Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing
Manchester Metropolitan University
I am passionate about helping people engage with the digital environment in a positive way, with over 20 years online. I have a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, focusing on faith groups children and the internet, and 'the cancer experience'. I am also Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University.
The skills I use most in my job...
The most interesting thing I've worked on in my career so far...
I have a relatively low boredom threshold - and it's why I love digital - there's always something new! I've done a lot of work with UK national churches on digital cultural change and literacy. In 2014 I wrote 'Raising Children in a Digital Age', and in 2017 'Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster', which has given me the opportunity for lots of media engagement. In the past year I've been on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4, and The Times.
What inspired me into digital and tech...
Alongside my PhD, I needed funding. I undertook a short course in Dreamweaver, and started building websites for small businesses. I really enjoyed the conversations about the purpose they were trying to achieve, and trying to find the right way to do this. After being made redundant from my first job, I went travelling for a couple of years, blogging my way round, and fell in love with the possibilities of social media, so looked for ways to make use of this in my career, moving through media studies, e-learning, theology, and now business teaching digital marketing.
My educational background is...
I'm a historian by training, with my PhD focusing on British home front propaganda posters in the Second World War, which gave me a real interest in mass communication, and how to connect a 'needed' message with its audience. Posters are very visual, and only allow space for a short message (which makes my love of Twitter and Instagram unsurprising). I've undertaken further certificates in learning and teaching, and in coaching, and always look for opportunities to learn new skills.
What advice I'd give to girls thinking about a career in digital and tech...
Look for your area of interest and get involved. Read (and produce) stories of inspirational women from past and present (and Caroline Criado-Perez 'Invisible Women'). Don't sit waiting for your 'dream job', but take opportunities offered by your degree or other training - and get your hands dirty with experience. Take time to engage in networks where people in your industry hang out, and find those who can support you.