My digital principles

I believe that strong, well-reasoned and logical decisions create successful digital communications. To achieve success means demonstrably understanding your audience, and your goals. Digital is a journey which evolves and changes over time to adapt to new technologies and discoveries.

Below are some of the guiding principles I’ve developed to ensure continued success and high quality work across the digital activities projects I’ve been involved in.

Digital first

We’re all digital natives now, living our lives online. In our own way we all know why a digital product or service is good, bad or indifferent. There’s no reason why digital can’t be in the DNA of nearly all organisational goals or priorities; the key to achieving this lies in understanding objectives and adapting to changing scenarios.

More fact, less opinion

Identifying strong evidence and being led by strong reasoning is vital to making the right decisions. The alternative is to wade aimlessly through projects in the vague hope of being gifted a digital epiphany. Facts should not be read blindly, but ignoring hard evidence and logical conclusions in favour of the HIPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) should be strongly resisted. No matter what the pay grade of the person signing off on a project, facts matters most.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure

Digital isn’t just about achieving your goals, it’s about being able to measure them too – and meaningfully. Digital activities that aren’t able to be measured robustly should be treated with suspicion. If you can’t effectively understand the impact of your efforts, you can’t make claims to their success. You’re also unable to adapt your tactics if you don’t know what the impact of your activity was in the first place.

Analysis is nothing without creation

All the analytics reports and Google Search Console tools in the world won’t give you an impactful and intelligent digital marketing product unless you implement your findings. I’m against measuring digital activity for the sake of doing so. The end goal is a successful outcome, the vehicle for this is your digital product. Analysis is not the product; it’s the map to help you reach your destination.

Specialism in generalism

I’m unashamedly a digital generalist. I love the interconnected nature of digital; how strong knowledge of analytics can produce findings that trigger a strong creative idea that can be developed through solid digital project management skills and executed through elegant editing and design. While it’s not possible to excel in every discipline, a person’s digital skills are weakened greatly if their knowledge gaps blind them from making informed decisions. The understanding of the pieces are what helps you to connect the whole.

These are just some of the principles I work by, there are many more methods I use and identify with. Below are examples of some of the projects I’ve been involved with (and how).

Portfolio

Relaunch of the Mencap website

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The Mencap website relaunched in Drupal 8 in June 2016 after a 12-month long gestation period. I supported the business case for the new website, and was involved in co-coordinating the content migration plan, information architecture, user experience, user testing, and eventual roll out of the now fully mobile optimised site. The site grows in strength and influence, providing a free must-have resource for people with a learning disability, and their families and carers.

 

Relaunch of the Mencap recruitment microsite

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The previous Mencap recruitment portal was ageing, had a poor user experience and high drop off rate for people completing applications. The site was relaunched in October 2015 and now processes tens of thousands of applications a year with a much higher conversion rate for completions. I worked on briefing for the design, user testing and overall user journey to create a better user experience.

 

Launch of the Rebuilding Shattered Lives microsite

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The homelessness charity St Mungo’s launched a campaign to address the serious issue of women’s homelessness and the fact that women who become homeless on average stay homeless much longer than men. I worked on the launch of the microsite which served as an evidence gathering tool for professionals to submit best practice and advice. The results of which were turned into a campaigning report to help mend the lives of women affected by homelessness.

 

Learning Disability Week

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Learning Disability Week is the national week for learning disability issues. I’ve project managed the content gathering, editing and publishing of content 2014-16, of which each has been more successful than the last from a digital engagement point of view. The focus has been on working with stakeholders to find strong stories and imagery to support the week’s aims, and coordinating digital efforts across the organisation to deliver an impactful week online and raise awareness.

 

Google GrantsPro application

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Mencap had a Google Grants account with an aspiration to achieve GrantsPro status by reaching the required 2% Click Through Rate across all campaign activities. I managed the Google Grants account, with support from an agency, to pause under-performing activity, pour resource into optimising successful campaigns and ensuring keyword opportunities were maximised. After writing the application, Mencap passed the application process first time in October 2015.