Have you met Vickie?
Next up in our ‘Meet the Experts’ series, we took the opportunity to catch up with Outreach Manager, Vickie Bailey. A long-serving member of WMG, Vickie has been with us since before SEO had even made its mark on the industry! Over 15 years, she has watched WMG go from strength to strength, using her expertise to now manage, support and guide a team of 16.
Let’s get warmed up…
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Outgoing, caring and trustworthy.
Tell us an interesting fact about you…
I was once on You’ve Been Framed being chased by a goose!
If you were going to write an outreach gift post, what gift would you choose to receive and why?
I would want to receive a hilarious outfit for my dog. Then I would have a reason to take even more pictures of him to post online and social!
When did you start working here?
I started in August 2004, so I’ve been here for over 15 years – we didn’t even do SEO back then! Instead, the focus was on virtual exhibitions selling space on online portals to different companies. At this point, there was only about 12 people in the office. Within the first year or two of me being here, an internal SEO Analyst was hired to work on the new thing everyone was talking about…SEO! The company grew from this point and that’s when the Technical Account Mangers started coming onboard. Eventually, Outreach became part of our offering.
Every five years, we’d hear the same industry rumours – “SEO is dead!”, “Outreach is dead!”, “This won’t be here in a couple of years…”. You’d never think the company would one day become this big, but here we are. It’s been great to see it grow into a digital marketing Group with seven agencies and over 200 people!
Tell us more about your role and how it differs from previous roles…
My role has changed massively since I first started. Originally, I looked after clients’ online exhibitions which then progressed to working in Outreach. I’ve since worked my way up from link builder to Senior Digital Marketing Executive to Outreach Team Leader to Outreach Manager. Outreach started as just me and the team has effectively grown, shrunk and since grown again to be the biggest it’s ever been!
What does an average day look like for you?
My work is less around doing the campaigns now. Instead, I work with clients to ensure they’re on track with their work throughout the month while ensuring the team are working to their deadlines. My role is very much about leadership, offering my support and assistance wherever my team need it. I also encourage creativity! A lot of my time is spent working on different and new outreach strategies as a lot of the work we do now is more creative than what we’ve done in the past. This involves training and ensuring the team are up to speed with new methods. We also make it a priority to streamline and improve our in-house tools and processes to make what we do quicker yet better.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love how welcoming the company is. All the departments talk, and everyone knows each other. You can quite easily go up to an Account Manager to ask questions and gather missing information you need. We’ve also had the recent addition of a ping pong table to the office too. In some offices, leaving your desk at 3.30 in the afternoon to bat a ball around wouldn’t be very well received. But here, it’s accepted as a way for people to get away from their work for 10 minutes, relax and reset their mind.
The perks at WMG are great too, they provide us with a lot of extras which they don’t have to. For example, we enjoy free fruit, a free monthly sandwich, Thirsty Thursdays and regular social events. Plus, they really listen to what the staff want. We have an internal monthly meeting to discuss anonymous suggestions from across the Group and action what we can.
What’s your favourite Outreach tactic?
In the past, I’ve enjoyed working with bloggers on gifting and with travel bloggers too. Their sites and Instagram’s are usually amazing to look at! It’s definitely the more creative ones I enjoy the most. To implement these more creative tactics, there’s a lot of relationship building involved. One of my favourite campaigns I’ve been part of was organising for a group of bloggers to attend Ascot. There was no cost involved for them and they were gifted with full outfits from a reputable British women’s clothing brand. We asked them to share content across their social media platforms and websites. That worked really well for our client and generated great results.
What training opportunities have you had at WMG?
The company has changed massively in the last three years and how much is invested into the staff is a big part of this. When I’ve put individuals in the team forward to go on training courses it’s always been approved. The team and I have benefitted from conflict management training and presentation skills training. The presentation training has really helped with running engaged team meetings – especially at 4 o’clock on a Friday afternoon!
What’s the number one piece of advice you would give to a client?
Be open to creativity.
What advice would you give to someone starting at WMG?
In my team, I tell them the job is what you make of it. It can be as creative and unique as you want, you just need to be proactive with clients and think differently about how you can promote them in the most natural way possible. The more you put in, the more interesting each individual account becomes so be as creative as possible!