My digital experience

Working in diverse roles over the last thirteen years has given me a wide range of experience.

Writing for the web, plain English & SEO

My passion is for crafting well written, easy to understand, SEO focused digital content. This includes content for websites, blogs, social media, microsites, emails and newsletters. When I worked for East Sussex County Council (ESCC) we regularly were awarded top ten status in the annual SOCITM awards, rewarding the best local government websites.

My time working at MORE TH>N helped focus my skills in writing tight SEO content that converted users to customers and retained existing customers. I also used to work for the sexual health NGO Avert, where writing concisely in plain English was essential in helping people to understand sensitive and sometimes complex information.

Sea safety section from the Brighton & Hive City Council website
Sea safety section from the Brighton & Hive City Council website

I also have many years experience in working with authors to dissect complex, lengthy and wordy source material and turning it into concise, well structured and easy to understand content.

Content strategy

I can also devise a content strategy for you.

This includes:

  • researching what your customers are currently doing
  • analysing your site data
  • researching your competitors
  • writing reports for managers
  • writing a tone of voice and style guide
  • producing a content calendar
  • recommending best practices, involving what content types you should be using, and
  • writing a governance document.

Innovation

Innovation and embracing new technologies and new ways of working are two of the hallmarks of a good digital communicator. When I took over managing the Digital Communications team at Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC), I introduced a range of new tools and ways of working.

I set up a trial of the work tracking tool Asana, aiming to introduce greater accountability and transparency of workflow through the communications team. I also introduced Trello, to allow for better project management in an agile environment, as well as Jira.

I also pushed forward a project to encourage team members to blog about our ‘digital first’ programme, as well developing a new ‘beta’ website for the council.

Brighton & Hove City Council Beta website
Brighton & Hove City Council Beta website

Marketing

I have four years experience working in the marketing department of a large international insurance company, primarily on the MORE TH>N brand. I have experience writing enticing marketing copy, to maximise click throughs from affiliates, banner adverts, emails, newsletters and webpages. I also have experience in SEO (search engine optimisation), analysing what people are searching for and skillfully working the keywords into copy.

I studied for and passed my CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing in 2012.

Agile

I have a lot of experience working in an agile framework. I first used Agile at RSA, working across multiple scrums to deliver work in time batches of a few weeks. I really enjoy working in this way, as it allows me to work closely with and learn from colleagues in professions from front end developers to designers and analysts, as well as giving me the satisfaction of constantly delivering new work.

I also worked using Agile at BHCC, introducing the concept of regular usability testing to the digital first programme, so that the work delivered was truly customer focused.

Line management

At BHCC, I managed the Digital Communications team of four people. I introduced regular weekly work planning meetings, monthly team meetings and regular one-to-ones so that my team could work more effectively as a team, I had a better understanding of the work being done in the team, as well as having a closer relationship with me.

I encouraged my team to plan and lead meetings by rotating who led the monthly team meetings, as well as encouraging the team to work more independently on projects, so that our delivery rate improved.

UX

Whilst I have skills and experience in digital communications and web content, I also have an aptitude for UX. I ran multiple usability testing sessions with residents at BHCC. As we developed new releases, I recruited panels of residents. Recording sessions with ‘Silverlight’, I invited the business into sessions, so that they could see how their users interacted with the service online. I then wrote reports on the sessions to inform further digital development.

I’ve also run card sorting sessions to help inform information architecture restructures, as well as consulting online card sorting exercises and group discussions.

Social media

Managing the Digital Communications team at BHCC, I had responsibility for their social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook. BHCC has over 48,000 followers on Twitter, and I frequently managed the day to day answering of enquiries and proactive Tweets using both Hootsuite and Musterpoint.

Hootsuite dashboard
Hootsuite dashboard

For example, I led on developing all of the Tweets for the BHCC annual public health report, working with design to create images to be tweeted, and then reporting on the impact of the campaign back to the public health department.

Linkedin

For full details of my digital experience, please see my Linkedin profile.

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