Where are you based?
What job do you do?
Digital Marketing & PR Executive
How did you get into marketing/communications?
Believe it or not, I first caught the marketing bug at 15 years-old – little did I know what I was doing was called marketing. It all began when a family member set up a small retail outlet in my local town. Whilst she was concerned with selling her unique and quirky clothes to customers who walked in, I constantly assured her there was a whole world out there online, that she could be selling to. So there I was at fifteen showing my family member how to sell her products on Facebook and Instagram. Something which she became quite successful in doing. I was later pimped out to a family friend who sold custom designed t-shirts and products. I went on to complete a Level 3 apprenticeship in digital marketing for a PR firm and now work for a marketing agency.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
The one thing I would consider myself most proud of is my expansion into writing accessible web content and marketing materials. In our industry, disabled people can often be ignored when it comes to web content and marketing. Physically, we all know about accessibility provisions such as disabled ramps and disabled loos, but the lack of knowledge when it comes to making one’s website accessible for those who are blind or Deaf is worrying!
I’m proud to be able to offer that as a standard to my clients. To make headway for blind users, something as simple as Alt Text and heading structure in our content will make the difference between access and no access. Similarly, adding British Sign Language interpretation or subtitles to video content is the start of making our content accessible for the Deaf, but something many marketers and content writers ignore.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
It’s been great to see plenty of SMEs succeed thanks to extensive marketing and communications. One of our clients has gone from receiving very few clients via internet leads to now receiving 98% of jobs via the website and social media. It’s a great success story! Similarly, I’ve seen brands boost their awareness through social media and email marketing solutions – something they were not previously doing. This has increased sales and boosted the brand’s overall awareness among consumers. In other organisations, I’ve seen internal marketing communication strategies such as intranets and internal e-shots boost the morale of staff and drive employee engagement after being very low. It’s an inspiring story on how something as simple as an intranet and an e-shot can engage staff and make them become more engaged in the company they’re working for.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
One of the main challenges I’ve had to overcome on the way to where I am today is being made redundant. Not only did it prove to be costly to my mental health and wellbeing, but it also led to some issues along the way. I managed to bounce back and get another job, but it severely knocked my confidence and introduced job insecurity into my mind which went against me every time I applied for a job. Another challenge was being put against university graduates. I think, being a previous apprentice and self-taught marketer, it makes employers less certain of your ability to succeed and with many, university graduates are much more highly regarded. I am intelligent enough to go down the university route, but real-life experience is something I desired, which many graduates don’t have, whilst they can tell me the ‘best practices’ – I can tell them what actually works and I think that is what is important.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
Anyone who is starting out in marketing needs to learn the trends and learn them quickly. Learn what works and what doesn’t. Show your future employers that you can and you will take a product to market with maximum effectiveness and knowledge. And I’m not saying this in a biased way, but maybe learn what makes accessible content. It’s a lot more difficult to learn something new when you’ve doing it for a long time than to introduce something whilst you are still learning.
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