more diverse audience.

The 27-year-old was crowned the Guild of Motoring Writers’ young PR professional of the year at the Royal Automobile Club in central London.

L to R. Richard Gotch (MICA), Alex Michaelides (Torque), Poppy McKenzie Smith and Richard Aucock (GoMW).

Poppy, vice-chair of, said:: “I feel privileged to receive this award – it was very exciting and very unexpected – I was up against some really strong opposition, and to accept an award in the same room where Stirling Moss once accepted an award was pretty cool.”

Poppy adds: “I’m hugely proud of being part of the Ford PR team but it’s not very widely recognised and perhaps doesn’t receive the plaudits that engineers do, so it’s a great achievement.

“I would like to say a big thank you to the Ford team and everyone at Ford – they are always supportive and have given me so many opportunities.”

Poppy was recognised by the awards panel for her work focusing on diversity and connecting with a wider audience, as well as her tireless efforts securing Ford vehicles to aid good causes, such as food banks.

Outside of the automotive world, Poppy’s other passion is promoting the family whisky business, Lindores Abbey Distillery in Fife, Scotland. “It’s a fantastic combination of cars and booze, which perhaps don’t mix that well,” she laughs. “But whether it’s a Ranger Wildtrak or whisky, it’s about learning to tell a story about your product, rather than just talking about the product itself – what the product represents and how it changes lives for the better. Cars are incredibly personal things, it’s about tapping into that affection.”