River’s Director of Marketing and Business Development takes us on her journey from wannabe music journalist to marketing professional.
In my teens, I had dreams of working for the NME or Melody Maker, so when I had the chance to move away from my sleepy seaside town to the bright lights of London to study English literature, I thought I could make it happen.
Fast-forward three years and, despite a lot of album listening, gig-going and the occasional piece of writing, my first editorial job was as an editorial assistant at a science policy publishing house. Not quite the rock and roll job I’d planned! So, after a couple of years of working there, I decided to spend some time travelling and rethink my career options.
I came back to the UK and took up a job in marketing and events at the Faculty of Art and Design at Kingston University. I loved working on campus and engaging with current and prospective students, and it was while in this role that I decided to focus my career on marketing.
I then studied to gain my CIM professional diploma in marketing. Keen to move back into publishing but use my marketing experience, too, I took up a role in a content agency, working on b2c and b2b brands in a marketing and new business role, before moving into client management.
It was here that I got the opportunity to launch Forever Sports magazine into the UK market, which was probably a highlight of my career at that point. Working with a brilliant young editorial team, it felt like we were really disrupting the market as we aimed to become the biggest-selling men’s lifestyle title in the UK. We debuted at number four in the market with our first ABC, which was pretty impressive given the challenges of the newsstand.
A few years later, I moved into the business media world, working on an account for a membership body that included a magazine, website and global events portfolio. Despite learning a lot, I wanted to get back into an agency with more of a consumer focus, which is how I ended up at The River Group.
Going back to my marketing roots, I work as Director of Marketing and Business Development. I’m responsible for the marketing output of the agency, be that through blogs, mailouts, events or social-media channels, as well as generally making sure people know that we’re brilliant at what we do! I’m lucky in that I’m surrounded by a lot of talented people doing a lot of exciting things, which makes that part an easy job. I also support business development in the agency, whether that’s stemming from existing relationships or totally new conversations. It sounds clichéd, but no two days are the same and it’s exciting working across different brands with people from all parts of the agency.
I might not be the music journo I thought I would be 20 years ago, but I’m relishing the opportunity to be working in a place that is super creative, with a lot of inspirational people who are infinitely better at the creative side of things than I would ever have been!