First I would like to say thank you to the JCI Barnsley Council Team for giving me the opportunity to attend this years Marketing Academy held in Birmingham. So I bet you are wondering what I did during the weekend!
So on Saturday 22nd of February 2014 I got up and set off to Sheffield Train station to meet Jenny and Andy at Sheffield, then went to Ashleigh’s to pick her up. We had a great ride to Birmingham and even stopped off for a drink at Costa Coffee, I of course had a Hot Chocolate! We arrived in Birmingham and met Kirstie and Paul from National Board in BPP where we were training.
Kirstie opened the event and we all introduced ourselves and said what our objectives were for the weekend. Mine were
1. – To have an understanding on how marketing works,
2. – To get to know more JCI members, and
3. – To build lasting friendships
I felt over the weekend I gained a greater understanding of how marketing works, got to know more members and made many friends.
So first up we had our National President Kate Senter talking about the history of JCI and what the aims and visions of JCI are which I found really useful as I got a better feel of what JCI was all about. This was a great session. We all learnt that we need to “Play our Part”.
Kate then talked about what we need to do within PR (Public Relates) by identifying what the story is about and good photography is important as well. Kate said “A picture speaks a thousand words”, this is so true. We had to work in a group to pick a news report out of a paper and say how did it grab your attention, this was normally through the headline and photo.
We then had lunch and I had a great conversation with Max K- Thompson who is Southampton 2014 President, he is a website designer and I got some good tips.
Then Dave Read from Planet 9 came and talked about social media which was a great session and I learnt how to do a social media plan. This was followed by an amazing session about stakeholders and the marketing mix which was really useful. The most interesting thing to me about this was the 7 P’s of service marketing which are: process, product, price, place, promotion, physical evidence and people.
We’d learnt a lot during the morning, and now it was time to put what we’d learnt into practice. We were given a fictional JCI Chamber, Sunny Town, and had to write a marketing plan based on their specific situation. Sunny Town had had a steady increase in members and won some awards, but Sunny Town desperately needed to work on the development of community links. We did this by forming links with volunteer centres, local council, Chamber of Commerce, charities, Libraries, Universities and other educational bodies. We also attended events in the local community and put all our findings together into a six month plan.
After the planning session, we finished training for the day and checked into our hotels. I stayed in The Royal Angus which was great, I was in a single room which was beautiful.
Then we all met in the evening to go for pizza which was nice. I was sat next to Amy from Edinburgh, Max from Southampton, Michael from Harrogate and Paul & Kirstie from National Board. I got to know them quite well during dinner.
On Sunday I woke up, got ready, had breakfast and headed to BPP ready for day two.
The second day started with Kristie talking about branding which I found very interesting. We talked about our branding policy and the reasons why we have it, and how it helps us give a consistent feel to the organisation. Now I understand this I can’t wait to start doing more for JCI Barnsley!
We were shown how the website works from Paul, I learnt so much about this including what a good website should look like and that you should keep it up to date so people know what is happening. I also found out that the most looked pages on a JCI website is ‘Meet the Council Team’ and the ‘Events’ page.
Our final session of the morning was delivered by Sofie Sandell. Sofie talked to us about Digital strategies for a member organisations and it was great. I even got a signed copy of her book “Digital Leadership” which I can’t wait to read. It was a bargain for only £10!
Then we had a working dinner where we finished our marketing plans then presented them back to the rest of the group.
Then we all graduated the Marketing Academy!
I also won some chocolates for all the contributions I had made and for being the newest member.
We all wrote feedback for each other on post it notes in a white envelope. I got seven, all with encouraging messages on them.
We said our goodbyes then set off back home having learnt more than we could have imagined. If you want to know more feel free to ask me any questions and if you have not done the Marketing Academy, make sure you do it next year as you will have the time of your life.
Peter Robertshaw, JCI Barnsley Member since November 2013
Categorised in: National
This post was written by makedo