Meet Our Newest Pickle: Rachel Smith
We’re very excited to be expanding the content strategy team at Pickle Jar Communications with a new senior consultant – Rachel Smith. Rachel joins us in November 2017 following previous roles at the University of Cambridge and Newcastle University. Rachel will be leading content strategy projects for our clients, and working with our retained clients to deliver engaging and compelling communications. Here she answers a few questions about herself and her previous experience.
Firstly, could you tell us a bit about your previous roles and experience?
I help people communicate complex ideas through compelling content. In doing so I’ve delivered print publications, web projects and social media campaigns for a range of organisations and institutions. I’ve particularly focussed on the higher education sector, and have held in-house positions as the University of Cambridge and Newcastle University.
Can you tell us more about your most recent role at Newcastle University?
My role at Newcastle University focussed on supporting the recruitment of international students through the production of targeted marketing materials. I enjoyed working closely with the International Office to understand how we could make the best of use of different platforms and messages in different overseas markets. My biggest challenge was launching the University’s Chinese social media accounts and discovering the wonderful world of WeChat!
Where did you study and how has that shaped your career?
I’ve always loved stories, so I studied English at the University of Cambridge and spent three wonderful years immersing myself in books. My degree taught me to appreciate language, to read quickly, and to write even more quickly. I knew that when I graduated I wanted a job that included plenty of writing. After uninspiring placements at various newspapers and magazines, I realised that what I really enjoyed was helping people communicate complex ideas. Once I’d worked that out, the higher education sector seemed like a natural fit and I’ve not looked back since.
What interests you most about online communications and content strategy?
I’m fascinated by people and the ways they interact. Online communication has opened up whole new ways for us to relate each other. I’m keen to help people understand the role that content strategy plays in forging new relationships and share their stories effectively.
What are you most looking forward to about joining Pickle Jar Communications?
I can’t wait to join such a dynamic team. I’m also really excited to work with a range of Universities and discover more about what makes each one unique, as well as what challenges are shared across the sector.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m still fairly new to the North East – having moved here in 2015 – so I’m really enjoying exploring the region’s countryside, coast and cultural venues. I still love to read; I run a monthly book club and spend far too much time in second-hand bookshops. I also enjoy hosting dinner parties, running local community events and attempting to recreate craft projects I’ve seen on Pinterest (with mixed success).
If you’re looking to develop your content strategy within your institution, Rachel and the team can help. Get in touch and see how we can support you.