Where are you based?
Royal Tunbridge Wells & London
Where do you work and what job do you do?
I work in Royal Tunbridge Wells, London or anywhere as required by clients. I am a Consultant and PR practitioner, helping brands and professionals to raise their visibility utilising success marketing and PR.
How did you get into marketing/communications?
I broke into comms and marketing very early on and quite by accident when I went to work for GE Capital when they launched in the UK in 1995 in Brentwood, London. I had begun a temporary administration position for the marketing department and was working and learning as part of the team within 4 weeks. I have always been a creative writer, an avid reader and broken down barriers in business development, marketing and PR dragging my pesky dyslexia along with me for the ride. I began in comms when marketing was advertising and PR was a pipedream.
My brain seems to be hardwired to think “business development and marketing.” It’s what I am passionate about—identifying a brand or product’s competitive advantage and leveraging it through a creative integrated marketing campaign to strengthen its market positioning and create a need with customers makes me tick. I love to be creative, and the marketing field provides me with a blank canvas.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
In my almost 30 year career, I am really really proud of a lot of things. I am probably most proud of the way I was able to be part of the launch of some fairly big brands in the UK like GE Capital Finance, Monster.com, and Travelzoo. In later years combining my expertise in a more consultative and comms roles utilising my marketing skills to assist the sales and business development teams. And now I am most proud of having my own marketing agency as well as PR membership clubs which are going from strength to strength offering more brands and professionals affordable PR and business support.
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
Comms, marketing and strong business development skills have enabled me to help numerous businesses, from small startups companies to global publishers helping them to increase their brand awareness, to communicate their strong and positive messaging and to ultimately increase credibility, customer engagement, and sales.
And once again the core to my marketing why – identifying a brand or product’s competitive advantage and leveraging it through a creative integrated marketing campaign to strengthen its market positioning and create a need with customers. Essentially we make people want to buy stuff. We need to make people feel that their life would be either a little or significantly better if they had one of your companies products or services.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
I don’t think I have ever worked in a role that has been easy, the nature of marketing is to overcome a challenge to get someone’s attention and then to keep it. My professional challenges have been numerous but none have ever stopped me from exploring new ways of getting things done to the best of my ability. From cracking the key in male-dominated industry sectors when I first started out to the challenges associated with working well with modern young VC backed and entrepreneurial businesses over the past 20 years. None of this is negative, I love evolution and I love a challenge so long may they continue I say. There is no such word as cannot.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
Never stop learning and never stop trying. Always take part in and engage in informational meetings, networking opportunities, events, webinars, and interviews on a regular basis, because this is such a diverse and constantly changing line of work. You can learn a great deal about the opportunities that exist and how to prepare for them by speaking directly to seasoned professionals. It also means that you in the right place at the right time to take advantage of opportunities and connections.
Be determined to break into the marketing and comms industry and refused to believe that the economy was too “bad” or that you are too old or too “young and inexperienced” to get the job that you really wanted.
And to leave your ego at the door; this is probably good advice in any field, but it’s particularly valuable in communications, marketing and PR.
Buy and read every book you can find by Seth Godin. To quote him: If you’re writing copy on your website, taking a selfie for your social media profile or trying to talk your way out of a speeding ticket, you’re marketing. Marketing goes way beyond advertising, email pitches or the way you do pricing. In fact, most of the time, marketing has nothing at all to do with money. As soon as we take responsibility for the marketing we do and the marketing that’s done to us, we have a chance to make things better (by making better things).
My final thought is to be yourself and don’t be like the rest of them darlings.
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