Where are you based?
What job do you do?
How did you get into marketing/communications?
It was totally unplanned. After leaving the CPS I decided I would invest in a property course. The marketing module was my favourite part. I realised that effective marketing was a must for business growth. I decided that marketing and communications was where my passion lay.
A few months after the course I asked a friend to put in word for me with her friend who was the owner of a top London PR agency. I had a telephone interview and explained that I could help improve her website ranking for keywords in the industry and put together a proposal. It took a whole day to complete but she gave me a trial as her social media manager. After a short while I was taken on on a full time basis to manage the marketing side of things. I managed to get the company ranked top for multiple keywords and web traffic increase dramatically.
It was during this time I got involved with the PR side of things and found I enjoyed getting to find out about business owners and their stories and find a way to get journalists interested.Once I left the company I approached the Damilola Taylor Trust to help with their promotional efforts. I was surprise when they said yes and that was my first solo PR and marketing project. It took another three years before I would give up social media management and set up my own agency last year because I didn’t feel I knew enough to go it alone.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
I have several proud moments including securing coverage for regional winners of the Start Ups Awards, managing the PR and comms for the inaugural Damilola Taylor Memorial Lectures event, landing coverage in Business Insider for a Saddam Hussein genocide survivor, my first viral piece of coverage about how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge parent and securing a 20 minute TV segment on the Wright stuff as a result of a Daily Mail piece for a dating and relationship coach.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
Marketing communications has had a great impact on the organisations I worked for from raising the profile and increasing the confidence of the individuals heading up the organisations to raising awareness of worthy causes to an increase in income and opportunities, sometimes from a single piece of coverage.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
The main challenges have stemmed from learning on the job. I never went to university and I had limited experience but I had a passion to tell the story of people who wanted to change the world through their work and to date that is what helps me get better and better results.
I am an eternal student and will study the material of others in the industry to see how others do it. This has helped with developing best practice and getting clearer on what makes my brand of PR different.
There are some things you can’t prepare for until you encounter such as clients refusing to take your professional advice or a PR crisis. Remembering my why and being able to seek advice from peers who are more experienced has been invaluable.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
My advice to anyone starting out would be connect with others in the industry and try to be of service to them. Be willing to learn from others and to pay for advice. When I had my first viral story I reached out to a PR acquaintance and offered to pay for her advice. She was so surprised at this but appreciated that I was willing to pay for her knowledge. We have now developed a firm friendship and have even worked on projects together.
Study headlines and blog titles. Find out what makes people want to read on. A successful comms strategy hinges on knowing how to grab peoples attention. The content is irrelevant if you can’t get people to notice you in the first place. Always seek ways to stand out.
My final piece of advice is remain a life long student. Things change rapidly in the online space and a good marketer/comms strategist should always be one step ahead of the game.
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