Where are you based?
From Home, in Farnborough, Hampshire
What job do you do?
I run my own PR Business – IndigoSoulPR
How did you get into marketing/communications?
I started my career as a corporate communications assistant 20 years ago – my job involved stuffing envelopes, photocopying and faxing press releases, and cutting out press coverage for the defense company I worked for. I learned my skills on the job and moved to a local PR agency, where I was able to develop my media relations skills. After 8 years I moved in the house taking up various roles at global technology companies, before taking voluntary redundancy and setting up on my own to follow my true passion of health and wellbeing.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
I am most proud of not being afraid of getting stuck in or any kind of challenge. I truly believe in order to be a great communications professional it is about connection, chemistry, and flexibility.
I would also say it was running a global campaign at my last company, which won a PRCA award for best B2B campaign – I ran a complete PR and Marketing campaign globally (whilst heavily pregnant) on the benefits of flexible working, which got amazing pick up worldwide and enabled the brand I worked for to be seen in a new innovative light.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
Marketing and Communications was a big driver of awareness in new sectors – it was also the regular drum beat that enabled us to keep a dialogue with potential customers. One example, as we had a customer talk about how the technology they where using in the NHS was saving lives on the BBC and the next day we received several solid customers leads citing the fact they had seen the technology on the TV.
I am also seeing it working with Solopreneurs and authors – one major piece of coverage in a national newspaper saw the author receive 70+ orders over the following 48 hours. The endorsement is hugely powerful if the message is aligned.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
The majority of challenges has been externally making those connections.
Internally, there was always red tape and internal politics regarding positioning, messaging and a clash of egos. In the very early days, the sales team could never understand the benefit of communications or marketing but over the past 5 years, I have seen a begrudging acknowledgment that we are all on the same team.
One other interesting thing was the split of males and females, whilst in PR there are often more women, often I saw the men in positions in communications/marketing teams somehow immediately receiving respect and promotion opportunities much faster than the women. I was also in a situation where I interviewed a guy to work on my team, and he was asking for a salary that was way above what I was receiving as the Department lead. It opened my eyes, to say the least.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
Don’t be afraid to get stuck in, ask all the questions and always speak your truth.
If you do not believe in the product you are trying to promote, if you are not passionate about the cause – then that becomes apparent – and it will make your job even harder. Always pick something that gets your creativity flowing.
Connections, chemistry, and content are key.
While you’re here, why not read another inspiring story?