Embracing Marketing Mistakes

How to maintain performance and culture in a remote working world.

January 25, 2024 Prohibition PR Season 1 Episode 19
How to maintain performance and culture in a remote working world.
Embracing Marketing Mistakes
More Info
Embracing Marketing Mistakes
How to maintain performance and culture in a remote working world.
Jan 25, 2024 Season 1 Episode 19
Prohibition PR

Join the conversation with Laura Brown, Engtel's marketing maestro, as we pull back the curtain on the thrilling world of international marketing in the era of remote work. Our latest episode boasts an intimate discussion with Laura, illuminating her rise to marketing strategy stardom and how she orchestrates a culturally diverse team from miles apart. Vicki Murphy (standing in for Chris this week) chimes in, offering her take on the unique challenges and triumphs of telecommuting from across the pond.

Ever wondered how a remote marketing team thrives? Laura and Will dissect the tactics and tools that keep her squad at Engtel in sync despite the distance. From 'marketing therapy sessions' that align sales and marketing priorities to leveraging platforms like Teams and Monday.com for that much-needed visibility, we spill the secrets to our international success. Listen in for a masterclass in nurturing team spirit and productivity across continents, all while keeping cultural identities intact.

But it's not all strategy and success; we keep it real by sharing a laugh over some memorable business faux pas. 

Vicki candidly recounts a cringe-worthy encounter with Jedward and the invaluable lessons learned from trusting your gut. Engtel's dedication to diversity and community engagement shines through as we discuss their Diversify the Future Foundation Programme and the Her Success Podcast, proving that the heart of business lies in its people and purpose. So, pull up a chair and get ready for an episode that's as informative as it is entertaining.

Would you like to know if your social media and content strategy is perfect for this year? Book a free 15-minute brand discovery call here with Chris, and we will help you grow your brand today. And if you like the show, please leave us a review, or even just a thumbs up. It is very much appreciated - we want your feedback.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join the conversation with Laura Brown, Engtel's marketing maestro, as we pull back the curtain on the thrilling world of international marketing in the era of remote work. Our latest episode boasts an intimate discussion with Laura, illuminating her rise to marketing strategy stardom and how she orchestrates a culturally diverse team from miles apart. Vicki Murphy (standing in for Chris this week) chimes in, offering her take on the unique challenges and triumphs of telecommuting from across the pond.

Ever wondered how a remote marketing team thrives? Laura and Will dissect the tactics and tools that keep her squad at Engtel in sync despite the distance. From 'marketing therapy sessions' that align sales and marketing priorities to leveraging platforms like Teams and Monday.com for that much-needed visibility, we spill the secrets to our international success. Listen in for a masterclass in nurturing team spirit and productivity across continents, all while keeping cultural identities intact.

But it's not all strategy and success; we keep it real by sharing a laugh over some memorable business faux pas. 

Vicki candidly recounts a cringe-worthy encounter with Jedward and the invaluable lessons learned from trusting your gut. Engtel's dedication to diversity and community engagement shines through as we discuss their Diversify the Future Foundation Programme and the Her Success Podcast, proving that the heart of business lies in its people and purpose. So, pull up a chair and get ready for an episode that's as informative as it is entertaining.

Would you like to know if your social media and content strategy is perfect for this year? Book a free 15-minute brand discovery call here with Chris, and we will help you grow your brand today. And if you like the show, please leave us a review, or even just a thumbs up. It is very much appreciated - we want your feedback.

Follow Chris Norton:
X
TikTok
LinkedIn

Follow Will Ockenden:
X
LinkedIn

Follow The Show:
X
TikTok
YouTube

Speaker 2:

Welcome to socially unacceptable, from f**k up to fame, the marketing podcast that celebrates the professional mishaps, mistakes and misjudgments, while delivering valuable marketing and life lessons in the time it takes you to eat your lunch.

Speaker 1:

Hi everyone and welcome to socially unacceptable, the podcast for marketers, pr professionals and entrepreneurs looking to grow their brands and gain competitive edge. This is the podcast that actually celebrates the big marketing mistakes, mishaps and misfortunes that we all make and, let's face it, we all make them, don't we? Whether we admit it or not. So I'm your host, will Ockenden, and, in a slight change to our established format, I'm joined by our occasional co-presenter, who's probably much more popular than both Chris and I, vicki Murphy. Hi, vicki, pleased to be here.

Speaker 2:

Hi, I'm back. Yeah, just warming Chris's chair. Absolutely, yeah, one week, only One week. Well, you never know, do you?

Speaker 1:

You never know. So today's guest is Laura Brown. Laura is an award-winning international marketer currently looking after global marketing strategy for Engtel, one of America's leading technology and engineering staffing firms. There's a whole load we're looking forward to digging into here, including the challenges of remote working, launching into new markets and how to maintain company culture when operating remote teams. So that's enough of an intro. Let's dive into the pod. So welcome to the show, laura. Thanks very much for joining us. Why don't you start by talking to us about your career path that's led you to being an international marketing director then for Engtel?

Speaker 3:

Of course. Yes, great to meet with you both today, so I can start from early beginnings. So, straight out of university, jumped on a plane, did the whole backpacking thing to us and worked in a commission only a do-do-do sales role. I really loved it, funny enough, the energy, you know that sales environment and you know the people and, of course, the sunshine too.

Speaker 3:

However, once my year was up, I came back to the UK in the middle of the recession in 2008, and I did find it really difficult to learn my first proper marketing job and the employment market was so tough at the time. Finally got into an agency and that was a website agency. So quite a lot of old school SEO, but really loved it. And then from there started to work in a lot of in-house marketing roles. So you know that was really too low. I could get as much experience, you know, as possible, and I've worked in a variety of industries, from logistics law for further education, renewables and, you know, within my current remit, I've worked in recruitment marketing for around seven years now, and here I am at Engtel.

Speaker 1:

And why don't you tell us a little bit about Engtel's sort of background history and what their proposition is?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, of course. So Engtel has been in operation since 2017. So we're a British owned company and our founders are both, you know, from the recruitment world. They've got a wealth of money and Chris, our CEO, he has lived in the States for about 10 years now, so he moved over with his last firm and, you know, really built a life out there. Our co-founder, mark, had, you know, a very successful recruitment agency that was very well known within the European markets. It was a huge deal at the time that when he sold that business and they set up Engtel together to specialise initially within engineering solutions for the staffing market, and then that moved into technology. We also have construction and a multiple brand portfolio now including life sciences. So it's a full integrated mix of a service offering. We only specialise in North American staffing and you know it is quite wide ranging in that sense.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and you'll remit then your global marketing director, but based remotely from the northeast of England. Is that right?

Speaker 3:

Yes, so I came on board around two and a half years ago to begin the scale up of the marketing team for Engtel and the founders were looking for somebody that interested in the recruitment space and somebody with that international marketing experience. So you know, it was a perfect opportunity for me to, you know, expand my global marketing remit and build and scale a team, and I do feel like I get the best of both worlds because I do regularly travel out to the States as well for work and that's really helped to connect everything that we do. So, yes, it is quite unique where we've got a UK marketing remote team that operate and service our US sales teams.

Speaker 1:

So all of your team based in the UK, or do you have kind of marketing operatives in the US as well? How talk to us about how the team set up?

Speaker 3:

Yes, of course. So how I've set up the marketing team has been, you know, developed around the business needs and you know what has been required at any given time. So the skills base is set up around our core remit within the marketing strategy and with that I've got a mix of people based in Newcastle, so on the ground with me, and then we do also have a couple of people that are in the States as well. So it's quite a fluid dynamic. But it's meant that it's been reactive to working within a very, a very fast-paced industry and, of course, the, you know, the markets that we operate in are are very innovative and we need to keep up and, you know, highlight and demonstrate what we do alongside what is required within the service teams.

Speaker 2:

I was just going to say did you have you worked remotely like this before then? Before this entail role.

Speaker 3:

No, not at all. So I think it is definitely because of the pandemic that a role like mine exists and you know the opportunity that's been provided and delivered for the rest of my team as well, and I think before the pandemic it probably was very rare that you would get roles like this. And I think now, because you know how remote the work force has got and it has become the norm to you know operate like this, it's opened up opportunities for marketers based anywhere to work on global brands from their home office, and I think for our team, of course, you know we have that extra element where we do get to, you know, be on site and travel when it's needed, but we've created a very solid dynamic of working remotely for a company that's, of course, based in America.

Speaker 1:

So that must have had a unique set of challenges. I would have thought, you know, not only sort of setting up and building a team remotely, but also working and coming up against the kind of the cultural differences which may be subtle but important, I'm sure, in terms of working with the US company. So what's that been like then? So how did you actually go about building a team? And I guess, how do you, kind of, you know, recruit for those roles? How do you keep the team motivated? What have you learned along the way?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think initially it was about time zones.

Speaker 3:

So there's a six hour time zone between you know where we are, and in Chicago, which is our main HQ, and it was about that education around. You know, servicing sales teams and creating that buy-in and visibility and education about what marketing does and what we, what we bring to sales and how we can really sync that. And so a lot of education work was done to you build out what the marketing positioning was within Intel and, you know, create a very integrated core team within a remote capacity. I think with the going back to the hours and it was creating that education around. You know when we would be online, when we wouldn't, and just so people you know had that expectation of when their requests would come in and when we'd be able to get back to them. And I think now, of course, you know we've really fine tuned that over over some time, but it is just about creating that strategic approach to how you build out a marketing function that is operating remotely. How do you keep that visibility and it is. You know. That for me, was always something I was really mindful of this at the start of my journey with Intel. I really wanted to ensure that people knew who Wally was, who the face of marketing was, who the team you know were and what they were going to be doing. And you know longer term, of course, now that we've launched, it's about highlighting, demonstrating impact where have we helped, what success have we had and how the team can work with this as well.

Speaker 3:

So I think often with sales teams or, you know, with anybody that you're servicing they might not actually know what they want from you. So you've got to really dig in and find that information out, and it's about those questions that you ask. So you know, the last time that I was in Chicago and I repositioned the marketing meetings, I could get as much out of the team as possible and actually label them as marketing therapy sessions. So I wanted them to come to me and say and well, once I asked the question, you know what are your pain points right now, what are your challenges, what's keeping you up at night and what are you finding difficult. And that information finding out their issues got me to a point where I really understood what was happening with our clients, and you know our candidates and the markets that we service so I can find out quickly and identify what's needed and the priorities as well, and, I think, as a remote team, going back to that because, you know, within marketing you've always got lots of place spinning and it's about trying to identify which ones you need to prioritize, what matters, what's going to add that impact and where you can be best placed. And it is really easy and I think we've all been there before where you can't get very overwhelmed in the day to day and you've got to rein that back to what the strategy is.

Speaker 3:

So, with my team, we, you know, have a very structured strategy but it is reactive because, of course, you know, we're working in a very fast paced industry and everything that we do you can.

Speaker 3:

You know, sometimes it can be a little bit reactive, but we've always got call pillars in terms of the campaigns that we're operating on and with that, my team have a good sense and understanding and clarity of, you know, what's expected of them and what they need to own, and I think that gives that independence and freedom for people to be able to create and really, you know, get those solutions through creative opportunity within marketing. And so I think that's something that you know has been one of the biggest areas of what I've done with my team is that they all know and understand what marketing is going to be doing. The same on the other side for the sales teams, where they have a clear understanding of what marketing is, what we do, how they can really tap into us and it's almost like operating like an agency, but internally to be service out of consultants, and then we service the markets as well, and that's how it's really been set up.

Speaker 1:

What was it? You called that Marketing therapy sessions, was it? Yeah?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I like that.

Speaker 1:

I like that idea.

Speaker 1:

Yeah so you know, you're out there in Chicago, face to face, you can have these really kind of engaging chats with people. You then head back to the northeast and the reality is you probably get about a three hour window, don't you? When everyone's online together or whatever it is. What kind of? I guess, from a tech point of view, you know, how do you manage that day-to-day interaction? Because there'll be people listening to this who do run remote teams, whether it's international, whether it's even in the UK, and they'll be thinking I really need to keep the team engaged, you know, and I need to kind of make sure I'm visible at all times. How do you do that, you know? Is it just a case of teams or do you use kind of workflow tools and things like that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, of course. So teams is, you know, one of our main communication platforms. So that's for, you know, general messaging and so forth. So that would be more than a check-in with everybody. Monday is what I use as a project management tool for the team. So that's just for marketing independently and then you know everything will go in there. So, example being all of the Chicago meetings, the projects that came in, all allocated, and we just use that within marketing. So the sales team don't have access to that.

Speaker 3:

If required for project timelines and timeframes, for managing expectations about when work is going to be completed, and just to provide that transparency, then I might run a report where you know a manager can see what's going to be happening. We have regular meetings with the teams. Everybody knows when we're available and, as you've mentioned there, we've got that window for meetings In the morning. I guess for us in the UK time it's a bit of a luxury because we've got a few hours where we can really deep focus in on work, have our own marketing, meet as a team and, you know, do all of the stuff that needs to happen before the US wakes up and then the meeting starts. So it's actually quite a good cycle for us, because we've got a system in place where you can get a lot done before the emails begin, which is probably quite a luxury for us actually.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, time zones can be an invite. I mean, I used to work in Sydney and I was working remotely for a UK agency and they would, for example, work on a pitch. Hand it over to me. I'd have then a whole day and a whole night to work on it. Hand it back to them and it'll be finished. So it's almost kind of making use of the 24-hour clock, isn't it? It's an interesting one, Vicky, I don't know what you think about this. A friend of mine is a marketer but is in more of a kind of a developer, and he has a team of about five working remotely. They will sit there all day long with Zoom on just on their face, as if they're in a virtual office.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I'm not sure about that I know, I found that so weird.

Speaker 1:

Do you ever do that? Literally where? So the camera for eight hours will just be on your face and then it's as if you're in the office and you can just.

Speaker 2:

But is that a lack of trust thing? No, it's just done.

Speaker 1:

That's how they like to work and apparently that's a developer thing. That's how developers will work. I've gone into his office and there's just been two or three people silently on screens. Very strange. Have you ever thought about that? It's a little bit like bit weird, but it is. It is, it is.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it gives me big brother vibes to be, honest, I don't think I would do that because I would feel like it's a bit of an invasion of people's privacy. If you want to get it, make a coffee and after you, trust my team. For me it's all about that output and that must work great for that company. So whatever works for them. But I think within our operations and if you are building out a remote team, if you are bringing in people that are talented, very skilled, and you can see the passion you know that they want to do well and all of that lines up, then giving them that accountability and independence and your freedom to work on projects so they can be as creative as possible, it's not neat. You have to trust your team.

Speaker 2:

So presumably it was just you as you set up the marketing division. Was that a short period of time that you were kind of?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it was.

Speaker 3:

So I came in early summer of 21 and I was just completely remote and I must say I'm definitely more of a people person.

Speaker 3:

So I found it a little bit hard at first because it was totally new to me I'd always been in offices and then I started to bring in a team marketing and really picked off and it was really working and there was just a need for building out the team quite quickly and I think the scale of the business was happening at such a fast pace that marketing needed to really coincide with that growth and for me to be able to deliver on what the expectations have been placed on me the responsibilities and the goals of what we wanted to achieve, it was just really important to start getting people in.

Speaker 3:

So my first tire was in social media and digital and then we built out the team with lead generation marketing and then content writers and then more generalist marketers to be able to service across the accounts. So the current structure really works for where we are. But I do see again that marketing teams do need to evolve around what the brand portfolio is, what you're doing at any given time, and have that adaptability. So for me it's all about really assessing, not just even on a yearly basis, but on a quarterly basis, and that's how I've set up.

Speaker 2:

Have you kept that team local to you so that you're able to do any face-to-face work, or has location not been an issue for you and you've kept quite a remote workforce?

Speaker 3:

So that is a really interesting question because I think for me it was about within marketing and it does really help and assist with the type of work that we do to have people on the ground sometimes.

Speaker 3:

But you can have those creative brainstorm sessions, you can check in on each of it and it was actually also really important to me to build out opportunities for other Northeast marketers to be able to experience that global remit of what's possible. I think as well within the Northeast, you know, there's some really incredibly talented marketers and I did want to build out a team that I could have on site, but also we will look to forecasts for hiring in the States as well. So for me it worked well to have people, particularly at the early stage of my growth within the company. So my career was just starting to develop with an own tell. I was just getting my feet sort of like under the table, so to speak, and bringing in people around me to be able to assist with such a fast-paced progression within Newcastle was important, and it still is. And then, alongside that, being able to then develop and identify and build out and manage people within the States was a bit more the secondary phase.

Speaker 1:

We'll move on in a minute to the kind of state of marketing in the US. I think that's something we're really interested in. But before we go there, a couple of areas just to talk about. Obviously, we know that the highest performing teams are culturally aligned, aren't they? You know, people have to share values, share cultures, and they consistently outperform those teams that aren't aligned. And this is a conversation we have with our clients and with our contacts. A lot People will tell us they've got remote teams, but how do they maintain that culture? How do you do it? What advice would you give for companies that are setting up a remote team? They've perhaps got a strong culture already, but they've suddenly got a remote workforce. How do you maintain that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think that is a challenge and it is about how can you create a sustainable culture when you've got remote operations working globally or within a different country. I think while we've had success with that is that I was always very conscious about ensuring that we translated the Intel culture to Newcastle and ensure that we've got that communication. Everybody feels part of the team, and how we do that is through just ensuring that there is a structured approach to making sure that everybody has that inclusion, that feeling of being part of something big and what's achievable. And that can start with their role and position in the business and where they see their job heading. So ensuring that there is progression plans in place for the team so they know what their work is going to attribute to and how they are part of the journey. And I think, yes, we are in a bit of a different position where we get to go out regularly to the state, so we've been able to create friendships and have really good working relationships because we know people we go over, we do a lot of social events and incentives. We spend every holiday quality there, but if you don't have that opportunity, then creating that is about ensuring that there is visibility across all areas of the business. So even a founder is regularly checking in with my team. Make sure that they are okay. We do well being meeting. We have regular monthly team meets. There's check-ins on a regular basis to see how everybody is getting on. We have marketing ideas meet. So within my team, we actually have a direct meet with our CEO and we'll go through brainstorming ideas and I think that really helps to solidify and identify what needs to be done. Yes, but creates that investment and highlights that investment from the CEO, from the chairman, about where marketing is going and what we're part of. So that's a really big part of it.

Speaker 3:

Now, do you think that with remote work, do you have to have those check-ins? Yes, you're talking about work, but you're human, what we all are, and you need that space to find out about how people are. What have they done on the weekend? Is there anything going on in their lives that you need to be aware of? And yet, all of that is about caring about the people that are around you and that are part of the business, and it's been a big investment.

Speaker 3:

But again, I think if you are in a remote capacity, you just need those check-ins. You need that communication, you have to give your team time, but you also have to be really engaged, and that because a Zoom meeting is very different from when you're in person and you've probably been there yourself when you can see somebody maybe looking away or they're checking their phone, when they're talking to you, and you just don't feel like you're in the room with them. So if you are meeting with your team, you have to be fully focused and listening is one of the biggest things that you can do. So I think, because, of course, with Zoom, as you might have 30 minutes, you might have an hour or you might have less, but you've got to definitely be not just talking to people but listen to what they've got to say and then how you respond to that information. Are you going to take action on it? Have you then reflected on what their viewpoint is for people to feel understood and to feel part of the team?

Speaker 1:

Yes, interesting isn't it? I think the tendency is. Well, the disengagement during meetings thing. I've found myself scrolling the sidebar of shame on the Daily Mail when I should be listening to the meeting. But you can see it in people's eyes, can't you?

Speaker 2:

Yes, but I do think that people have become much better at building genuine connections via teams. Obviously, the past few years have meant that you're using services like Teams much more, but I do think that and taking that time to have the more personal conversations, so it's not just into a meeting and out and you're able to build up connections I do think it has shifted, that you can build like, whether it's overseas or just from one office to another, you can build those relationships.

Speaker 1:

Yes, interesting, isn't it? At Prohibition, we have a combination of chats which can become overwhelming at times. But then you have a banter chat. You have a chat that's client-specific, you have a company wide chat. You then have, obviously, video meetings where appropriate. I think sometimes we fall into the trap of too many video meetings and you look at your watch and it's four o'clock and you've gone back to back to back to back.

Speaker 1:

You've not actually done any work, so it's a balance, but it's interesting to see how there's nothing more remote than being based in the North East and what, 15,000 miles away, looking after the team in Chicago.

Speaker 1:

So you mentioned personal branding, which I found quite interesting, and I definitely think personal branding in the UK last 12 to 24 months it's been massive, particularly in B2B, and people are quite rightly looking at building their own personal brands as a way to get around the algorithm changes on the social networks Great tool for lead generation so interesting to hear you talk about that. What else are you seeing kind of emerging or big in the States at the moment? Do you think might start to come over to the UK and influence what we're doing here?

Speaker 3:

I think, within our market, within staffing so you know I'm pretty immersed in that rather than, I guess, looking at trends or tools that you know you may see people starting to adopt, like threats, for example, I think my most important area of looking at you know what's happening within the US to the UK would be considering the service perspective and I think within recruitment, I've seen a big move away from corporate messaging and moving into more the human to human approach, so that authenticity and, as you mentioned there quite rightly about personal brand.

Speaker 3:

It is about identifying and showcasing what your brand is all about and what it embodies and how you're going to really communicate that to your audience. And I think now you know more than ever before your target market is very attuned and aware of when a brand comes across fake, almost and it's about starting to really look at that and understand that your brand is actually owned by your community. And I think there's a huge shift now within the US, within the UK, to really identify and look at how your audience is behaving as a community and are you building that community and are you invested in understanding what your community wants? And I think for me that's probably one of the biggest things within recruitment too, that I'm starting to see where there's a lot of purpose driven work. So a lot of people may be tapping into increasing diversity in technology and, you know, looking at how they can be much more mission driven, so moving away from the push messages and creating much more of an equilibrium around what they're doing for their target market.

Speaker 2:

So, touching on diversity, then one of the things that you as a company have focused on is the foundation that you set up around diversify the future. So I know that that was shortlisted for a drum award and I just wondered whether you could talk us through really why that was a really important initiative for you and where you see that going over the next few years.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely so. As I've mentioned with Engtel, you know we are a people business and it is all about the relationships that we're building. And you know the community we have a commitment and a responsibility to work with within our markets and enable them to grow and thrive through having the right people in place. What we identified is that there was a big lack of diversity and inclusivity within the industry. Working with our clients to be able to help them and support them, and also the people that would be working for their businesses to know where these opportunities were, to allow them to find these opportunities and to become part of a bigger picture and to enable people from all backgrounds to be able to thrive. So the Diversify the Future Foundation Programme is an initiative that was set up to really allow underrepresented people within the Chicago land area that are interested in STEM degrees an opportunity to receive funding for their scholarship and help them and uplift them to be able to be educated, train in a particular capacity within STEM. So what we do is we work with our clients, who then, once we've found them you know somebody great we place them and we will then use some of that fee towards the scholarship pot and then that is analyzed within the education system to help people. And I think for us it is about that giving back, because we are in a position where, you know, we want to ensure that, you know, the tonne and pipeline maintains and it's sustainable but that people from all backgrounds can really, you know, thrive and it isn't just you know, the people that we're helping. It'll be generations to come. So it's that socioeconomic responsibility that you've got as a business and I think that's what we should.

Speaker 3:

All you know companies that is much more emphasis, I think, on a lot of companies around their ethics and how they're approaching business and how they're helping and supporting and, you know, helping communities to thrive. So we sat there about a year and a half ago. We found some great success off that and then, talking about success from the back of that, we then set up the Her Success Podcast is a platform for women to really listen to the viewpoints of leaders within their space and, you know, for them to have an opportunity to hear their challenges that they may have faced themselves or things that they really want to know about to get ahead of their career. So we've opened that up to you and that's had. You know, that's been a great success and it's really benefited our community and we see that as something that you know we'll really start to build on.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, both really worthy and valuable initiatives. I guess I'm wondering what came first, the campaigns, or did you initially develop a DE and I policy and that this, this kind of fed out from it? Because I think there's the danger quite unfairly in some cases of being seen as being kind of virtually signaling isn't there when you do this kind of stuff, but if it's backed up by something really substantial, that that that really gives it the right foundations, doesn't it? Is that how you did things?

Speaker 3:

Yes. So with that, we first built that out within our own company as an internal program for DEI and to ensure that we were ourselves aware about what was left to us within our own company and the people within Intel. And then how could we start to really activate that for the communities we served? So we had enough information, understanding ourselves, to be able to deliver a program. And yeah, absolutely right, we didn't want to make it just a tick box and for us it is about really building out that community and leading, you know, from the heart of the business to be able to do that.

Speaker 1:

Okay, we're going to put you on the spot now a little bit, laura. So you'd have seen, the focus of the show is about fuck ups or, more specifically, the mistakes we make in business that we learn from and we've all made mistakes haven't we Vicki Many. That sounds like terribly.

Speaker 2:

I feel like you're about to reveal one of mine. It sounds terribly infusory, I think.

Speaker 1:

I make more mistakes the most actually yeah, I agree the first no, I'm not going to say that one.

Speaker 2:

No, no, I don't think that I'm not really. I gave away my biggest mistake the first time I was on here, so I feel like I've done.

Speaker 1:

Remind us what that was.

Speaker 2:

Well, my mistakes are more around. Clumsy decides say so. I'm just like. I do a lot of things wrong when it comes to breaking, and I've got a bit of a reputation for that when you break the monitor, just a lot of things.

Speaker 1:

I remember that. I remember yeah a lot more on this, easily done, yeah, yeah the first ever job I got in PR naive, 21 year old, wearing an ill fitting suit, walking into my first office. Hi, I'm the new guy, you know what you're like and I tried to dogged it into the office. What an entrance. My I'm still in touch with my old boss and he's never let me forget that.

Speaker 2:

actually, I do actually have a really another one. That was quite tragic. I went up to Scotland for a kind of PR event but I was really heavily pregnant. I was probably like five weeks off giving birth and the event was with Jedwood, you know, the twins.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I remember Jedwood From.

Speaker 3:

X.

Speaker 2:

Factor.

Speaker 2:

Wow, and it was Streaming back memory yeah and it was at a school and it must have been a time when there were there was a real hype around Jedwood and there were loads of school kids outside the school and basically the taxi that brought Jedwood in rode over one of the school children's feet but the school child was skiving from school with his mother like they'd come to find Jedwood. So then it didn't hurt the child. I'm sure it was like a toe or big toe or something, just a broken toe, it was just carnage.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was absolute carnage. So the mum was like we have to come in and meet Jedwood. They've broken my child's toe and I'm like waddling around.

Speaker 1:

So your proactive brief suddenly went to a crisis medicine brief.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, quick question. The surprise that didn't hit the local audience Probably did. It was a while ago now, but yeah, anyway, we took, we brought her in Went into a little meet and greet A little Jedwood meet and greet got away with it.

Speaker 1:

I don't know until now, until the parents are listening to this podcast. So we've taken the heat off you a little bit there, laura. So come on, what mistakes have you made? Any that stand out that you've learned from? They may be as lurid as that. They may not be. Go for it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think you know mine have been more around if I haven't followed or trusted in my gut, and I push past that feeling. So I've been working in a public sector role for a few years and you know I had a great team, really loved it, but I just got to the point where I knew I wasn't going to get any further. You know you're in bands and you know that was sort of like the end of the road there. So I'd loved working in a house and I'd actually always said that I'd never go back into agency because it wasn't really for me. But an opportunity came up and I just thought I'm going to have to go for it, I need to do this. But even at every stage so at interview, something was going. What you're doing, this isn't for you. Why are you doing this? And I was like it'll be fine, it's fine, it's all gonna be fine. And then I wasn't really looking forward to starting because I think I just knew that. I just had a feeling I'm not going to be there very long. So I probably like had created that own destiny around this.

Speaker 3:

But I started and everything just, you know, didn't line up to the work that I like Culturally, it just felt totally wrong for me. It wasn't geared up for being, you know, a working parent. The work wasn't really my cup of tea. It was very technical, so I was having to write about metal mesh codes and stuff like that, which doesn't really float my boat very well. So I think all of that and then just knowing that you know everything just didn't feel right. I was making loads of mistakes and like silly stuff in in copy and, you know, just getting stuff wrong all the time, and I started to really have a bit of a like panic, panic thinking can I do this like? I'm actually like good at what I do, needless to say? So I like stuck that out for a few weeks, just not wanting to be there but really not knowing what to do, because, of course, a lot of the time you are told or advised to like stay somewhere for a year and then it's going to look bad on your CV but actually your happiness is so much more important. And then I finally was told to like politely, like it's not really working, laura, I think you know it's time for you to go. And I had a bit of a mixed feeling about it, where I was like really relieved, like I'm so glad about this, but then on the other side, what am I going to do now?

Speaker 3:

And within a very short space of time, within my network, a recruiter that had known have reached out and, you know, provided my CV because I was back on the job market and he mentioned that they had a in-house role for somebody to work in marketing. And a snap that it. But it worked really well for me at the time because my daughter was quite young I'm still doing a lot of school drop-offs and that type of thing and it gave me time actually to just start building back my confidence in what I was doing and do something where, and what I love is working in-house and building out marketing, and they'd not had anybody in a position before. It was a completely, you know, clean slate. I had autonomy to build out a brand and really get involved in things that I really love doing, and through that then you know it was where my career is then taken off from that moment of you know being told, to be told it's not working out, and I think sometimes you do have to like, look back, connect the dots, but at the time it can feel like the worst thing I was in.

Speaker 3:

Like you've made this huge mistake, like what is it going to look like to other people? And you've got on your LinkedIn that you've just moved and people are congratulating you and then two minutes late you're not there anymore. But I think you've just got to get over that and you know the biggest, I think, learning curve from that is you know if something might look good on paper and you might be, but you're trying to shoehorn how you actually feel about it. You're really going to think, think and take it. You know, step back in yourself and go with what feels right for you. And even if you do, you know there's always going to be times that you're going to make mistakes and errors. But I totally did not listen to my gut in that instance and but if that hadn't have happened, would I now be where I am? So I think everything does, you know, happen for a reason there's a saying yeah a bit of a spiritual mantra nice way to end the show.

Speaker 1:

And yeah, big believer in trusting your gut, I agree with that so. Laura, where can people connect with you if they want to um, if they want to message you or find out more about Engtel?

Speaker 3:

yeah, absolutely so. Anyone can connect with me on LinkedIn on their most, most days. It is our you know main platform for engagement, so feel free to reach out to me and be great to connect and that's Laura Brown.

Speaker 1:

We'll put a link in the show next yeah. So I want to put you on the spot for a second time and then we're done. I promise, if you are us, who would you interview next on the socially unacceptable podcast?

Speaker 3:

there's a woman that I follow on LinkedIn that I'm a little bit obsessed with and she is, I believe, based in the States and she's called and forgive my pronunciation of her surname, but I think it's Mary Keough but she's head of marketing for a company, um, called my customers. Her insights are just so different from a lot of this stuff that, you see, she, you know, cuts through any BS, basically, and I've learned a lot from her just within everyone post. She shares a lot as well, um, you know, stuff that is usually behind closed doors within marketing and it's all very, it's quite, brutal but it's, but it's good, good, listening, um, but she's like my number one marketing person to to check in on and see what she's up to oh, that's a good one.

Speaker 1:

I'll have to check her out. Yeah, sounds good, brilliant. Thank you very much. So always trust your gut. Do you trust your gut, vicki?

Speaker 2:

I have to. I have to trust the gut. Do you trust your gut?

Speaker 1:

Sometimes, yeah, you've got to know, haven't?

Speaker 2:

you. It is a fair point, though, and I think, especially in situations like that, where you know if you're making a career change or you know, just doesn't feel right, I think, from the offset, you need to yeah, yeah, absolutely listen to that.

Speaker 1:

So remote working was a big focus in that, wasn't it?

Speaker 2:

And.

Speaker 1:

I think you know we all remote work. We do hybrid working, don't we now at Prohibition, which I'm sure a lot of agencies do? But a lot of companies do have remote teams around the UK and beyond. So not only dealing with remote working but dealing with the cultural differences of working with US teams, that must be a challenge. But there's some really helpful advice there wasn't there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there was, and I think it's interesting you know that Laura's now started to build up that kind of Newcastle team as well, Because I guess when you're building up a team, a junior team, it's really important to have that knowledge and to be able to share and kind of meet up occasionally. But yeah, it was really interesting to get her insight into how, you know, she's working from a remote point of view with such a kind of start-up US company. That's done really well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the nothing really replaces those face-to-face meetings though does it and I know you don't have to do that all the time, but 100% remote where you never get to meet anyone that must be incredibly difficult to maintain the culture. You know, you get the culture right. People stay in jobs, they don't look elsewhere, they overperform. But if you've never even met somebody, keeping that culture must be impossible. And I don't actually know the answer to that, so I do feel like it's that kind of hybrid approach.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I feel like Laura's got the best of both worlds there. A bit of travel involved, I know that, but you're right. And then having your own space to think and try town once a month or whatever, it is Not bad.

Speaker 1:

Which I'm now obsessed with, having watched the Bear.

Speaker 2:

No, I can't connect on this to not seeing it. Okay, next time.

Speaker 1:

Move on. Final point I quite enjoyed our little chat about fuckups. I've got a few more that I've thought of. Go on, let's have a look. So quite this one's quite recent actually. I went to a big Litzy Property Awards dinner guest of the sponsor sat at the top table, nothing less sat next to a very tall man. Turns out he was a very famous ex-sportsman who was the host for the show.

Speaker 1:

Everybody knew who he was, I sat down and said so who do you work for? Then he said actually I'm hosting the show. Very embarrassing.

Speaker 2:

Was he good about it though.

Speaker 1:

He was all right. Yeah, he's Banta Central as well. He's great.

Speaker 2:

I can't believe you didn't recognize him, though.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but I've got problems with facial recognition. You know that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you didn't mention his height, did you?

Speaker 1:

Like he was sat down at the time. Any more that you want to say?

Speaker 2:

No, but I do feel a bit concerned about my Gettwood one. I don't actually think the taxi ran over the foot, I think the mother pretended to, so she could meet Gettwood. So I just want to caveat that.

Speaker 1:

You're blaming the mother now.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm blaming the mother.

Speaker 1:

We should probably end it there. I know yeah, I think that's it for me. Thanks everyone.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. Thank you for listening to Socially and Acceptable. Please remember to subscribe to the podcast and leave us a five star review. Don't forget to follow us on social media on Instagram, tiktok and LinkedIn at ProhibitionPR, and Twitter at SociallyUA. We would love to hear some of your career fuckups so we can share them on the show. For more information on the show, search ProhibitionPR in your search engine and click on podcasts. Until next time, please keep pushing the boundaries and embracing the socially unacceptable.

Marketing Career and Remote Team Challenges
Remote Marketing Team Building and Management
Setting Up a Remote Marketing Team
Inclusion and Connection in Remote Work
Building Community and Diversity Initiatives
Vickis F*ck Up - while pregnant and Jedward's dodgy taxi
Laura's F*ck Up - Accepting the wrong new position and making silly mistakes.
Will and Vicki cover the show's highlights.
Will's extra F*ck Ups.