Women in Media http://womeninmedia.co.uk Supporting Women in Media, UK Mon, 31 Jan 2011 10:06:17 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.6 en Abi Mellor - Account Director http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2009/04/abi-mellor-account-director/ http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2009/04/abi-mellor-account-director/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2009 14:20:21 +0000 luke http://womeninmedia.co.uk/?p=319 Abi MellorAbi Mellor has over ten years digital media experience. Abi’s expertise lies in web business management and strategy, and online marketing. She has worked in-house for eight years in award-winning web teams at Workthing.com, a recruitment website that was owned by the Guardian Media Group, Macmillan Cancer Relief and the British Heart Foundation. More recently she managed and marketed a recruitment site for Friday Holdings Ltd.

Abi is now an Account Director at Worth where her clients include, the Lucozade Sport Shop and Breathe Right at GlaxoSimthKline, the Department of Health and the Department of Work and Pensions.

Interview with Abi Mellor

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Niqui Merret - Flash Developer http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2009/04/niqui-merret-flash-developer/ http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2009/04/niqui-merret-flash-developer/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2009 13:38:40 +0000 luke http://womeninmedia.co.uk/?p=298 Niqui MerretNiqui Merret is a Brighton-based developer with over ten years experience in the digital media industry. She is founder and Director of Jade Hopper, a Brighton-based Flash design and development company.

She has a passion for accessibility and spends her free time researching and sharing her knowledge in this area and maintains a blog – http://niquimerret.com. She speaks at international conferences and is listed as a Flash Goddess. She is actively involved in the community and participates in a cross section of events.

Interview with Niqui Merret

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Julia Zeen - Graphic Design Freelancer http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2009/04/julia-zeen-graphic-design-freelancer/ http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2009/04/julia-zeen-graphic-design-freelancer/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2009 12:53:59 +0000 luke http://womeninmedia.co.uk/?p=287 After graduating from Brighton University with a degree in Illustration Julia’s career as a Graphic Design freelancer has built up slowly over the last 4 years.

Julia ZeenShe began doing small design jobs for friends such as flyers, posters etc. and gradually built up a portfolio of work and improved her software skills. Two years after leaving university Julia became a full time freelancer and hasn’t looked back since. She now really enjoys the freelance lifestyle and the freedom it brings.

She has worked on a really wide range of projects; including design for Topshop, Cr2 Records, Wired Sussex and BozBoz. See some examples of her work

Interview with Julia Zeen

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Interview with Nikki Ashley http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-nikki-ashley/ http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-nikki-ashley/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2008 15:22:51 +0000 admin http://86.54.106.82/?p=63 Where You Live: Worthing
Company: Academy internet
Job Title: Learning and training specialist

Describe your job/role?
There are two major parts to this job. Firstly providing training within a training room in a traditional setup. Secondly; e-learning and designing e-learning courses, mostly within an instructional design element. This includes the structure of the piece of learning and how it is going to work. Then I work together with designers and animators to finish the final product.

What is the best thing about your job?
This job has a combination of the best parts of the jobs I have had before. I’ve had jobs where I loved doing the work, others where I got to learn new things or worked with a great team. What I like most about this job is that it has all of these attributes.

What attracted you to it?
Training is my background and after having worked with the director of Academy Internet before, it was suggested that I should take on some of the e-learning roles. For me this meant starting a new learning curve since I have not worked within that area before. There was a need for e-learning designers and my experience within training meant that we could bridge the technology gap, this worked very well.

What schools did you go to and what subjects did you take?
My senior school was the Queen Elizabeth School, which is one of the oldest schools in the country. The A-levels I took was English, French, Latin and General Studies.

What was your favourite subject and why?
My favourite subject was English. It was the subject which felt like it was the least hard work. I loved both the language part and the literature part. The idea that you learn best when you are enjoying yourself has stuck with me and I still try to apply to that all the learning programs I do.

Did you go to University / College and if so what did you study?
I went to Southampton University and I did English and Philosophy.

What was your first job?
My first full time job, after various restaurant and babysitting jobs, was as a play development officer with the Plymouth City Council Scheme. It was within a resource centre providing support for children’s organisations such as Cubs or Brownies. This was where I first started training, I was asked to put together a course about caring for abused children.

What does your career path look like?
I have worked within training most of the time, mainly in the insurance industry but also including management skills, customer care and training the trainer, which I still do a lot of today. The move into the more technological part of the training has only come in the last five years.

Which women have inspired and influenced your career?
There are two women who have inspired me in two totally different ways.
Firstly it is my mother who had to take on grotty part time jobs while raising her children. The jobs she took on were very rarely recognised in terms of the contribution, she never got the same respect one would get in a full time job or when you have fancy title. I think she always got frustrated, both because she never got any recognition and because she always had to take on horrible jobs to be able to fit it around the family.
In my job I have been able to mix both a job which offers the respect I deserve, with the ability to give my family the support it needs.
The other big inspiration for me is my best friend’s mother who came from Latvia as a refugee, owning only what she could carry on her back. She still managed to work her way up to become a successful dentist. It just comes to show that women too can work their way up and become successful. These two women’s carer paths are very different but they have both inspired me in different ways.

What would you say is your strongest attribute/s?
My strongest attribute is that I am very passionate about my job. It means that I put a lot of effort, energy and time into my job because it is what I really want to do and because I want to do it well.

What do you think is the most exciting/interesting thing about working in the digital media industry?
For me and the job I have, it is the fact that many of the old and traditional rules are disappearing. This means that work is becoming much more about doing the job instead of looking the part. It is more important to be effective, producing something and making it happen rather than keeping all the traditional work values.

What advice would you give to people who consider entering the digital media industry?
Because the jobs are losing more of their traditional values it is important to look around for new roles that are emerging within the sector. Rather than going to the careers officer who can tell you how to become a dentist or a lawyer, you should find out about the new roles within the jobs that are available today. There is a much bigger chance of matching what you can do with a job role. So just go out there and research, and try to match your skills and with what you want to be.

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Interview with Shirley May http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-shirley-may/ http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-shirley-may/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2008 15:19:42 +0000 admin http://86.54.106.82/?p=59 Where You Live: Brighton
Company: Mirame ltd
Job Title: Database Developer/Web Programmer

Describe your job/role?
All of my days are quite different. I mostly work from my home office, where I do web and database programming. I work one day a week for a children’s charity in Brighton, programming and managing their IT setup. I also do a day a week in Lewes for a natural health organisation, managing their website and e-commerce applications.

The work I do from home involves visiting clients, observing their systems and assessing their requirements. I am out and about quite a lot at meetings and interviews. Then I build the database or website - basically whatever is required.

What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing is the creativity. When you sit down and paint a picture, for example, you get really engrossed and programming is that kind of thing. I don’t really think people realise how creative programming actually is. It is just like writing a story or painting a picture but it is much more technical and you have to be much more precise.

What attracted you to it?
I used to be a language teacher and I started using computers in my teaching because they were interesting. I heard of an MSc course in Brighton in Information Systems, which I later attended.

What schools did you go to and what subjects did you take?
I went to Devonport High School for Girls in Plymouth, where I did my GCSEs.

What was your favourite subject and why?
English Literature was my favourite subject. When I was younger, I always used to read a lot.

Did you go to University / College and if so what did you study?
Yes I went to university and studied philosophy.

What was your first job?
My first full-time job was as a typist in a Plymouth typing pool. My very first job was selling jumpers in Littlewoods.

What does your career path look like?
I moved from Plymouth to London, where I temped for a couple of years. Then I worked as a secretary for a Sales Director in Croydon. Later, I moved to Brighton where I worked in the voluntary sector for a couple of years. After that, I worked at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex for three or four years. Then I went to Barcelona and taught English but after five years I came to Brighton and did the MSc course.

I really enjoyed teaching English and Barcelona was good fun but in the end, the only thing I could develop was my teaching method, so I decided to do the computer course in Brighton. I have been self-employed ever since.

Which women have inspired and influenced your career?
I admire independent women such as Mo Mowlam. There aren’t any women in the computer industry that I know about and admire, though I do like Willow in Buffy - she’s a computer expert and a wonderful person, too.

What would you say is your strongest attribute/s?
I am very thorough and I like a challenge.

What do you think is the most exciting/interesting thing about working in the digital media industry?
Leaning new things, meeting new people and being able to be very creative.

What advice would you give to people who consider entering the digital media industry?
Give it a go! And don’t listen to people who say you are a geek.

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Interview with Anna Packham http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-anna-packham/ http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-anna-packham/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2008 15:14:20 +0000 admin http://86.54.106.82/?p=57 Where You Live: Hove
Company: Inkspiller
Job Title: Writer

Describe your job/role?
I specialise in online copywriting services, SEO copywriting and creative copywriting services, from websites to newsletters. I work freelance, running my own business. See www.inkspiller.co.uk

What is the best thing about your job?
Definitely doing what I love. I very much enjoy being my own boss as a freelance copywriter. I work much better that way. When you’re doing something you love it doesn’t feel like work, it feels like life.

What attracted you to it?
Just the fact I enjoy it so much. As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer, so I’ve always been a bit one-track minded but it wasn’t until I met working copywriters I realised I could make it my full time career.

What schools did you go to and what subjects did you take?
I grew up in Somerset and went to school there. I did 10 GCSE’s and 3 A-Levels in English, History, Sociology.

What was your favourite subject and why?
Sociology, because I was very interested in how society works. I was at university just as the Internet was taking off, and I became really interested in the impact of the new technology on the world. All my dissertations were about the Internet, I basically twisted my degree to study what I wanted.

Did you go to University / College and if so what did you study?
Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Sussex.

What was your first job?
Selling fridge freezers! I was 18 and I did some sales for a year to get money for University; I really enjoyed it and managed to triple sales. My first actual copywriting jobs were at university; I wrote for student publications and I had a job in the advisory service writing the handbooks and leaflets.

What does your career path look like?
After university I worked in a digital media agency in Brighton. Then I worked for the Cabinet Office for a few years where I was a web editor and provided copywriting services to UK Online - the campaign to get the whole of the UK on the Internet. My work got me nominated for Young PR Person of the Year. Before launching Inkspiller I had a couple of years out where I freelanced but mostly worked on my fiction writing. To my surprise I found I couldn’t be a fiction writer full time. I learned that my creativity flows under pressure, as a part of a busy life. I missed working in new media and actually I’m more productive in fiction writing now than I’ve ever been.
Wired Sussex has been very helpful to my career actually, when I graduated I found my first job through the website and since then have got some excellent clients as a result of it. In the future, it would be nice to employ other people. I’m quite specialised and focused in what I do but if I had associates I could branch out to other areas of copywriting that interest me, like online PR or teaching writing.

Which women have inspired and influenced your career?
I’ve always had good female role models, from my mum Lynn Packham, who’s a very wise woman, to Penny Dolby, who taught me everything about marketing and PR at the Cabinet Office. I now have a writing mentor Kay Sexton, from whom I’m learning constantly.
I’m also always learning from my peers. I help run Free Agents Brighton, a monthly meeting for female freelancers in any career. It started by word of mouth but now there are enough of us to keep it going regularly, every month. A website is forthcoming but please, if you want to join in, just email me at anna@inkspiller.co.uk

What would you say is your strongest attribute/s?
Obviously being a great copywriter is up there, but in my work, that’s not enough to be successful. The key to good copywriting is knowing what to say to the right people, in the right way, at the right time. It’s powerful knowledge, and makes the difference between a postive or negative response. Especially online where you have a split second to make your point.

What do you think is the most exciting/interesting thing about working in the digital media industry?
I love digital media because it’s so driven by the written word and the power of those words to connect with other people.

What advice would you give to people who consider entering the digital media industry?
Research shows that women are happier and advance more quickly in smaller companies and I think that’s true. I would say, get into a small agency and demonstrate your ability. There are likely to be more opportunities to do more of the work you’re interested in and to be recognised for your efforts.

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Interview with Blandine Prost http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-blandine-prost/ http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-blandine-prost/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2008 15:13:09 +0000 admin http://86.54.106.82/?p=55 Where You Live: Brighton
Company: Babel Media
Job Title: Director of pre-production

Describe your job/role?
My job is twofold. On the one hand, my role is client-facing as I provide the link between our sales team and our operations team in order to set up the test and/or translation of large video games. These projects are usually for major game publishers. On the other hand, my role is internal-facing as I work on Babel’s quality control and the continuous improvements of our tools and processes. This entails critically assessing our workflows and processes and coming up with solutions to make the various departments work together more efficiently and better.

What is the best thing about your job?
I enjoy using the experience I have accumulated over the past 8 years at Babel to make a difference in the way we work. Also, working on the pre-production of new projects is always a source of excitement and knowledge as no two projects are the same. Finally, I’m proud of having led the set up our Canadian office in Montréal and I enjoy going back there on a regular basis to follow its expansion.

What attracted you to it?
I started at Babel as a games tester. A friend of mine recommended the job to me and it seemed like a good way to earn money during the summer. At the time the company was small and expanding, and I stayed because I was given the chance to take on new responsibilities. It was attractive to be part of something new and exciting and to see the company grow.

What schools did you go to and what subjects did you take?
I did an A level equivalent in France which included a specialisation in Economics, History, English and Maths.

What was your favourite subject and why?
History and English – which might explain why I’ve been living in the UK for so long!

Did you go to University / College and if so what did you study?
I went to university and did a degree in Political Science for three years followed by a fourth year at the University of Sussex taking Media Studies.

What was your first job?
Babel is my first ‘real’ job, before that I did various summer jobs such as picking fruits and working at the local supermarket.

What does your career path look like?
I started as a tester in June 1999, and then became lead tester of the French team. I moved into project management at the end of 2000. I helped set up our translation department during 2001 and ended up managing the Localisation team for 2 years. At the beginning of 2004, I was asked to cover for our client services director who was on sick leave. This new responsibility involved looking after our PC and Console test activities, as well as our localisation activities. It also included our recruitment and training activities. In 2005, I was sent to Montréal to set up our Canadian office. I stayed there for 13 months and saw the team grow to up to 200 staff. Since coming back to the UK in September 2006, I have been in my present role of director of pre-production.

Which women have inspired and influenced your career?
As part of my university degree I did work experience in an independent cinema in France and I remember being impressed by the director I worked with then. She had huge responsibilities and was a confident leader. In general I am inspired by strong and independent women who are not afraid to make decisions and stand by them. I guess my first influence in that respect was simply my mother.

What would you say is your strongest attribute/s?
I am responsible, organised and a great leader. What do you think is the most exciting/interesting thing about working in the digital media industry?
The games industry is exciting because it attracts people from varied backgrounds who have in common a real passion for what they do – which is important as the pace can be fast and the pressure can be huge.

What advice would you give to people who consider entering the digital media industry?
Be flexible and open minded about what you have to do within your job. If you just stick to what is in your job specification and you don’t want to go beyond it, you are going to stay where you are. Being open minded, motivated and energetic can get you far!

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Interview with Juliet Tzabar http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-juliet-tzabar/ http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-juliet-tzabar/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2008 14:54:08 +0000 admin http://86.54.106.82/?p=53 Where You Live: Brighton
Company: Scream Out Loud
Job Title: creative director and project manager

Describe your job/role?
Scream Out Loud was only set up in May last year so our job roles are not straightforward yet. A large part of what I do is project management, which involves talking to clients and working out what they want. Then we start looking at design and branding. Once we get through that phase, we move on to storyboarding, content planning and creating the page designs. Once the designs are done, coding can begin and I stand between the project team and the client, making sure the team knows what they are doing and the client is aware of progress. Finally, there follows a period of testing the website or game, looking for bugs and fixing them.

What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is working with clients, making sure they are getting exactly what they want. It is especially exciting at the early stages of a project when you are going through new ideas. The end of a project is great, too, when you see it all coming together.

What attracted you to it?
I used to work in television, which was great fun but I used to work very long hours and was away from home a lot. That kind of lifestyle begins to get really obtrusive. I still work long hours but I am now based largely at home. Although it is intense at times, digital media projects have their own lifecycle, so they get really busy, then quieten down again. I think the industry lends itself quite well to flexible working, which suits me down to the ground as I have a two-year-old son.

What schools did you go to and what subjects did you take?
I went to Beacon School in Crowborough, East Sussex. My O’ Levels included English, Art, Maths, Physics, French and German. My A’ Levels were Art, English, French and Sociology.

What was your favourite subject and why?
I think my favourite subject at school was English Literature. I just really liked the way it covered so much - it not just about words but about how people lived - you learnt so much about history and culture in general.

Did you go to University / College and if so what did you study?
I did a BA in English at Leeds University. I then I did a Postgraduate Diploma at Nottingham University in Theatre Design and eventually I did a Certificate in Multimedia at Lighthouse here in Brighton.

What was your first job?
My first job was working on the checkout in Safeway - that was on Saturdays when I was at school.

What does your career path look like?
After I finished my education, I temped for a bit doing secretarial jobs, then I started working for an actor’s agent before I got the break I really wanted using my theatre design skills. A television production designer contacted me and I worked as a freelance Art Director for five years. It was a bit on and off but I worked on some great projects - dramas and comedies for Channel 4 and the BBC. It was fun but it was really erratic as a career - you’d get each job with someone new and it would be almost like starting from scratch every time. I decided I wanted my life to be a bit more stable so I did the Certificate in Multimedia. As soon as I finished that I ended up working for a new media company called Victoria Real.

After a couple of years, I had a baby and when I went back to Victoria Real, it was at the point when they were moving to London and I couldn’t commute and juggle childcare, so I ended up working as a freelance in Brighton. After a while I decided it would be far more fruitful to put the work I was getting through my own company so Sara Leatherland and myself decided to set up Scream Out Loud.

Which women have inspired and influenced your career?
That’s really hard to say - there have been so few! That’s why initiatives like this are so important. When I worked in television, I worked with an inspirational designer who was so good at getting on with things - no job was too small and she was always so encouraging and enthusiastic. My experience of digital media to date has been sorely lacking in positive female role models.

What would you say is your strongest attribute/s?
I am quite good at communicating with people and grasping things quickly and I also have a good mix of creative and organisational skills. Like many women, I’m a natural multi-tasker!

What do you think is the most exciting/interesting thing about working in the digital media industry?
There’s still a feeling of being at the forefront of something - I like the fact it is still a very young industry, although that certainly has its down points, too. In general, I think it empowers you to think about new ways of doing things and break down traditional systems of working. I also love the balance between creative and technical - they sometimes cause tensions but it’s beautiful when they work together seamlessly.

What advice would you give to people who consider entering the digital media industry?
Believe in what you want to do and don’t let people (especially men) say you can’t do something - because there is always a way to solve problems. Don’t let a lack of technical skills put you off (unless you want to be a coder). As a project manager, you just need to know enough to be confident in what you’re talking about and to know when you’re being strung a line.

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Interview with Niki Strange http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-niki-strange/ http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-niki-strange/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2008 14:48:31 +0000 admin http://86.54.106.82/?p=50

Where You Live: Brighton
Company: CogApp
Job Title: Marketing And Communications Consultant

Describe your job/role?
I’m involved in the promotion of the Company - as with most people who work for an small to medium-sized business my role is multi-faceted. It involves anything promotions related, from working within a team to win new business through to research, to publicising contract and award wins, project launches and even planning events such as the 21st birthday party we held at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London in February 06.

What is the best thing about your job?
Its variety - there’s always something new to get stuck in to- and that keeps things interesting.

What attracted you to it?
The company - I knew of Cognitive Applications from my days as a Project Manager at Wired Sussex. They’ve been pioneering in the interactive space since the mid 80s and they continue to do so, with projects such as Icons (www.icons.org.uk) the not-for-profit organisation they are incubating. There’s also an integrity to the company that I value.

What schools did you go to and what subjects did you take?
Chislehurst and sidcup Grammar School - a non fee-paying selective school, that was mixed, thankfully! I favoured arts subjects - my A levels were in History, English Literature and Art.

What was your favourite subject and why?
English Literature - I’ve been a voracious reader since I was a nipper. Also we had a really inspirational teacher who allowed us our flights of fancy, whilst at the same time helping us sharpen our thinking and deepen our understanding. And he was a bit of a hippy so he let us have our classes outside on sunny days, unlike most teachers who made us sit and melt in our rather unbecoming purple blazers.

Did you go to University / College and if so what did you study?
I went to University of Northumbria at Newcastle where I was awarded a First Class BA(Hons) in History of Modern Art, Design and Film and then, having stood as many North-Eastern winters as a soft southerner could take, headed to the Midlands where i got an MA in Film and Television studies from University of Warwick.

What was your first job?
As a telephone receptionist for a car showroom. I was thirteen and you can imagine what a switchboard looked like in the early 80s. I was like the operator in the cartoon Hong Kong Fuey!!! My first proper job was as a Production Co-ordinator for an independent TV production company specialising in factual programming- I got a work placement based on a speculative CV and then got taken on and thrown in at the deep end working on a South Bank Show about the Dutch artist, Jan Vermeer. The History of Art aspect of my degree and my Art A level had helped my CV stand out from the pile.

What does your career path look like?
There have always been two intertwined aspects - academic study of art and media on the one hand, and media production and consultancy on the other. The move out of studying tv into producing it seemed like the logical way to understand and write about it in a more informed way. The step from tv into digital media was also natural as many skills, such as project management, marketing, communications, were - and are - transferable. But at the same time, I was interested in the possibilities offered by digital media for new ways to communicate with viewers/users, and create, deliver, share, and repurpose content. Working at Cogapp and studying for my DPhil at Sussex is the perfect balance for me.

Which women have inspired and influenced your career?
Charlotte Brunsdon, my supervisor at University of Warwick, is a huge academic influence. In terms of TV production, it would have to be Yelena Zagrevskaya, the Associate Producer with whom i worked for 18 months on a series about Russian culture. She had been a journalist in the Soviet era - her tenacity, access and contacts book were second to none. And she made a mean borscht.

What would you say is your strongest attribute/s?
Versatility and energy - I’ll give anything a go, and normally manage to pull it off somehow!

What do you think is the most exciting/interesting thing about working in the digital media industry?
It’s shape-shifting on practically a daily basis - something that is also driving me mad as I’m currently trying to complete my doctoral thesis in digital media studies, and keep having to rework my ideas! But we’re in the midst of a hugely experimental and fertile time where companies that are global players now were mere concepts a couple of years back.

What advice would you give to people who consider entering the digital media industry?
There’s never been an better time to be able to produce and share your own creative work - and connect in with others to showcase your talents. As ever with the media, it’s highly competitive and you need to be prepared to dedicate yourself, and be resourceful. Research the companies working in the space that interests you, follow their fortunes, make contact and use your initiative.

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Interview with Denise Tyler http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-denise-tyler/ http://womeninmedia.co.uk/2008/08/interview-with-denise-tyler/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2008 14:45:59 +0000 admin http://86.54.106.82/?p=48 Where You Live: Brighton
Company: Tyler Publishing and mother@work
Job Title: Managing Director and Editor

Describe your job/role?
There are two roles. One is running the business side of Tyler Publishing and the online magazine mother@work.

The other side is being the Managing Editor of Mother@Work, which involves commissioning freelancers, doing a bit of sales and sorting out the technical side.

What is the best thing about your job?
I love it. I think the best part is that because it’s my company, I can live my life the way I want, doing a job I enjoy because I’m in overall charge. It’s a good combination, especially for a working mother

What attracted you to it?
Having worked for many years as a feature writer, I’ve always been attracted to having my own publication. I’ve always been interested in the internet and wanted to combine the two in a web-based magazine. It was a golden opportunity for me.

What schools did you go to and what subjects did you take?
I went to Thurstable Comprehensive in Essex where I took English Literature, Economics and Sociology at A Level.

What was your favourite subject and why?
I love the use of words and the power of words, I love writing for myself and I love studying text so, naturally, English Literature was my favourite subject.

Did you go to University / College and if so what did you study?
I did a BA (Hons) in Media and English Literature at Leeds University. I then did an MA in Text and Performance at King’s College London which is taught by the university’s Humanities department and RADA.

What was your first job?
Other than waitressing and cleaning as a student, my first real job was for Dewynters, which handles marketing and promotions for West End Theatres. I was in the marketing department there promoting West End shows.

What does your career path look like?
I left Dewynters to go travelling. I went around Zimbabwe with Operation Raleigh, South Africa and Botswana for a year before I moved to Switzerland to work for TEAM Marketing on the Uefa Champions League. I was there for three years and then went back to London to work for API (now Octagon) promoting international rugby, athletics and football.

Then I set up on my own company, Vision Sports PR in 1999. We work with the press and public relations teams for major events, such as the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and the London Marathon, as well as grass roots events.

In 2003, I set up a private publishing business aimed specifically at mothers who work, which brings us up to date.

Which women have inspired and influenced your career?
I don’t think I could specify an individual woman because all women who have something to say and are not afraid to say it are inspirational. Throughout history women have not been expected to come out with anything inspirational or strongly opinionated.

What would you say is your strongest attribute/s?
I’m bloody minded, tenacious and determined but I also think I’m very fair. I’m also good at being able to judge a situation, important in journalism and PR.

What do you think is the most exciting/interesting thing about working in the digital media industry?
The vastness: the online medium is massive these days. The fastness: something new and exciting is happening every day. The technology behind it all is just fascinating, too. I don’t pretend to understand it all but there is a bit of a wow! factor behind it all.

What advice would you give to people who consider entering the digital media industry?
Be prepared to learn a lot fast.

It’s easy to get sidetracked in the media, as well, so try to stay focused on delivering your product or service and getting it right. Otherwise you end up trying to cram in too much too soon and you end up with a very diluted product.

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