After several years working for a tech PR agency in London, Tara landed a role in New York with Marketing & Communications agency Burson Marsteller and built up several years experience in brand marketing practice.
Upon deciding to move back to the UK Tara utilised her skills, experience and contacts to carve out the next phase of her career as a communications consultant.
What attracted you to a career in Marketing?
Marketing is an interesting and varied discipline – you never work on two projects that are the same. And of course, there’s always a demand for good marketing!
Tell us about your route in Marketing and move across into consultancy?
I was working in a tech PR agency in London when I was lucky enough to land a job in a huge marketing and communications agency in New York, Burson Marsteller. It was there that I was really exposed to marketing and everything that was involved. I worked there for three years in the brand marketing practice.
I moved into consultancy when I came back to the UK. My husband and I decided to come home with our two small children, but we had no jobs and nowhere to live. When we arrived back in the UK, while we were still on the plane waiting to disembark, I started ringing my old contacts – and my consultancy career took off from there.
Briefly talk us through a typical day in your current job
There is no typical day! So here’s what I did today. My husband and I wrote a best selling book together called Commando Dad Basic Training, and a new one called Commando Dad: Raw Recruits. I am responsible for PR and marketing. This morning, I had a quick call with the web designer as we have just overhauled the site and I had a few tweaks. My next step is to rejuvenate the YouTube channel, and in the next few weeks we will be re-filming the videos of my husband demonstrating how to do the basics, such as bath, feed, change and burp a baby.
Then I went to my client’s offices. My client is working with their 7 supply chain partners and we have created a new brand for all the materials we create together. The main element of today was a slot in a senior meeting with the MDs where we reviewed the event that we held last week – the first time the 8 companies had been brought together in this way – and then discussed what the event will look like next year. I was responsible for marketing the event, which involved an email teaser campaign across employees in the 8 companies: newsletter; branded powerpoint templates; banners; show giveaways, and even show bags! The meeting also covered a post event comms and the next quarterly newsletter.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced throughout your marketing career and how have you overcome them?
Probably moving back to the UK. I was leaving a great job in New York, and had to come home, and find work straight away as my husband and I had agreed one would work and the other would stay home and look after our kids (at that time one son was a year old and the other just a month – since we’ve had a daughter, but that’s another story). I had worked in a tech PR agency in London but when I came home, the tech bubble had burst. I did what I always do – I jumped in feet first.
What would you describe as your key personal strengths and assets that have ensured success in your career?
I am 100% committed to getting a fantastic job done – even if that means printing out award certificates at 2am the night before an event, which is what happened to me last week! I never think ‘that will do’ – I owe it to myself and my client to refine and edit until I am happy. I also think a good sense of humour helps too…
If you could give a single piece of advice to someone looking to get into their own marketing career what would it be?
Regardless of what your current career is, if you have a strong interest, together with an ability to listen and communicate, then I say go for it. I was a history teacher before I got into PR and marketing and I’ve never looked back.
Is there any specific advice you would give to someone looking to move into consultancy?
As a consultant you can’t afford to rest on your laurels… every day you need to be proving your worth to your client