Where are you based?
Newcastle upon Tyne
What job do you do?
I’ve just launched a consultancy, together with my husband, offering marketing, communications and customer experience solutions to the hospitality industry. We’re called Halo Business Consulting and we work with companies across the hospitality and travel sector providing flexible support to enhance customer experience. We work with companies to support them with their service culture, marketing campaigns and communications strategies. Halo also champions businesses that put sustainability and conscious travel at the heart of their values. We believe that the travel industry needs to lead from the front to minimise its social and environmental footprint. We are based in Whitley Bay, just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne, but service clients across the UK as well as some internationally too.
How did you get into marketing/communications?
I studied a BSc in International Hotel and Tourism Management at Sheffield Hallam University, which included modules in marketing.
Shortly after my University course completed, I awarded a graduate management training role with what was then Starwood Hotels & Resorts in London which allowed me to specialise in marketing. I then went on to achieve a Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing to further my knowledge in this area.
This put me firmly on the path I’ve been on for the last 15 years, working in Director of Marketing Communications roles for international brands including Luxury Collection, Westin Shangri-La and Hilton in the UK and in Thailand.
What are you most proud of in your career as a marketing/communications professional?
I was recently honoured to be appointed as an Entrepreneur in Residence and a member of the Alumni Leadership Circle at Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University.
I take part in a variety of initiatives including delivering masterclasses and graduate mentoring, supporting graduates and recent alumni in developing their entrepreneurial mindsets to create their new ventures. It’s so inspiring to meet the students and listen to their ideas!
How has marketing/communications helped the organisations you’ve worked for?
I was very lucky to be part of the Communications team to open the Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London in 2014. It was a highly anticipated opening for London at the time, with it being the first five-star hotel south of the River and in London’s tallest and arguably most iconic building.
A strategic marketing and communications strategy was in place to ensure that the Shangri-La brand’s values, as well as local community engagement, were at the heart of activities. We worked closely with individual journalists and partners to share the story of the hotel in a sustained way so as to create longevity, well beyond its launch.
What challenges have you overcome on your professional journey to where you are today?
Working in London whilst juggling family life can often take its toll and after 8 years of enjoying the most rewarding but somewhat exhausting era in the capital, we decided to leave for pastures new.
We’d always envisioned setting up our own businesses and when we moved to the North East we spent many an hour brainstorming ideas whilst we were out and about in various hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions to determine where the opportunity lay.
Then, mid-2019, we decided to take the plunge as we wanted to share our experiences of working in hospitality with businesses across the UK and beyond.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone starting out in the marketing/communications industry?
Go for it!
Marketing and communications is a fast-paced industry with tight deadlines so try to become as efficient as possible and get used to multi-tasking.
Keep up to date with current affairs and industry trends and look for opportunities to gain experience wherever possible. Build your network by attending as many industry events and social engagements as you can.
Where can we find you online?
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