About me

Hi I’m Sarah, a Brummie born and bred, now in Essex.

With more than a decade’s experience, I’m an award-winning Chartered communications professional with experience in communications, digital, employee engagement, marketing, and PR.

I am currently Communications Manager at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service working to develop two-way communications to support the Service’s largest ever transformation programme and tackle deeply-rooted cultural issues.

Prior to this I worked to empower leaders to become better communicators at one of the UK’s largest NHS Trusts, which at the time was in special measures.

I am a co-opted member of the CIPR East Anglia Committee, previously elected to the CIPR Council, and winner of the Future Leader Award at the CIPR Inside Story Awards.

Communications and Manager
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

September 2015 – March 2019

  • Strategic communications for the Service’s largest ever transformation programme
  • Working with, and advising, senior leaders to develop clear and powerful messages which support the strategy, values and vision: To Make Essex a safe place to live, work and travel
  • Developing two-way communication channels, such as manager briefings, leadership forums, digital platforms and issue briefs to reach a complex mix of internal and external stakeholders
  • Leading evidence-based communications campaigns, including development of new service strategy and values, public consultation, and annual employee engagement survey

Communications Manager
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

August 2014 – September 2015

  • Integrated communication and marketing campaign delivery, including the NHS staff survey, annual flu campaign, and launching the Trust as smoke-free
  • Managed key communication channels including social media, website, global emails, visual communications and the intranet
  • Issue managed and responded to difficult and sensitive media enquiries, as well as proactively developed relationships with journalists
  • Led the brand refresh, introducing a hub of branded communication tools to empower employees and managers to take ownership of local communications, providing guidance and guardianship
  • Line managed the Communications Assistant and part of 24/7 on-call press rota

Communications Officer
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

September 2013 – August 2014

  • Proactively produced press releases and dealt with media enquiries
  • Wrote and edited engaging content for weekly staff e-newsletter
  • Co-ordinated the Star of the Month Award
  • Managed the intranet and website using the CMS system (some HTML) and measured via Google Analytics
  • Designed corporate leaflets, posters and desktop images

Marketing Officer
Southend Council: Chase High Sixth Form

April 2011 – August 2013

  • Designing, copywriting and proofreading promotional materials such as prospectuses, leaflets and advertisements with a view to increase student recruitment and attendance at open events
  • Representing Chase High at external promotional / career events and exhibitions
  • Digital Marketing including writing online content for the website and using Google Analytics
  • Developing press relations through contact with media organisations and writing press releases
  • Designing and implementing marketing project plans with responsibility for the Publicity budget, ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget
  • Managing the team of Sixth Form Student Ambassadors to increase brand awareness
  • Organising small-large scale events including open evenings, career fairs and celebration events
  • Building effective working relationships with senior leaders, subject departments, the media, local dignitaries and the community

Public Relations Officer

Southend Council – Chase High School
April 2010 – April 2011 (Maternity Cover)

  • Implementing the PR Strategy
  • Liaising with colleagues, students and the media
  • Researching and writing press releases
  • Producing and editing promotional material including fortnightly and termly newsletters
  • Maintaining and regularly updating of the website

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