Archive for the ‘Working In Search’ Category
On 4th of March 2014, I went to prison. A category C prison for what they call “white collar crime”.
I joined ten other leaders from Business in the Community (BITC) member companies on the Prince of Wales’ “Seeing is Believing” visit organized by BITC to Brixton Prison. I learned how employment holds the key to reducing the £11bn annual cost of re-offending in the UK, we met and listened to prisoners and we explored how business could be part of the solution.
As the economy emerges from recession, many businesses are finding it more difficult to recruit talented and enthusiastic people to help drive their growth. For digital marketing, hiring and retaining talent has never gone away and will probably remain a challenge for years to come.
In my experience, there is no shortage of people who want a job, the challenge for a digital agency is finding the right people. In our hiring at SiteVisibility we look for people who can either bring experience to our team or who share our values, and ideally both. Those values are to be Innovative, to have an (positive!) Impact in all we do, to Involve others within team and to Inspire others with your work.
As a member of the BITC SouthEast Leadership team, I wondered whether I might find someone at Brixton Prison who shares our Values.
Consider these facts from BITC:
- There are 85,000 people in prison in the UK today. Only 43 of these people will never be released, meaning that 99.95% of the prison population will need to resettle back into the community.
- 17% of the UK population between the ages of 18 and 52 has a criminal conviction more serious than a driving offence.
- Currently more than one in five employment benefit claimants have a criminal conviction.
- 60% of short-term prisoners re-offend within a year of release.
- Re-offending costs UK approximately £11bn per year
- Employment reduces the likelihood of re-offending by up to 50%.
Now I went to Brixton Prison with a reasonably open mind, I like new experiences and was pretty sure I would learn something. We met some of the prisoners at the famous Clink restaurant and the Bad Boys Bakery which was set up by Gordon Ramsay in 2012, two innovative and entrepreneurial ways to give offenders the valuable work experience and confidence which is necessary to get a job in the outside world.
I admit I felt it unlikely that we could actually employ an ex offender, what would our customers think? What would my team think? What would our shareholders think? What would my wife and family think? What would you think? After all, we have to work hard to earn the Trust of those important stakeholders and hiring an ex-convict has risk written all over it. I was however open to being persuaded. Would you be?
We met and talked to a number of prisoners and I can confirm they looked just like you and I. James was a Project Manager and Steve was a Finance Manager in the City, Carl is a dad of 4 kids “working away from home for 6 months”. I’m told the 10 foot thick Victorian walls of HMP Brixton also house a former Partner of a well known UK management consultancy. The stories we heard were of making a mistake, paying for it with freedom and being very aware that the chances of getting a job were now slim, with a criminal record. To many, that will sadly mean a continued life of crime. But they had hope. We were told with passion, that if someone gave them a chance, their loyalty would be bought forever. All of us wanted to be optimistic but the lingering doubts were undeniable.
Then we travelled to the centre of Brixton to visit the St Giles Trust who showed how their volunteers help to open up work opportunities and support ex-offenders back into employment and society. We met some seriously charming and inspiring people here, obviously the pick of the bunch but all showing an apparently genuine desire to find respectful work. One said he has turned his back on the former flash lifestyle afforded by his £4k per week “business” and would do anything to earn an honest £8 an hour. If only someone would give him a chance. Would you? By now I was thinking about it.
This week is Responsible Business Week, have a think about what social issues you could help solve locally, it may take you out of your comfort zone and you may change someone’s life.
One thing we can all do today is support the BITC “Ban the Box” campaign; to give people a second chance by removing the tick box from application forms that asks about criminal convictions.
Responsible Business Week aims to inspire and equip businesses to do more to meet the world’s most pressing challenges. In doing so, they will unlock innovation and opportunity and demonstrate the positive impact of business in society. – See more here
On May 7th 2014, Peter Field, Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex supported by myself will be hosting the next of the Prince’s “Seeing is Believing” visits to Brighton.
The Prince’s Seeing is Believing is a national programme delivered by the charity Business in the
Community. The programme provides insight into the issues most relevant to communities and business throughout the UK. Since its launch in 1990, over 500 top business leaders participate every year. Through a series of unique visits delivered by Business in the Community, the programme aims to challenge, inspire and engage top business leaders. For more information, visit our website: http://www.bitc.org.uk/programmes/princes-seeing-believing
SiteVisibility are delighted to welcome Gerry White to the team as our new Technical SEO Director. Having worked in the digital field for the past 15 years Gerry has a wealth of experience which he is eager to share with the team.
After graduating from Sheffield Hallam, Gerry went on to design and develop ecommerce websites before making the move into the optimisation field. Since then, he has worked with a variety of clients, ranging from the Government, the BBC, McDonalds and Weight Watchers.
Gerry is now excited to get stuck in at SiteVisibility, and work with like-minded people who are passionate about delivering a creative approach.
For Gerry, the best thing about working in the digital field is that you are constantly learning.
He says; ‘You can never know it, every element of digital marketing is constantly evolving, and it requires you to learn forevermore.’
And the team need not worry about getting into difficulty during their lunch hour dips in the sea – Gerry is also a fully qualified rescue diver!
SiteVisibility are delighted to welcome Filippo Milano to the team as our resident PPC Executive. Filippo has worked with SiteVisibility for a few months now as an intern in our London office and has made the move to become a permanent member of the Brighton team. Filippo explained “After many years working within Food and Interiors-Design sector as Accountant and Sales, a short experience with ApuliaLand, a tourism project, and completing studies in Marketing and Communication in Italy, I’ve decided to move to the UK to improve my English and definitely to improve my Digital skills.”
I joined this new Team because I’ve always been fascinated by the Marketing World and, because I love challenges, SiteVisibility was a great first step.
In my free time I love playing football, running, gym and cooking.
Felice joins the SiteVisibility team as the new Digital Content Account Director with over 10 years experience working within communication and engagement both in house and agency side. Felice is passionate about all things digital and how companies can leverage this to create meaningful engagement opportunities with their audiences.
Felice started her career working in the public sector and then moved onto the NHS where she focussed on engagement and public health campaigns, including the hugely successful F.A.S.T campaign in partnership with the Stroke Association. More recently, Felice has worked with commercial companies both local and national but remains committed to socially focussed projects and CSR.
As a self-professed geek, Felice’s out of work time is often spent blogging or tinkering with websites. But when not glued to a computer screen, Felice can be found trekking the countryside with her four legged friend or engaging in her favourite pastime Roller Derby. Look out for her skating past you on Hove seafront!
Tristam has 10 years’ digital marketing experience spanning from ecommerce through to higher education in both b2b and b2c environments. Tristam’s experience includes brand creation, content strategy, web development, mobile optimisation, user testing and customer profiling, as well as CRM and acquisition strategies. Tristam has managed successful campaigns meeting goals through PPC, SEO, Social media.
Tristam has a passion for data analysis and insights as he believes data should always drive decisions.
His favourite aspect of digital marketing is that it is ever evolving which means keeping at the forefront with strategies and campaigns to meet the user’s needs.
Dane has over four years’ experience in Search Engine Marketing before joining the SiteVisibility Team. Dane grew up in Zimbabwe, before moving to the United Kingdom for university where he studied Sports and Exercise Science BSc (Hons) at the University of Chichester while working part time in digital marketing.
After graduation he moved to Hove and worked at iCrossing in Brighton in the Digital Promotion team within Natural Search. At iCrossing Dane worked on online strategies for well-known brands such as Value Retail, Virgin Atlantic, Barclays, Compare The Market, Speedo and LA Fitness. The job itself covered creating content and events, campaign management all within clients budget control. Planning & communicating bespoke strategies and solutions while building, maintaining client and third party online relationships. This was done through leveraging PR tactics and ideas for the benefit of natural search by analysing SEO related metrics and back link profiles.
Dane chose SiteVisibility for many reasons. The main reason was our 2014 strategy we will be offering clients. Dane felt the need to move to a smaller and personable boutique agency while still being based down by the sea. His favourite thing about digital marketing is the nature of the industry. This dynamic industry lends itself to creative thinking and finding cutting edge approaches which are scalable for campaigns.
In his free time, Dane attends the gym regularly and often partakes in outdoor activities like charity skydiving. In addition, he has combined his passion for sport with the digital world by creating his own Fitness Blog (Fitness Fan.co.uk).
Christmas has come early at SiteVisibility with a brand new office for our team to enjoy. After 12 years at Kingslake House, we’ve moved to a larger, more modern HQ just around the corner from the South Laines to Kings Place (above Barclays Bank), in central Brighton. It’s something we’ve been planning for months and are very excited to share with all our clients, team and partners. Read on
SiteVisibility are proud to announce that our Strategy Director, Kelvin Newman came home with the highly coveted prize of ‘Search Personality of The Year’ at the 2013 UK Search Awards.
This was the third year for the UK Search Awards, hosted in London’s Emirates Stadium, launched by Don’t Panic, in association with Manual Link Building and SEMPO. The awards night brings together some of the most influential and respected figures in the UK digital marketing sector, and it’s such a great platform to showcase the industry’s top talents and achievements as well as recognising their contributions to digital marketing.
We’d like to welcome another member to our Technical SEO team, Yanni Papaioannou. He has always had a passion for exploring the capabilities and extending the limits of digital technologies therefore we’re very excited to have him in our growing team.
He has been immersed in digital technologies from a very young age and, being passionate about new developments in IT and Social Media, he has studied Computer Science and Creative Media with an academic focus on Web Technologies and Social Networking. He has taught programming to Computing undergraduates at the University of Brighton and received awards for his research on the impact of digital technologies and digital media. Read on
SiteVisibility welcomes another experienced recruit into our Brighton office. John Lewis has 12 years digital marketing experience. He is a Google AdWords Professional, a Chartered Marketer and has managed PPC, SEO, display and eCRM strategies as well as campaigns for BUPA, Newsquest and Hackett London.
During his time as Head of Marketing at ACHICA he was lucky enough to work with one of the co-founders of ASOS and the former CEO of TradeDoubler. More recently he provided consultancy services for start-ups and SMEs, and launched the world’s first Fair Trade and eco-friendly cyclewear company VELECO. Read on