I love working with small companies or small teams and, of course, I run my own small business. There is something special about it. Yet most of the companies I worked for before starting my own business, and some I still work with, are international companies bringing in millions.
The marketing communications principles are the same, whatever the size of the business. The ideas and the platforms might change, but it’s always about people and what you would like them to think. More on my story.
Highlights of my career
It all started with an article
. . . that I wrote for the newspaper I was working on at the time (back in 2007). It was about a boy who had gone his own way – all his friends liked football but, off the back of a £5 intro to sailing offer, he was hooked on sailing. He didn’t come from the traditional well-off background associated with sailing and he was awarded some funds by a local trust to help him take a course. He passed with flying colours, but not only that he saved up and paid the trust back (he didn’t have to do this). He then set about saving up his pocket money, eagerly waiting to take his next Royal Yachting Association course. The paper comes out, and I get a phone call.
A person had been moved by the story and wanted to donate the money (all of it) for his next two courses. I call his mum and she screamed with excitement and said what an amazing thing to be able to teach him about the world. That day has stuck with me forever. It taught me something too: stories do make things happen. (And looking back now, so do marketing offers!)
Anything is possible
As Senior Press & PR Officer for the Royal Voluntary Service (previously WRVS) I secured new celebrity support for campaigns, including Richard Branson, Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry.
One of my campaigns, for the fundraiser Great Brew Break, achieved 196 pieces of media coverage, including every major national paper, breakfast TV and radio station on launch day, by using a creative story about the great British tea round being at risk of extinction in the workplace.
I took over as Head of Marketing at Bell during challenging times and led the very small (but mighty) marketing team, reporting straight to the senior directors.
We changed everything in marketing. We created a new website, a new campaign calendar with multiple direct campaigns going out every month to different audiences mapped to key booking times and interests, we set up Mailchimp so all emails were created professionally and could be tracked and we created new brochures with a host of new features to showcase our selling points. We also created a ‘sales team toolkit’ and a ‘sell Bell toolkit’ for our agents, with presentations, factsheets, photos, videos and more.
I have worked with a lot of marketing agencies and copywriters in my career, and Vicky is the best I have worked with.
Greg Patton, Sales and Marketing Director at Bell (now at International House London, who signed up as a client too)
We improved the performance of PPC (Google ads) by 111% while at the same time reducing the spend on it by 75%. Our most popular social media post was liked by 27,000 people. We reached over 1.2 million people just on Facebook that year. We increased the average time people spent on our site by 45%.
Vicky has a true talent for getting the desired message across in the most effective and creative way. Passionate about her work, she has a positive ‘can do’ attitude that inspires those around her.
Roseanna Whitelegg, Senior Marketing Executive at Bell
As part of all of it, we developed new and consistent branding and messaging across all channels. We conducted market research to inform it all. And our marketing always put the customer first, always. In a short timeframe, the sales targets were exceeded week after week. (Oh, and we hosted a Royal visit from HRH Prince Edward and were tweeted about by The Royal Family too). A small but mighty team can achieve a lot.
Amongst other things, I managed the online news on the external and internal web homepages for Cambridge University Press sourcing, editing, and drafting articles from all business streams across the world. The news service won ‘Best Online News Service’ two years in a row, awarded by Communicators in Business.
Professional in all that she does, Vicky is an experienced communications expert, and an adaptable, confident writer.
Vicky Langley, Communications Executive at Cambridge University Press
Connecting people from all over the world
I worked for Cambridge University Press for just over five years, promoted twice to become Senior Communications Executive, and I worked for Bell for nearly three years, promoted to Head of Marketing after less than a year.
Both are international companies with a number of business streams and diverse audiences all over the world, within one overarching brand. It makes for a very interesting (and very large) campaign calendar. Repurposing content in different ways and thinking creatively are key to keeping costs low.
As a result of relationship-building with a key tech influencer (previously unknown to us) the Cambridge Dictionaries app by Cambridge University Press was tweeted about to his 2million+ followers, resulting in a huge surge of interest for the app, from an audience not previously engaged with the organisation at all. You don’t need to do everything. It’s just about creative ways to achieve your objectives.
Vicky is a fantastic PR and communications professional; really passionate about her job and a pleasure to work with.
Hannah Gregory, Head of Communications for Cambridge University Press
Qualifications and professional memberships
I am a full professional member of The Professional Copywriters’ Network, at Senior Copywriter level. I am a full member of the CIPR, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. I am also a full member of The Federation of Small Businesses.
CIM Diploma in Marketing Communications (2009-2010)
(Public Relations, Integrated Media, Marketing & Consumer Behaviour, Direct Marketing & Sales Promotion, Advertising)
BA Hons English degree (2007)
Frequent and ongoing continuous professional development, including: managing media interviews, crisis communications, digital marketing, SEO, social media strategy, GDPR, Google Adwords PPC (pay-per-click advertising) and many more. I attend the Cambridge Marketing Meet Up, Cambridge Business Women, Drive the Network and the Optimsey SEO Meet Up events regularly.
You can view details on all my roles and qualifications, with endorsements, on my LinkedIn profile.