After two weeks off on paternity leave it's like I've never been away. There has been one major change though and that is that a new team member has joined us! Graeme Stenhouse started on Monday the 29th April as our new Digital Marketing Assistant. Due to some spectacularly bad planning this was also the day my son was born which meant my team had to step up at very little notice and guide him through his induction. They did a brilliant job though (particularly Hannah) and on my first day back he was already in the swing of things and producing some great work on his brand new Mac.

Graeme had previously worked at the University as a Print and Digital Designer for the Student Union and it was this experience that convinced us he was right for the role. One of his first tasks was to produce a video on the official opening of our new Postgraduate and CPD Centre which you can see below:

The timing of a new team member has actually worked out very well as there is lots of new work coming our way to help organise the new Vice Chancellor's Awards (nominations videos and the programme etc.) and we seem to be producing more video work than ever before. It will also give him a good chance to get up to speed with our systems before the onslaught of Clearing begins. All hands on deck...!
Blog posts have taken a bit of a back seat recently. That's partly due to some big things afoot - planning for clearing, a new CRM and a new team member (more on all of those soon). Also, I've become a Dad for the third time which is both amazing and massively tiring. This means I'm taking advantage of the University's very generous paternity leave policy at the moment but felt that I couldn't wait to share the following news...

Looking back over the past year it seems a lot of what we do is attend award ceremonies. These are generally great fun and show that the work we're putting in is up there with the best. The really big marketing awards in higher education though are the Heist Awards which this year are to be held in Manchester. I was fortunate enough to win a silver one in my previous role for 'best internal communications campaign' which was an amazing experience and got me hungry for more. Well, that time has come!

We found out last Thursday that we had been shortlisted for 'best digital / social media campaign' (again for our work during clearing) and also for 'best university website'! Getting something for either of these in my first year in the role would be truly brilliant, as we're up against some very stiff opposition and these are massive accolades. It would also be the collateral we need to cement our reputation amongst both our peers and with our internal stakeholders.

We're also very excited for the traditional marketing team who have been shortlisted for 'best postgraduate prospectus' and the library who are again featured in the 'best internal communications campaign' category. There's no doubt that there will be a great atmosphere on 11th July when the awards are announced.

I'm now off to stockpile some more sleep. Being a Dad is almost definitely as tiring as being a Digital Marketing Manager!
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