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Econsultancy: Please describe your job: What do you do?
Kam Reehal: I am the senior digital marketing officer at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charities. In a nutshell, I look after all things digital. It’s a pretty hands-on role as I cover the websites, through to the online channels as well as plan strategies and compile reports for our Marcomms Team and the wider Fundraising Team.
E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
KR: I sit within the Fundraising Marketing Communications Team and report into our Fundraising Marketing Manager, Sarah. There are five of us in us in the Marcomms team and in addition to myself and Sarah, we also have Rachel, our PR Manager; Aisling, our Senior Marketing Officer; and Jodie, our PR Officer.
We sit within the wider Fundraising Team, which is the charity arm of the hospitals. There are about 40 members of our team which include our supporter care, corporate, regional, events and philanthropy teams. As a Marcomms function, we support all of the teams with their marketing and PR needs as well as overseeing our general messaging, campaigns and appeals.
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
KR: Digital marketing skills always come in handy(!) but I think the ability to make sense of the vast amounts of data we receive from various platforms is a good skill to have. Being creative, listening to the team and good communication skills are also vital. A skill I use quite a lot is my organisational skills – as it’s a new role and a standalone one at that, you need to be on top of everything.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
KR: A typical working day usually starts from 6am, taking my daughter to nursery and then battling rush hour to get to the office – where there is usually a cup of tea waiting for me. Then I plan and prioritise my work around my meeting schedule that day.
As a team, we have a good briefing process in place which helps us stay in control of our deadlines within the wider team. Saying that, no two days are the same and I often wish for a couple of extra hours a day!
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
KR: I love that no two days are the same – there’s plenty to get involved in whether it’s meeting new supporters and showing off our wonderful hospital through guided tours, or going along to a local event to cheer on our fundraisers. As we’re based at the Children’s Hospital, it’s great that a typical working day involves seeing patients, families and staff. This constantly inspires me to continue working hard and reminds me of the bigger picture of my role. I suppose what sucks is that I’m always spending too much money in our Fundraising Hub. The items we sell are lovely and my daughter loves them.
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
KR: My current objectives and KPIs are based on the digital performance of our charity website, therefore success is measured on online activity – increase of fundraising registrations and online donations mainly. However, there are other projects I’m working on which will increase online performance as well – one being a complete website audit. I have also been working on our GDPR project recently, which has been exciting to learn more about and get involved in.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
KR: You can’t beat good old Google Analytics and Adwords to measure performance, and I would strongly advise anyone working in the digital industry to gain qualifications in those areas as I did. There are also many free/cheap SEO monitoring tools around and there are always plenty of agencies who can help – so network as much as you can.
E: How did you land in this role, and where might you go from here?
KR: The application and interview process for the NHS is quite extensive so when I got the call saying I’d been successful – I almost couldn’t speak (which is very unusual for me). I feel so blessed to be in this role. I’m from a corporate background and have always wanted to work for a not-for-profit organisation, and now I’m so proud to be in a much more rewarding and fulfilling role. It’s great to know you’re helping contribute to the greater good. I don’t plan on moving from here for a long time. I love my role and the Fundraising Team – they are fantastic.
E: Which organisations do you admire for their fundraising activity?
KR: I personally feel any organisation which carries out fundraising is to be admired. I am currently interested in charities that are incorporating new digital marketing techniques into their work – so if you have some good examples, then get in touch. I know it feels as if it is a slow process of digital adoption by charities, but a charity who does adopt it, does it really well.
If I had to pick out some charities to highlight I’d say, Dementia UK and Asthma UK, who both have a great presence on social media. They are informative but link well to the appeals and causes they’re promoting. I also really admire Save the Children and Khalsa Aid, who tackle strong issues with good quality digital marketing that is engaging and makes you want to listen and support them.
E: Do you have advice for anybody who wants to work in fundraising?
KR: Do it! It’s the best decision I’ve ever made and I wish I’d done it years ago. I’d also pick a charity or organisation you’re passionate about. As a mum, I can relate to our families and supporters and I generally feel a connection with them which definitely helps. If you’re hearts in it, you work harder.
The Festival of Marketing 2018 agenda includes speakers from Sport England and Unicef. See the lineup and book tickets.