As Christmas day fast approaches and the sound of tapping keyboards becomes a distant memory, I'm given time to reflect on my first few weeks in the digital team and what I've learnt so far.
My role within the Digital Marketing and Communications team is that of Content Producer. In time, I will be responsible for originating new content including audio, video and copy for the transitioned University website. I'm massively looking forward to this challenge and hoping I can use my creative eye, experience and vision to good effect. In the meantime, I have been somewhat haphazardly familiarising myself with the backend applications and processes that keep the digital team afloat. And which, quite frankly on the first day, gave me brain freeze!
I'm pleased to say this hasn't lasted.
What I've been up to?
There's no doubt there has been an awful lot to learn and mistakes have been rife. Justin and Rhian have been great and guided my early efforts with the patience of saints. This is all the more remarkable given the amount of work currently being shoehorned into place for Student Recruitment. So thank you and hats off! As with every well-oiled machine, it's important to be familiar with all the nuts and bolts that keep it ticking over and for the past couple of weeks I have been learning the basics: how best to use Trello, transitioning various content items on the Content Publisher, understanding the structure of Open CMS, learning about how the team functions, what Show & Tell is and how Standup works to name a few.
Am I the finished product? Not by a long shot, but Rome wasn't built in a day!
Who says all work and no play makes.....
In all honesty, I have been bowled over by the positive dynamic of the team as a whole. The agile method of working, something with which I was not all that familiar, actually works! Not only does it provide a great way to get to know the rest of the team but it encourages collaboration. The autonomy the agile method also provides really allows content producers to take full ownership of their deliverables whilst also advocating a 'two heads is better than one' approach. The functionality of the new CMS is clearly a testament to this. As is the laughter that sporadically echoes around the marketing floor!
What I've learnt?
What have I learnt in my first two weeks? Umm well, I've learnt I can eat Hanna under the table in an eating competition, that Richard has an incredible array of Christmas jumpers, and Phil (gone but not forgotten) has one of the most contagious laughs I've ever heard. However, I digress!
On a more serious note, I've learnt lots and am happy to have been thrown in at the deep end and given the freedom to make mistakes. After all, there is no better way to learn than by doing… then bogging it up… then doing it again… possibly bogging it up again and then finally getting it right! I feel fortunate that, in the heat of battle, frantically typing on my mac like something from the launch sequence of Apollo 13, I haven't got trigger happy and published anything I wasn't supposed to yet!
What do I like most about the department?
Attention To Detail - Everybody in the team is meticulous in their approach to content. Full-stop. No stone goes unturned and a real emphasis is placed on taking time to ask the right questions in order to develop 100% user-orientated content.
Passion - Everybody in the team is clearly passionate about their role and understands their contribution to the overall marketing strategy. This shared vision provides cohesion and direction.
Creativity - I really like the fact that the team's methodology is still a work in progress, people are open to challenges and finding new ways to improve their process. We are not afraid to tear up the rulebook or, of that truly terrifying word CHANGE!
Honesty - People can handle the truth here! I really like the fact that, because the culture is so positive, everybody is able to honestly analyse their own work and its value. In the best creative environments, there are no egos to tip-toe around, truth and logic can be handled and, as long as there's justification, challenges are welcomed and implemented.
What does future hold I hear you ask. Well, I'm looking forward to getting more familiar with the various faculty heads and processes, becoming a Jedi master of active corporate tone and, in time, helping to originate new content that meets the team's very high standards.
So thank you for having me, have a fantastic Christmas and, in the words of Tiny Tim,
'GOD BLESS US EVERYONE!'