At Tru Talent we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

 

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you. 

We had a chat with Hayley O’Shea the Marketing Manager at Talbot Heath School, we picked up on a few things, about starting a career in a new industry and how the marketing world has changed in her eyes.

 

Tru Talent: What is your name and your role?

Hayley: Hayley O’Shea, Marketing Manager of Talbot Heath School.

Tru Talent: How has your role changed over the past five years? Has the marketing world changed?

Hayley: I’ve got busier! I’ve had to learn new skills to keep up with the digital trends in marketing. The marketing world has changed in the last 5 years but incrementally, the big changes happened 10 – 15 years ago when the internet took off and ‘traditional’ methods (although still worthy) were challenged.

Tru Talent: Education can be a particularly challenging area to market in, what challenges have you faced in your role at Talbot?

Hayley: We are in a very fortunate and unusual position, with waiting lists in many years. The only tricky area is recruiting boarders from overseas, when you are looking at an international market – the rest of the UK is your competition – our budget is not big enough to keep up with all the the bigger boarding schools. Luckily we are a day school with boarding not solely a boarding school, so we don’t rely on it.

Tru Talent: We want to inspire job seekers/those looking for something new that you can make your own path, can you explain a little bit about yours?

Hayley: You really can! If you work hard & are creative – people will notice and doors will open. My career started in graphic design at 16, I had no intention of working in education my career has evolved by being adaptable.

Tru Talent: Looking to the future what does it hold for you?

Hayley: Who knows! The great thing about my role here at Talbot Heath is that I do so many different things in many areas, we could introduce something new & exciting next year and I will be working on that! I’d love my job so I think I will be here for the foreseeable.

Tru Talent: If you were to give some advice to someone that wants to make the jump to a new career or carve their own what would you say?

Hayley: Do what you love, love what you do. That way positivity and enthusiasm comes easy! If you are going to work for someone else, make sure you believe in them and their company ethos.

Trying to be everything to everyone does not work anymore and sometimes the service and skill that we would normally deliver in our niche can be affected by the fact that we are trying to provide services that we do not have the expertise for.

 

Could having the right working culture influence the positive growth within businesses and encourage collaboration across the community? Surely that way everyone gets to play to their strengths, and everybody benefits? Most importantly the end users/customers/clients.

We had a chat with Marcus Wincott Marketing Manager at Media Lounge and Chapter Director of Startup Grind Bournemouth all about driving collaboration and where e-commerce fits into that concept.

We will delve into the ideas surrounding nurturing a company culture, owning your ‘own space’ in the market and how you then use the power of social media to back this all up.

The future is bright for collaboration and ecommerce, let’s delve into it with Marcus.

 

Culture – Let The Team Do The Talking

 

We see this word A LOT. As Marcus quite rightly says “I think some people think if you get a ping pong table and some funky wall graphics that’s all you need, that’s your culture nailed, you’ve smashed it.” Perceptions are short lived, your beer fridge isn’t going to help you when your staff are all overworked and unhappy and as a result, the work your agency does is suffering. Culture by definition means “a way of life” not a few fun gimmicks that you can throw in to appear to have an understanding of what people / employees nowadays are looking to get from the work they do.

Your Instagram stories may tell the world one thing, but the hours your staff work can paint an entirely different picture. This can be downfall a for your workforce, leaving them feeling exhausted. Marcus stresses that there can be a change, we just need to move away from rigidness and outdated ideals.  “There was this meritocracy [at a previous agency] applied to staying late, but at Media Lounge we actively encourage staff not to work late because ultimately you have to get the work life balance right and we’re probably not managing our workload properly if we feel we have to work late. Also, you just shouldn’t – it’s not healthy.”

This will look different in every company, but making a culture successful and a team work together is about playing to individual strengths  “When meeting with my team about direction and strategy, I’ll have my own ideas for content and advertising budget and stuff, but I won’t have it formulated because everything has to be discussed with my team because they have to deliver it. I don’t force ideas upon them, but instead let them steer the strategy, change the way they work and be flexible in order to achieve our goals.”

 

How Do We Want To Work, Really Though? 

 

More and more of us are now talking about a better work life balance and having a more Holistic approach to this. However is it really achievable to implement flexible working on a large scale and can every business achieve it?

Marcus sees some positives and negatives in this approach. “Some of the best work we do is when we are all in a room together talking about a project and chipping in which you can’t do if you’re all remote. But for some tech businesses, remote staff works better, some of which don’t even have a HQ.”

Or maybe it needs to be an overhaul about how we work and spend our hours working. “I get it, I think it could be more about bits of remote working, side hustles, and people generally working less hours in a normal job so they have time for all the rest.”

 

 

“I think people still want a baseline salary but increasingly, they also want the flexibility to run a side hustle or a meet up group or something else that they’re passionate about.”

 

 

If we’re going to take this collaborative approach to the next level, maybe this is where we turn to next, where our teams work less hours and pursue passions outside of their 9-5. Could this make for a happier more productive workforce despite less hours in the office? Marcus certainly feels the benefit of this mutual trust between him and his employer and is able to watch his side hustle grow. He is the Chapter Director of Startup Grind Bournemouth which is a series of events for local Entrepreneurs, “Our commitment to the global Startup Grind brand was that we would hold an event every month and since September 2018 we’ve done that. Our only goal is to educate inspire and connect entrepreneurs in our local area to make the startup journey, a less lonely and scary one.”

 

Collaboration In Our Communities 

 

As our community opens up more, and we nurture and support each other’s ideas and smaller business plans, our guards lower and ‘competition’ suddenly becomes less of a threat.

After a few years in London, Marcus reflected on his return to Bournemouth and his surprise at the change. “The extremely active and open meet up an event scene here, just would never have happened 10 years ago. I think the collaborative nature of the digital community here has grown, and it’s because everyone is less guarded now.”

“When I came back from London there was still some of those big names knocking about like BBD, Adido, RedWeb but they were very different, they looked different. They have got their niche and the thing they do and nobody these days claims to do everything.”

The term ‘jack of all trades’ comes to mind but people are not fooled by this anymore. There is a place for’ say yes and learn how to do it when you get there’ but as a strategy this has been proven to fail and these failures do not go unnoticed.

Marcus went on to say that often Media Lounge liaise with agencies that offer similar services, because they know what they’re good at and when a project comes up, if they know they can’t give their 100% they’ll pass it on to the right person or business that can.

“Now times gone on, there is somewhat of a karmic feel to things where kindness and support come back around.”

“The most important thing should be the outcome for the client. Holistically it creates a much better idea of trust.”

 

Online Community And Buying From Those You Trust

 

When we’re pitching to our clients, trust is a key factor in conversion. As we’ve seen the rise in Social Media, Instagram particularly, the term ‘influencers’ is now part of our everyday lingo.

A new feature is on the horizon which we believe could change the face of communities online, making them more authentic. It also opens up the spectrum for the side hustle that is micro influencing.

Individuals within these smaller online communities are now going to be able to purchase directly from their favoured micro influencers posts on Instagram “They are now taking it a step further, so you can now purchase in app. That’s powerful. I think it will make the whole influencer trend more accountable and so-called influencers will have the opportunity to prove the ‘influence’ they have over their communities. Or not.” It’s no surprise that one person having millions of followers and getting paid to post a picture of themselves with a dietary supplement milkshake was going to be short lived. Just like that of a business with a transparent culture, we can see straight through it.

We are hoping this will lead to the rise of powerful and influential micro influencers who are passionate about what they do and have niche, but loyal following. This in turn can be an individual’s side hustle and will help to grow collaboration within our online and offline communities.

At Tru Talent we are lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

 

Trisha Lewis

 

 

We had a chat with Trisha Lewis who founded her own Communication Coaching business to discuss what it takes to be a leader and what the big fear of public speaking is all about.

 

 

 

Tru Talent: What is your name and what is your ‘title’?

 

Trisha: Trisha Lewis – Communication Coach – my own business – just me!

 

Tru Talent: A ‘Communication Coach’ can you describe to us what this entails and what a normal day in the life of Trisha looks like?

 

Trisha: I help people communicate better! That’s a bit simplistic I guess – but it is the ultimate goal.  That might mean communicating better with themselves, their team or their audience. Communication is a foundational skill and once you start unpacking what it involves, well – it’s a fascinating gift to unwrap!

There is no such thing as a normal day – which kind of suits me! I have developed good multi-tasking skills and I have a fair bit of energy – even at my age!  I am constantly curious and like the aspect of my work which involves meeting so many fascinating people as well as finding ways to communicate with and grow my network. I rarely say no to an opportunity to get to know someone or brainstorm a possible collaboration.  Oh – and I am also writing a book!  All this means my days have a pretty random quality to them.

However – I do try and put a little structure around the randomness.  If I have a day with no client coaching sessions or company workshops/talks etc… then I will often start early by walking down to my favourite coffee shop – laptop in bag.  I like to work with a little buzz around me rather than silence.  I will then make sure I do at least 30 minutes of business development before getting stuck into blog writing, social media engagement or book writing.

Then there will be days when I have clients coming to my home based office for coaching or I am going out to deliver talks or workshops to groups and organisations. Oh – and some days that mean a very early start or evening trip out for a networking event!

 

Tru Talent: We’ve chatted in the past about this but can you outline what Imposter Syndrome is and how you begin to tackle this?

 

Trisha: I will share with you the definition I give in the introduction of the book I am currently writing!

A nagging feeling of self-doubt that feels real but does not stand up to scrutiny. A feeling that you are on the outside looking in but ‘they’ all have the right to be there. A feeling that if you do not work very hard at being loved, clever and perfect – you will be thrown out into the wilderness by a jeering crowd of haters who have discovered just how useless, bad (or both) you ‘really’ are. A feeling that when people do praise you – they are going to regret it as soon as you leave the room or put the phone down.

 I could delve deep here – but hey – I want people to buy the book!  Having said which I do give a lot of free tips in the various blog posts and videos I share!

In brief – you tackle it by getting real! You equip yourself with a good dose of knowledge about what it is – and what the symptoms and consequences are – and then you use some tactics that involve pressing pause between feelings and actions, talking with others to reveal that you are not alone and ‘bigging yourself up’!

There is no cure – it is not an illness! What you do is become more aware of the signs and quicker at pressing pause!  Again – much more in the book – or for now on my YouTube channel (plug!)

 

Tru Talent: Why do you think that public speaking is such a huge fear for so many of us?

 

Trisha: Ah – again I could go on! So I will try to keep this brief…

Actually I used to be very shy when I was younger – belief it or not!  They do say a lot of actors have a shy streak!

The fear is the same as any kind of fear – fear is a powerful force for all us humans! We are wired to see the negative – it is a survival tool that can get triggered off in an unhelpful way these days! There are rarely sabre-toothed tigers to watch out for.  It is a mind-body thing – and it is far worse when you keep sending signals to your brain that you are afraid – because then your body responds even more – and a viscous cycle is set up!

The main tactic involves getting ‘out of your head’! You need to be present – remember that it is about them not you – and they are not out to get you!

Our biggest fear is often fear of rejection and fear of judgement – again down to ancient wiring! If you acknowledge what is going on and get rational about the reality of the situation (no tigers) you calm you body and brain down!

I also think people get hung up on an idea that they must be like someone else – some version of a good speaker that they have in their head – but isn’t them! The more you try to be like someone else the worse the fear gets.

You also need to be at one with your content – plenty of preparation and a sense of excitement about what you are delivering.

Again – loads of tips on my YouTube channel (did I already mention this?!)

 

Tru Talent: As a member of a community like YATM, do you think these ‘safe spaces’ give a platform for those that wouldn’t normally want to speak or share knowledge?

 

Trisha: Definitely!  I love spaces like YATM.  As the host of events like this it is crucial to create an atmosphere where people realise that no question is daft!

 

Tru Talent: How useful is communication and the understanding of this in the marketing and PR world?

 

Trisha: Massively useful!  Maybe I would say that – but it is true. There are 2 particularly crucial aspects to good communication that are needed for marketing and PR – connection and clarity.  Connection involves resonating with your audience and building trust – and clarity involves the audience being able to ‘get’ your message and know what to do next!

 

Tru Talent: What path have you taken to get you to where you are today? What advise would you give to someone else looking to do something similar?

 

Trisha: Wow! I am old! I won’t give you my life story!  In brief – I have embraced life – the good and the bad.  I have never stopped wanting to learn and I am curious!  When things felt wrong – I changed them and when things felt too comfortable – I took up new challenges!

Whilst I had a number of different mini careers and the job of bringing up a family – I had a constant passion for acting.  It was my career as a professional actor (theatre not TV!) that led me along a random path to various connected opportunities – all involving masses of communication and trust building skills!  I built a good reputation as a speaker on a ‘non-business’ circuit – but decided I wanted to rise to the challenge of using my combined skills and experience in the business world. Just under 3 years ago I took the plunge and up my coaching business. What a learning curve!

I had to be prepared to keep pushing myself over the obstacles and not retreat! I also had to rewire my brain a bit – blending the creative with the business/sales side of things – not easy!

The main constant throughout has been my instinct that offering value, listening and relationship building would be the most effective way to grow – and I am glad to say my instinct was correct.

Making others feel empowered is about fostering an environment of trust and recognition.

When you provide others with a platform to be recognised, it can help create new paths or just give others a sense of reward.

Our 2019 Rock Star Awards were held at the O2 Bournemouth during March, with an initiative to put the spotlight on a younger audience with incredible talent and resilience.

Let’s take a look at the experience, from the perspective of three of this years’ winners.

 

What It Truly Means To Be A Rock Star Winner

“It feels incredible to receive this recognition for the efforts I have put in,” says Oliver Cooper, this year’s Teaching Star winner. A 25 year old with a self-defined unwavering dedication to his pupils at Shaftsbury School, Oliver understands the importance of being a role model to others.

As someone who aims to overcome diversity, and has so far succeeded, Oliver became the mould of a perfect Rock Star Winner:

“I work hard like everyone else in this profession, but knowing what I am doing is being appreciated in the community is an amazing feeling. I gained a massive amount of respect after winning, making all the late nights and hours of work feel worthwhile.

“I don’t need applause for what I do, but the respect from those around me now is lovely.”

Tasha Clarke, winner of our Creative Star award, shares this strong mentality too.

From working a Saturday job in her mum’s Bridal shop, Tasha knew she wanted more, demonstrating the drive our Rock Star Winners all share:

“There is a lot of pressure for young people to figure out what they want in life, let alone do well. Winning this award was a lovely confirmation that things are heading in the right direction.

“Being noticed is a real honour, and representing Rock Star Awards was fantastic.”

Inspirational Star Tom Douris has a story nothing short of exceptional. Diagnosed with arthritis at the tender age of 8 in every joint in his body, life “sucked”. This predetermined disadvantage had affected his life for years, but at 8 years old the arthritis burned out. However it left lasting damage which resulted in two hip replacements before the age of 25. It’s fair to say that Tom has far succeeded his peer’s expectations in life:

“I feel like I have never been listened to or believed in throughout my life, but when I was nominated for this award it felt like I was given a voice.

“It’s given me hope in my future and the want to help others along the way. Even though I have had arthritis, there is still a massively bright light at the end of the tunnel.”

 

A Behind The Scenes Look At The Ceremony

The evening is always much more than a quick grab and dash. It is a celebration of success where all of our winners and nominees are treated with the upmost respect and given a star-studded reception they each deserve for their achievements:

“It is a really beautiful event in a wonderful venue. The atmosphere was full of energy too, and with everyone being in black tie it felt very professional,” explains Oliver.

“For someone who spends all their time working in a classroom, going to an event like that was so different. The efforts that had gone into it, especially with the vibrant and energetic community mural made the place look fantastic.”

Tom and Tasha agree: “It was an amazing experience getting to know everyone there, all the nominees and everyone’s stories about how they got where they are today. The evening couldn’t have gone any better, and winning the award couldn’t have meant more to me.

“Everything was fantastic, smiles lit up the room.”

 

Looking Into The Future

 Oliver has a clear vision of what it means to be a successful teacher, something he intends to push forward into his career: “To understand a pupil’s progression you need to understand the pupil. It’s about knowing what makes them tick.”

“As a newly qualified teacher I need to finish my induction period, but after that my main focus is to become a better teacher. There is still so much I can learn and I’m eager to enjoy those experiences.

“Having the award makes what I’m doing feel so worthwhile, and I am now in a position to push forward in my field. I am soon taking on older students, so I can teach the kids I’ve watched grow through school.”

“My life has become so much more than I ever imagined it could be at this age,” says Tasha.

“I’m making my first clients wedding dress which is an amazing thing to be able to say. By next year, I hope to be opening up my own store and taking it from there.”

For Tom, his obstacles have been anything but minor although this is no barrier for his mental strength. He’s storming through an Occupational Therapy degree at Bournemouth University:

“I want to network with people in the Bournemouth area and whizz through my business plan, to share ideas and support each other in the healthcare and therapy fields. I am looking to volunteer too, and help others with arthritis or similar muscular-skeletal conditions.”

 

Ensuring Success of Future Generations

 As someone who has produced exceptional work in their field of expertise, Oliver had some helpful words to offer to potential Rock Award nominees:

“If you’re thinking about these awards, I would encourage you to go for it. I was tentative about it at the start, but the guidance and support given to you by Rock Star Awards team throughout the process is priceless. It is an amazing thing for someone to do, no matter where you are in your career.”

Tasha wants to instil the self-belief she has in young Rock Star hopefuls:

“To feel the gratitude from someone else just by being recognised is such a special experience. You should give it a go. Ignore the doubt in your head and just go for it, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.”

Tom also has some important words for those who desire to be more than they are today. Amidst what seemed at times endless obstacles, he has powered through the other side, achieving greatness incomparable to the expectations of others:

“The whole process has been unforgettable. I felt like I’d won just being listened to, the award was the icing on the cake.

“This award has really given young people like me a better name, to show there are young people who want to make a difference in life.”

Being a Rock Star is not just in your actions professionally, but in the person you are.

Despite the challenges you face in life, it is the way you overcome them that counts. The progress they made in such a short amount of time is what makes these three people exceptional.

At Tru Talent, we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

Steele Raymond

 

 

We spoke to Lee Taylor the Business Development Director at Steele Raymond about how business development has changed and why Bournemouth is great.

 

 

 

Tru Talent: What is your name and title?

 

Lee: Lee Taylor, Business Development Director at Steele Raymond LLP Solicitors

 

Tru Talent: What does your day to day look like?

 

Lee: Like many people there are no one day the same. Every day is different. My role is to help implement the business strategy across firm. Every day I work with incredible legal teams who are all working exceptionally hard for their clients. Juggling client work and business development can be challenging, particularly when with much of the business development we do, timing is everything. After all clients do come first (quite rightly) so planning and communication is key in my role.

 

Tru Talent: As someone that has worked in Business Development for a long time, do you think the way we ‘business develop’ has changed?

 

Lee: Very much so. I’ve been working in business development and marketing for nearly 20 years now and the change from when I started is incredible. When I first started in legal marketing it came at a time when the restrictions on what law firms could and couldn’t do were relaxed. In a positive way it was like starting with a blank canvas for law firms. That in itself had challenges as a lot of my time went in to encouraging legal teams to step outside of their comfort zone. But even back then people knew when they were being marketing to. I think everyone does. For me the biggest change has been advising lawyers what not to do rather than what to do.

Placing your trust in a law firm is a big decision and one not to be made lightly. The ability to market to the everyone is easier than ever with marketing tools at the end of everyone’s finger tips. But just because you can market to everyone, doesn’t mean you should. Far from it. I take a very responsible view on marketing and business development. Much of my work involves an audience of one. We are now at a time when the one-to-one relationships have never been more important and I actively work with my legal teams to help develop those relationships.

 

Tru Talent: How would you say that Steele Raymond ‘do it differently’?

 

Lee: Our lawyers and legal teams give businesses more than just legal advice. We are an integral part of their business. We listen to our clients to understand their business and work to realise their ambitions. This all goes back to people and relationships. The people that I work with on a daily basis have developed such hard-earned relationships with their clients. Something that they have invested years and even decades in nurturing, getting to understand their client’s business inside and out. We are at heart a people business. And in that we believe that the law needs to have a human side too.

 

Tru Talent: After working in other various places around the country, how does Bournemouth compare to them?

 

Lee: I’d flip the question the other way around and say how do other places I’ve worked compare to Bournemouth and Dorset. My answer is that they don’t compare. I’ve had an amazing start to my career and have worked in some of the UK’s largest cities; London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Cambridge and Norwich to name but a few. But the thing that makes Dorset stand out the most is the vibrant business community and the work-life balance. Dorset has such a vibrant and friendly business community that in some ways it doesn’t feel like work at all. Because it has such a close knit business community there is also no place to hide and business ethics goes a long way.

 

Tru Talent: Within the industry of lawyers and solicitors do you see a lot of young people coming through? Do you think it’s on the rise?

 

Lee: We have some incredible young talent at Steele Raymond and we work very hard to attract the best legal talent from across the UK. Young professionals are the future of the business so attracting the key talent early on in their careers and nurturing them throughout the business, investing significant time in helping their achieve their career ambitions is one of our key goals.

A Look at the 2019 Rock Star Awards

Looking at the new and rising talent around all of us, provides a glimpse into the future.

Let us take a reflective look at how the 2019 Rock Star Awards have been progressing and what we have seen this year.

Individuals in a workforce and people in society are driving themselves to the limit to produce results day in day out, or just to live a happier life. No matter how long you have worked in a company, people deserve recognition. Even if no one has noticed yet.

 

 

Finding The Diamonds

“Every year the calibre and the diversity for Rock Star Award candidates is amazing,” believes our MD, Angela Piromalli. Talent is peaking its eager head up in many different places. A shift is appearing, with more people from different backgrounds than before are standing up and wanting to be counted.

The underlying principles of the Rock Star Awards has never changed, since it started in 2012. Not only do they bring attention to certain individuals, but they show companies the features that make a successful individual.

“Deserving people are now being recognised outside of the status quo. There’s no underlying agenda there. It’s exciting for the future.”

By looking at skills and talents that were previously glazed over in industry, more adaptable candidates are sought out. With this new way of seeing people, we’re finding diamonds under rough rocks.

 

More Than Just A Company Initiative

 

A major factor in the Rock Star Awards is not only giving someone the recognition, but supporting their trajectory towards success. It is not just a shindig at the end of March, the Rock Star Awards present genuine opportunities to grasp for the future.

Fleur Cook, our Marketing Manager explains, “This platform showcases the right talent and projects it both locally and nationally.

“It puts the spotlight on young people, which extends beyond the one night.”

All of those involved in the awards, both past and present, interact on a regular basis, keeping the network pulse thriving. It has created a web of interaction that expands far beyond the awards themselves, focusing on growth and development for the future.

“Not only are new candidates offered the chance to see the success of previous award winners, but they can build on their own and reach out to people in this new database of marketing gold. The awards have a longevity way beyond the ceremony itself.”

“They are way more than just a trophy.”

 

The Rising Talent

 

Helping both company and candidates, there are two sides to these awards. Stars tap into our mentality at Rise, and help with initiatives from a fresh set of eyes.

A new perspective and a pool of people to lean on is something both sides of the process benefit from, with each award winner bringing something new to the table. There’s no set formula for the “Rock Star Award Winners” either; some may have tougher backgrounds than others, but all know how to work hard and work together.

Angela says, “Everyone who is involved in the awards are overcoming obstacles. We want to give as many young people as we can the chance to tackle these.

“We believe in support, and that’s what these awards are offering people. It’s ongoing and it’s permanent, the Rock Star Awards are the starting point of it. Every person we have come into contact with has had something magic about them. That’s who we want to support and that’s who we want to grow alongside.”

 

Why It’s All Worth It

 

Having such an event represents a lot of organisation and time, but what you get back from it is in abundance.

“When people come up to you and thank you for the event, it makes it all worth it. Whether they’ve won or not, we have endless amounts of grateful people approach us.” Angela says proudly.

Some nominees have not been given this kind of opportunity before, and being able to give them that platform to be appreciated means more than words.

Angela knows that planning, preparing and partnering with everyone involved is no easy feat, and it is a rewarding, but challenging process, to co-ordinate the entirety of the project. Seeing the smiles at the event and knowing we have made a difference to people’s lives on that night makes it worth it.

Angela concludes, “Grouping together talent, recruitment and sponsors we have a unique chance to do something different. By getting more involved in future partnerships and discussions we are able to create this mega-hub of resources in different industries, forming the Rise super-team. This will become a contender not just in the South of England, but on wider level.”

 

20/20 Vision For The Future

 

2019 for us is about growth, but it doesn’t stop there.

We want to give young people the biggest platform possible to express and debut their well-deserving work, something we’ll work towards and make a reality.

It’s about being inspired, and giving young people a chance on every level.

You can go on and achieve great things, and the Rock Star Awards can and will give others that leg up. This is our promise to the communities we work within.

At Tru Talent we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

We spoke with Maria Seabright the Finance and HR Director of Greendale Construction to ask her a little bit about how she got into what she is doing now and how they are shaping the world of construction for young people in our area.

Tru Talent: What is your name and what is your role at Greendale Construction?

Maria: My name is Maria Seabright and I am the Finance & HR Director.

Tru Talent: How did you get into the construction industry? Did you work your way up to the role you are in today?

Maria: Previously to joining Greendale Construction I was working in the waste disposal industry which worked alongside the Construction industry.  I wanted to change careers and answered an advert in the Bournemouth Echo for an Admin Assistant / Receptionist (I still have the original advert in my personnel file!).  So on the 1st October 1997 I joined Greendale Construction.  My role was to answer the phone, and to provide admin and secretarial support.  When I joined the company their turnover was £1m.  As the company grew my role within the organisation grew.  I started doing the accounts (which were originally outsourced) so also became Accounts Manager.  In 2000 We moved into larger premises and engaged more staff so again my role changed to Office Manager.  In 2009 we moved to Old Generator House where we now have 19 admin/senior managers based in the office and the number of staff that we employ grew to 50.  On the 1st January 2013 I was promoted to Finance & HR Director at the same time Andy Musselwhite was promoted to Contracts Director.  This now meant that the company had 4 directors on the board.  I was so honoured and privileged to be asked to become a Director of this great company that I had seen go from strength to strength.  I have now been with the company 22 years this year.

Tru Talent: As great sponsors (and believers!) of the Rock Star Awards, how do you make your workplace inclusive for young people starting out?

Maria: We strongly believe that we have a responsibility as an organisation to train for the future of the industry – this means that we are very active in recruiting apprentices.  Apprentices can be for various trades; site carpentry, bricklaying or Painting & Decorating.  We also engage Graduates where the company financially support any university fees, meaning that they can study for a degree without having to get into debt, and ensure that every apprentice / graduate has a 1-1 mentor that helps them with their training.  We also offer work experience placements for students (majority being of school age) – this gives them an insight into what actually happens on a construction site or within a construction office if it is a career that they wish to embark on.  We interview every student that applies for works experience as we believe that this gives them valuable experience in attending an interview with an employer.  It also allows us to see what the student wants to gain out of their works experience so we tailor their training to reflect this.   Because of the number of graduates / apprentices that have trained / qualified with us over the years we know that they make great mentors for the other young people coming through the company and we encourage ex apprentices and ex graduates to actually mentor some of these young employees.   In 2018 we won the Dorset Business Award for “Developing Talent”.  It was wonderful to be recognised for the great work that we do with developing talent within our organisation.

Tru Talent: From what we know of you, you are a very charitable company and truly believe in giving back to your community – do you think that makes you all more effective as a workforce?

Maria: We do an awful lot of charity work and also working with schools & colleges to promote the industry.  Again we feel it is important to give something back to the community.  We have a nominated charity every year that we raise money for – this charity is voted for by the employees and this is really important as they are contributing / giving something back to who they have chosen to support.  We are also currently looking to introduce some volunteer days within the company – this will be where an employee can volunteer within the community one day a year.  This volunteer day encompasses  our mental health & wellbeing in the workplace policy.  By allowing our employees to give something back and volunteering to help other for a day makes them feel good.

Tru Talent: Do you think the construction industry is slowly becoming more approachable for both men and women?

Maria: More women are becoming more interested in working within the construction industry.  This is very evident when I am attending careers events at schools & colleges as more young ladies approach me to ask about working in the industry, be it becoming an architect, or working on site, or learning a trade.  I do think that employers within the construction industry are now more open to engaging women within the industry.

Tru Talent: What advice would you give to a young person looking to get into directorship one day?

Maria: Being a director to any company is a massive responsibility. It has its good days and its bad days however it is wonderful to be in a position where you can see the company grow and the people around you excel in their chosen profession.  It is hard work and requires total dedication to the business.  It can be stressful but it is how you manage that stress – it is essential to get your work life balance right.  Do things away from the office that help you re-charge your batteries so that you have the strength the tackle each day head on.  A business is only as good as the team around you to make sure that you employ the right people that will embrace the company ethos and who all work in the same direction to make the company bigger and better.  Be a director that is approachable – always have an open door policy for your staff to talk to you if they have any concerns or problems.  Share your business plan with all your staff, that way they all know what you are trying to achieve as a business and they will be working towards the same goal.

At Rise we are truly lucky to be immersed within a community of experts. Each individual has their own talent, opinion and knowledge. We decided that instead of writing what we thought of the world and the industries we all work in, why don’t we ask them?

This has part of our series of Q&A style articles that we hope will inspire you, educate you, and or empower you.

 

We asked Justin Cohen, the Commercial Manager of Beales Gourmet at The Italian Villa a little bit events and PR. We wanted to know a little bit about what he thought about it, and how he got into it!

 

 

RISE: PR has made a complete U-turn since the introduction of social media, do you think there is still room for the old methods that we used to use in PR?

 

Justin: I think that conventional PR has been accentuated by the addition of social channels. However, this is a double-edged sword. As a PR professional, your job is to manage the public reputation of your client’s business. If there are now 5-10 more channels available for your client to promote themselves, there are 5-10 sites for your client’s detractors to pan their products or services online. PR’s need to stay sharp and utilise up to date social listening tools to truly stay ahead of the game and maintain their client’s reputation. But it’s not all doom and gloom… PR is, and always has been, about relationships. The Editor of any given publication will still thank you for a good story – they’ll now just be able to share it online as well as in print/radio/tv.

 

RISE: As a business is having someone that takes charge of PR, events and marketing is key to the success and continuous positive change of a company?

 

Justin: It all depends of the allocation of company resources. There is often an argument that having an internal personal take the lead on PR, events and marketing will make for more consistent, cohesive communications. That may well be the case. However, from the opposite side of things, there is also the argument that company directors and employees are often so close to the subject that they’re trying to communicate, they may fail to see other opportunities or fresh angles. A “happy-medium” would be a strong internal coordinator (who genuinely gets “it”) who could liaise with equally strong external expert consultants.

 

RISE: The saying goes, ‘Any PR is good PR’, but is this really true?

 

Justin: I used to think this was true. I’m not so sure anymore. Some brands think that they are untouchable. I’m sure Miramax would argue the contrary now with the cloud over Harvey Weinstein and co…

But then again, look at what Nike have managed to accomplish with the Colin Kaepernick story. Some said it was a foolish move (resulting in customers burning their Nikes online, etc), but in real terms, they’ve capitalised massively on strong public empathy. That was a well-managed situation.

 

RISE: Events nowadays aren’t just about putting on some food and drink, it’s about providing an experience. Is there any tips or tricks you would tell companies that are thinking of hosting their own event?

 

Justin: I agree. People now need a reason to turn up. Gone are the days where a few vol Au vents and some bubbly would be a good enough reason to motivate guests to attend an event. Now it’s far more about the overall experience. For example when we hosted the launch of the Dorset Business Awards last year, we looked at the overall theme of the event, and tied the welcome cocktail and canape selection to that specific theme, which made the event much more memorable.

Another example… we recently launched our FOODIE club which, again, was about the experience. Yes, guests enjoyed eight courses of amazing food. Yes, every course was matched with superb wines and other drinks. Yes, the service was five star. But what guests will remember most of all was the element of theatre surrounding the evening. The al fresco setting in The Italian Garden; the Iberico ham being carved in front of them; the smell of the scallops being barbecued right in front of them; the floating candles on the pond; the expert guest speaker. I could go on. The point is that, when planning any event, you need to think “what is the REASON that I’m giving for my guests to want to turn up?”

RISE: As an individual trying to get into the industry of events and PR, do you have any words of advice? Do you think experience outweighs education in this case?

 

Justin: I studied marketing, but never even touched PR or events really. It was only later in my career, working for Darren Northeast PR, that I honed my PR and media skills. I’d always enjoyed writing (I still do!), so PR became another great outlet for that. I think that getting the right sort of experience will always trump educational qualifications. We always take on a number of work placement students from Bournemouth University’s Event Management programme, because we believe that the right experience will accelerate any classroom learning. Like they say: “Everything works in theory. Even communism.” It’s getting things to work in practice that is the kicker!

Only when you look back do you realise the development and hard work that goes into a completed year.

Let’s look at some lessons from 2018 that we have learnt at RISE.

The biggest lessons of 2018

By empowering the RISE team in 2018 and instilling belief in every single person in the company, we now act as one body.

Having a solid base to a business and connecting to each other on a human level changed the company around for the better. This is a valuable trait we will work harder on, year on year.

Angela Piromalli, our MD, sums this up perfectly; “This year is all about having the right team on board and then giving responsibility to others.”

Whilst it is great to be acknowledged for awards, it is the byproduct of hard work. We were nominated for seven awards this year and we won seven awards. From that perspective, it has been fantastic. We have progressed into our next phase as a company after deciding to really go for it in 2018.

2019 from a business angle

Not only do we want to empower our colleagues and work as one, we put this mentality towards each of our clients and candidates.

Rather than being outsiders to our family, we embraced everyone who came to us and treated them as our own.

The growth of our Rock Star Awards has also allowed different employees to take on bigger responsibilities in this sector. Instead of one person taking full responsibility for a project solo, we decided that more people should work together and create a product even better than the year before. Giving up and handing to others an idea that was conceived and delivered (the Rock Star Awards) may be for the benefit of you and those around you:

Angela says, “It’s important to give others responsibility, and prove you can trust your team. Giving people the freedom takes the pressure off of you, and brings new minds together.  For instance, Fleur Cook, our Marketing Manager, hosted the 2019 Rock Star Awards launch event at Bournemouth University and people recognised Fleur as a figurehead for this initiative.“

“Instilling new energy to revamp existing projects makes such a difference.”

The units we create as a company are equally as important as employing good people. If you want to progress as a company, everyone within a company needs to be invested. That core team is the company, not just the name on the logo.

What will next year hold?

Now we have the right energy together as a company, we look forward to what next year has in store.

As well as the responsibility, it is important to have the drive and passion to make 2019 a success. For all businesses, there has to be careful planning. It comes down to companies knowing the structure for the future and giving a bit of leeway to slip up occasionally without the world crashing down around them.

In 2019 we also plan to launch a new think tank programme. Angela explains this new introduction to the business:

“Our objective is to challenge the norms of the businesses in Dorset, by trialling the four day working week, using public transport to get into work, a six hour working day, and seeing the impact this has on mental health, work ability and also efficiency.”

We want people and businesses to get involved and participate with us on this project. Trialling is the only real way to understand the level of success and achievement. By working with partners we can present strong tangible data.

Discovering and unravelling these secrets of business that no one’s really delved into before is important for us. We want to know how you can increase productivity, how people can be happier and how you can attract the right talent and retain it.

As Angela states, “If the research reveals a positive impact on these factors, it will be landmark for us and the local economy.”

“Whether clients or candidates, the output for everyone has to be living a content and fulfilled life.”

Let’s Conclude

Reflecting and growing from the past is such an undervalued asset in the business world.

If we, as RISE, had not looked back at our continued journey and where we have come from, would not have allowed us to plan and initiate. We are continually thankful for the people around us, the clients we serve and the candidates we support as well as the community we have nurtured. It is a privilege to be a part of the business community we have been a part of for over 10 years.

Having a genuine excitement for the year ahead with new projects and fresh ideas is building our community and allowing us to be excited to go into work – trust your gut and listen to ideas that aren’t just your own.

Give 2019 all you’ve got.