So... whats the story?
"Sorry about the jargon, but here's a snapshot of my work stretching back 20 years or so in Marketing and Communications."
Internal Communciations & Consulting
As a passionate and innovative marketing and communications all-rounder with 20 years experience, I have project managed a wide number of programmes and campaigns and built up skills in stakeholder and relationship management. I often work with internal and external clients, colleagues and partners at lots of levels and across department.
At Vodafone Group Enterprise, I managed the communications and engagement for a large suite of transformation programmes aiming to improve sales across a large number of global markets. I’m often required to hit the ground running and understand a business quickly but ultimately I find that being an outsider looking in, with a wide range of experience is key to forging stronger relationships.
LLOYDS BANKING GROUP
CHANNEL 3 CONSULTING
A good marketing strategy allows you to focus on your business goals. Strategically, everything should be aligned to a comprehensive plan of ‘who, why, when, and what’ you need to go to market. For example, you need know how long to run your campaigns for and how your resources are aligned. People are surprised when I say that I learned this at the NHS
In one programme I helped promote a learning and innovation programme to over 150 NHS Trusts and political stakeholders. I managed everything from the press and web to video, events and parlimentary briefings. I also significantly reduced a £60,000 marketing budget to £38,000 by restructuring design costs and re-negotiating with a supplier.
NHS INSTITUTE OF INNOVATION AND IMPROVEMENT
CHANNEL 3 CONSULTING
Change & Transformation
Implementing change is not easy, and communicating it is even harder. Messages get mixed and conflicting news about the change comes from all directions. The trick is not only to tell people about transition, but show them it too. This can be hard, particularly in the early stages when you’ve nothing or little to demonstrate.
At Haven Power I led the engagement for an Oracle Cloud transformation programme to ensure that all key messages were consistent across multiple channels. We established a network of Change Ambassadors with workshops, presentations and training. By involving frontline staff, the system changes became much more sustainable.
HAVEN POWER/DRAX GROUP
LLOYDS BANKING GROUP
THE LAW SOCIETY OF ENGLAND AND WALES
Audience & Customers
Knowing your business, and more importantly your customers (or audience) is key to great marketing. Big businesses opt for CRM, sales and marketing clouds, but small businesses also need to know their customers well. This is particularly important if you want to expand, revise your business strategy, or focus on new customers or bigger markets.
I always start with a strategy. I love to challenge people about their core business plan to see if it focuses on both existing and potential customers. Often I will gather audience research using analysis, CRM tools, and digital statistics. Sometimes I will design surveys or create focus groups to understand what the different customers need, want and expect.
Channels & Branding
A communications plan is as easy as ABC. Know your 'Audience', define your 'Brand' or key messages, and choose the right 'Channel'. Remarkably, people often want to get an email out or a leaflet created before they have thought about the 'who, why, when'... or even what they actually want to say. A channel is can be everything from a website or promotional sticker to a tweet or radio advertisement.
At EE, a major IT deployment of laptops to 15,000 staff was in place. There was a wide range of options for communicating with staff about the plans; Plasma TVs, digital, presentations, posters, and much more. It was important to prioritise the right channel for each piece of communication. It also occurred during a major brand change so we needed to align everything to the new global brand guidelines.
In 2001, I was editorial lead on the Microsoft Mobile account for London agency, Write Image. I managed the content for their enterprise web portal, developed print material and wrote nearly 50 case studies per year. Editorial standards were high. Copy was often approved by diverse international stakeholders under constantly challenging deadlines.
Since graduating as a journalist, I have developed my skills in ‘plain English’ business writing, editing, and proofreading. I have managed complex web content migrations, created ad campaigns, delivered event content and cascade material for executives, managing PR reputations internally or working with professional agencies.
Media & PR
I spent around 5 years working in public health. At Wye Valley NHS Trust in Herefordshire, I was interim Head of Communications, where I counteracted negative media attention with tactical PR. Generating positive stories involved a painstaking process of relationship building, red tape navigation and rigorous fact-checking.
Attracting good coverage requires a strong human-interest narrative. Central to one story, was a 90-year old patient, who was receiving innovative care at home, which allowed her planned wedding to go ahead. Headlines about ditching ‘the hospital corridor for the church isle’ gained national coverage without losing the message of improving lives.
WYE VALLEY NHS TRUST
MORRIS MINI MOTORS
Digital & Social
How do you keep up with latest social media and know what or where to focus your efforts? Going back to marketing basics is a good place to start. With a good social media strategy, you can market your product or service and get constant comprehensive feedback from your customers. Marketing data is the hidden gem of social.
Retail start-up, Bewater sells refillable water bottles online. It had a unique brand narrative promoting healthy hydration and environmental well-being. The trick was to get this story across all its channels. I set up a digital presence, syndicated ad campaigns, and affiliate marketing, helping it achieve nearly 10,000 Facebook followers in its first year.
WYE VALLEY NHS TRUST
NB: comms.expert is the concept of Simon Horrocks, a communications & marketing consultant with over 20 years experience.