17 May 2016

A WEEK IN THE LIFE: GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Categories: CSC Insider,

In the first of our new blog series, ‘A week in the life…’ we chat to Nicola Hamilton, our Global Communications Manager about what a week in her shoes looks like. Join us as Nicola gives us a peek into the absorbing, whirlwind world of PR and Communications. Spoiler alert: it involves copious amounts of tea, instagramming, weetabix and spinning classes. 

” I usually wake up around 7am, drink a large mug of tea, a glass of Berocca (my failsafe to get me through a busy day) and a bowl of Weetabix.  I watch BBC Breakfast to get the headlines while flicking through emails that have come in overnight.  Working with the US and China, along with the UK, as our key markets I’ll get emails at night from the US and in the morning from China so there’s always something!  They’re usually from our PR agencies sending us news of top influencers being spotted with our bags, or media covering stories on us.  It’s a nice thing to wake up to.  I always read the Business of Fashion and Drapers newsletters so I’m up to speed on industry news.  I’ll quickly check my social media accounts and flick through my Bloglovin’ account to see what my favourite bloggers have been covering.  When I first started working in PR, I used to read the papers every morning but times have changed. By the time I leave the house to walk past the newsagents, I’m already fully up to date.

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A typical morning for me looks exactly like this! 

My days vary depending on the projects we’re working on.  I tend to go to our Head Office in Cambridge every fortnight to meet with wider team members. Our Founder and CEO, Julie, splits her time between London and Cambridge so I’ll either visit her at home or meet her out and about.

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A sunny Cambridge morning last week – this is Clare College Bridge, it’s such a beautiful part of the city. 

A key part of my role is working with her to develop the brand’s communications strategy, and to develop her profile as a respected entrepreneur.  She speaks at various conferences, schools and store events, so I work with her on the topics she’ll be covering and help to prepare her presentations. I love watching her in action and live tweeting from the events – she’s incredibly inspiring and one of the reasons I’m so proud to work at The Cambridge Satchel Company.

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Not your average Sunday morning! This was a particularly proud moment for me, watching Julie live on BBC Breakfast launching her review on self employment.

If I’m in London I’ll head to the marketing office, which is above our flagship store in Covent Garden.  I love being in the store as it means I get live insight on who our customers are and what they’re buying.  Our store teams are great and keep us updated on what’s hot in store each day and any requests from customers.  We’re dedicated to giving customers what they want so take their feedback very seriously and pass it on to the relevant people in the business.

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Lunchtime wanderings mean finding hidden gems you didn’t know existed!

Journalists pop in during the day to see the latest styles in store and to get a sneak peek at upcoming collections in our showroom.  We’re spoilt with a bright, airy showroom that looks out over the crowds visiting the area.  We like to serve tea in beautiful crockery and often pop to Laduree or Ben’s Cookies round the corner for some treats! I’ll also catch up with our UK press officer and PR agencies to discuss new initiatives, press requests and influencer campaigns that we’re working on.  Julie started The Cambridge Satchel Company with the support of bloggers long before it was the thing everyone did, so we spend time catching up with our loyal blogger fans and finding ways to work with them. They’re so important to us and we’re so grateful for their support.

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Celebrating a birthday on our team last week!

At lunchtime I like to take myself away from the office and meetings to visit shops in the area – I’m spoilt by Covent Garden. Part of my role is overseeing our retail marketing initiatives so I like to have a look at what other stores are doing – it always sparks some ideas.  It’s also a chance to get outside to take some pictures for Instagram. For the @CamSatchelCo feed, I work with our Content Editor and wider marketing team to create images that showcase our bags and accessories and our daily lives in London and Cambridge. It’s an art to get the photo just right and never as quick as you’d think!  Our creative team creates images for each new collection in a studio and on outdoor shoots so we’re left to fill the gaps with lifestyle images and last minute requests.  We’ve created #CSCspotted where our customers share images of themselves with their purchases – we love to see these and share them on our feed as part of our content.  Keep them coming!

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A quick stop at my favourite coffee shop to catch up on the weeklies. 

In the afternoon, I spend time in meetings with various people across the business; the product team keeps us updated on new designs and collaborations, the ecommerce, retail and merchandising teams share which products are doing best in which countries.  We have a Chinese-speaking Marketing Manager who overseas our activities in China and I catch up with her on the marketing and social media feedback from that market.  It is fascinating learning the differences between cultures and understanding how to communicate with such a variety of customers.

After work, I’ll head to the gym for a spinning class – I’m getting married this year so fitness is high on the agenda, along with all the event planning!  Otherwise I’ll meet up with friends and family for dinner and drinks.  I like to enjoy all that London has to offer so am often visiting new restaurants, theatre shows and making the most of all the experiences on our doorstep.  Eating out is my favourite thing to do – you can’t beat a glass of wine and a delicious meal with friends to sort out the issues of the day.

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My weekends = great friends, good food and nice wine!

At the weekend I’ll catch up on all the things I haven’t managed to do during the week; I like to listen to podcasts so will catch up on my favourites (currently loving Ctrl, Alt, Delete by Emma Gannon, This American Life and TED Radio). They help me to think bigger than the day-to-day and to dream of other places and things. Throughout the week I’ll save articles I want to read to my ‘Pocket’ account and like to catch up on those on the weekend when I have more time, along with all the Sunday supplements. You can’t beat a proper magazine!”

Nicola Hamilton, Global Communications Manager

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