Ever since I joined JCI last year I have been looking forward to attending the marketing academy. I may work in marketing in my career, but I believe that it is one of those industry’s that you can never know it all and there is always something to learn. The event finally came round and I was so excited to attend, I had sent my questionnaire answers back to Claire and picked out my marketing examples that I would present to everyone on the first day.
I arrived at the event after a little bit of drama on the road, but once I had a coffee in hand and had settled into my place I felt the happiness and positivity that I always get when attending a JCI event. We started with introductions around the room and followed with the presentation of the marketing materials that we had each brought along with us. Mine consisted of the powerhouse brand that is Tiffany’s where you do not even need to see a logo, you can just recognise them with their brand colour. I also showed a few other articles from premium US brands that I have been impressed by, along with the mighty Virgin Media new ad campaign.
Our first session covered PR and was brought to us by the wonderfully enthusiastic Kate Senter. This session definitely set the scene and the mood for the rest of the weekend! We learnt about how to structure and write a press release, along with how to distribute it to the relevant contacts and media organisations. The next session of the day was with the fantastic multi-media business Oxyfire, who we are lucky enough to have locally. Their session was very interactive and taught us how to produce short promotional clips, along with all the tips and hints that you may ever need to know. We definitely learnt some interesting facts about our team and had a lot of fun!
Once we had tucked into the lovely lunch that had been put on by the Holiday Inn Express we were treated to a really fun energizer session with Sandra, which definitely woke us back up and prepared us for the afternoon ahead. The afternoon started with a session on branding with Claire and left me feeling secure in the knowledge that I am not the only one that feels so strongly about brand consistency and how it can be effectively used to make any company successful and respected in their relevant sector. This session was followed by a really fun and interactive session on stakeholder management with Lisa Price and saw us selecting our team by choosing a smartie from the colourful array on each of our tables. It was definitely a great learning experience for everyone in the room and got everyone thinking about how they could take back the principals and processes to their local chambers!
The day was brought to a close with us being split into our teams for the Sunday presentation and I was to be part of ‘Little Town’, which was a chamber looking to increase their membership. We carried out our brainstorming in the final hour and started to put together a structure for our presentation. We then bid farewell to each other for the evening and pressed pause awaiting day two.
It was not long until we were back in the room at the Holiday Inn Express and beginning our second day! This started with a fantastic talk on social media by Kym Hall. I had met Kym with Kate at a local event the month before and realised that she had to be at our marketing academy! She definitely proved how social media can be used to make your business successful and be seen on a global scale. I think she definitely converted the suspicious social media attendees in the room and showed them how easy and cost effectively it could be done. Who would have thought that there would be so much energy and enthusiasm at that time on a Sunday morning!
We were then introduced to the JCI website platform by Solveig which was definitely useful for not only the marketing committee members but any JCI member. It helped anyone with little or no website experience to really find out how current websites are edited and maintained. This was definitely useful as there were a lot of questions and best practices shared between the group.
Our final session of the program was brought to us by Kate and taught us how to monitor and manage our marketing activity. It was a fantastic program and allowed the whole group to have a “round the table” discussion and share our experience and ideas. I think that sometimes companies believe that this cannot be done and make it much more difficult than it really needs to be. However I think that this session reassured everyone in the room that it is a lot easier than it used to be and should definitely be followed in their own role/chamber.
It was then time to move back into our groups and complete our presentation. My team found that even though it sounded like we had plenty of time to prepare for the task in-hand, that we still worked to the wire. It was such a fantastic end to the weekend to see everyone presenting their marketing plans and campaigns and it really showed how far everyone had come.
Once the presentations were complete it was time to graduate and we were presented with our certificates by Claire, Kate and Solveig. I think everyone felt such a fantastic sense of achievement and could go away and put into practice all of the wonderful skills that they had learnt.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by James Lambert