Before my little girl Ellia arrived in 2014, I spent most of my time on an Air France / KLM flight or in a Hilton hotel, visiting different steel service centres and their teams around the world. I lived in France, in the middle of the Loire Valley vineyards for 10 years and continued to work out of Europe for a further 5 years. I have to admit, I really did love my job and looking back I’m so lucky to have been able to experience so many different and fabulous things. I had the privilege for over 15 years of travelling to some of the most amazing places in the world, tasting some weird and really delicious dishes and working with lots of brilliant people along the way.
Even though I now live on a hillside in the sleepy village of Whaley Bridge, in the High Peak on the edge of the Peak District, I’m still a fluent French speaker with a love for good wine, smelly cheese and Paris Cafe Jazz.
I’ve always had a real passion for working with different people, cultures and markets and I suppose that’s what drove me to move to France after my degree. I had a few different roles working with companies such as Westmill, Airbus, Pechiney Aviatube (now Alcoa), Scania and the Wall Street Institute, each of them providing me with more insight into the world of business, and the positive impact that clear, creative and effective communication can have on your people, customers and ultimately your business results.
My real personal growth took place during my 10 years at the global mining and steel giant ArcelorMittal as I gradually moved my way up through the gigantic company from Executive Assistant to the CEO of France as my first role, to my final 5 years of my corporate career, where I was Head of Communications for the whole downstream division which meant that I was responsible for the communications and marketing strategy of over 350 sites around the world. In 2009 I actually moved back to the UK to be closer to my family and friends and of course good old English pubs, but I kept my job and worked virtually out of Luxembourg and travelled to the different sites each week.
I partnered with the senior leadership teams, developing strategies and campaigns in support of their goals and objectives such as how to nurture and increase employee engagement, how to create a positive culture to reduce the number of work accidents or how to best promote new products or services. I even had the chance to organise some fantastic international events and conferences in cities such as Milan, Nice or Prague.
Working with each site manager and their team, often in different languages, managing different target audiences and stakeholders, (both internal and external) and adapting to local cultures meant that most of the time it was like working with lots of different small businesses owners and their teams.
This gave me the experience, expertise and know-how to understand the ins and outs of how a business works today, as well as recognising the pressures, the stress and the urgency required, not forgetting the most important part of all of this which is the real joy and excitement when things go well, you get the success and results that you’re looking for.
When Ellia arrived in 2014, I decided that I wanted to be a real mum and I needed to find a way to be at home more, so I left the corporate world and in early 2015 I set up my own business and the LR Comms journey began. My vision was and still is to become a trusted partner and adviser to small business owners who have to juggle and spin so many plates and are expected to manage everything from sales to finance, recruitment to marketing. I help you to know what to communicate, how and when to do it and we have some fun along the way too!
Today, I’m proud to have an established business working with some absolutely amazing small business owners and corporate teams across the UK and Europe, advising, supporting and mentoring them, to create impactful communication strategies that build trust, enhance their reputation and ultimately develop sustainable businesses that keep on giving.
In my “spare time” I’m a trustee, the treasurer in fact, for a really wonderful charity High Peak Community Arts that works across the High Peak to provide vulnerable people and children the opportunity to join in with high quality creative arts projects and improve their health and well-being. And I support our local secondary school and LEP as an enterprise adviser driving forward a more integrated approach to careers and enterprise within school. I believe that our future generations should have access to more information, inspiration and support when choosing and deciding what they want to do with their lives, and we should all do our bit to share our experiences, stories and advice. We’re always looking for volunteers to come and talk about your career path and choices and help to inspire the kids and give them insights into the world of work. If you’d like to help, please get in touch and we can have a chat.
Today has been one of the most productive days to date. My brain is busy with ideas and I feel motivated and excited about the future.
Claire Bradshaw, Claire Bradshaw Associates
My Team of Expert Partners
As a small business you need to be able to call on the right skill set, experience and expertise as and when you need it and without it costing you a fortune. I’ve worked hard to develop and create our very own group of ‘experts’ that I can call upon as each project requires and that you can trust to deliver to our high standards, with the same values and as part of our team.
All of my expert partners have had experience working in senior positions in agencies or organisations in their respective industries and have since taken the step to work independently. This means that we can call upon the right expert at the right time to be part of your communications and marketing plan and to help us to deliver the right results for your small business at an appropriate and flexible cost.
Hannah is a skilled project manager and coordinates the communication and marketing plans, creating super content and ensuring that everything runs smoothly.
With a BA Hons in English Literature and a Masters in English Studies, Hannah is super creative, focussed and is brilliant at getting stuff done and working to deadlines.
Tracey works behind the scenes and looks after all of our operations, human resources and administration. She has a BA Hons in Business Studies.
Tracey is a superstar and keeps us all organised, making sure everything is running like clockwork and each project is delivered to the highest of standards.
Rebecca is our fabulous copywriter, a very experienced, writer, editor and marketer with a 20-year background in content, communications, strategy and funding.
Used to adapting style and language for different audiences, Rebecca helps us to create impactful copy for our clients across a multitude of channels including email marketing, press releases, blog articles, case studies and web copy.
A freelance graphic designer, art director and illustrator living and working in Manchester.
Founder Cotton Creative
Creative design and code
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