Back to…Normal?

As the world is getting back to some sort of ‘normal’ we are getting used to all sorts of changes. For Shooting Star, that includes welcoming our Senior Marketing Manager Emma back from maternity leave. Read about her experience below.

On Friday 20th September 2019, my last day before maternity leave, I cleared away the cake plates, powered down the PC and gathered the gorgeous baby presents that my lovely Shooting Star team had bought me.

It was a mixed-bag of emotions: excitement at the adventure of a new baby, sadness at not being able to do a job that I love every day and determination to use maternity leave as an opportunity to develop my skills personally and professionally.

The next nine months were a whirlwind! Not only did my husband and I welcome a beautiful baby girl into the world, but I also turned the big 3-0 and the world was locked down. We went from weeks which were jam packed with baby yoga, swimming, sensory play groups, music sessions and walks with friends fuelled by plenty of tea and cake to quiet days at home alone.

I had heard that many parents returning to work experienced high levels of guilt and anxiety. Guilt at suddenly leaving their child who has been used to seeing mum and dad every day and anxiety at returning to a job they had been out of touch with for a few months. As if that were not enough, what about all the parents returning to work in a different job role? Or returning to work during a global pandemic? That will be me then!

I would be lying if I had not felt something along these lines at some point, but it did get me thinking about the parents who have really struggled with it. And with many people deeming maternity leave as ‘time off’ or an ‘extended holiday’, who can blame these parents for feeling that way? As I work in the communications industry, I felt it was high time to update the language to the 21st century. Don’t get me wrong, I have had wonderful days filled with the joy and magic of a new baby, but there have also been sleepless nights and a sharp learning curve. Over the last nine months, I have developed so many skills: time management, organisation, strategy, communication, and creativity to name a few. I am positive that maternity leave has helped, not hindered my professional life. It did not take me long to get back into the swing of things at work.

I am delighted to be joining the team again as the new Senior Marketing Manager and even more thrilled to see businesses embrace a new way of working. My new role encompasses business development, so it has been fantastic to be in touch with potential new clients that are seizing the opportunity and reinvigorating their marketing strategy.

As a new mum, I have realised it is OK to ask for help and value every second of ‘me’ time. These are positive affirmations that also easily apply to business and something that Shooting Star have helped clients with for nearly 14 years.

It is OK to ask for help – when considering your company’s marketing strategy, there are so many key components to consider that it can easily become confusing. The landscape is also extremely competitive, so it’s important to stand out from the competition. It is not necessary to employ every marketing tool to make an impact but choose what suits your business and do it well. Shooting Star will walk you through the process and identify areas that will help raise the profile of your business. From securing press coverage to award writing or managing your digital presence, a good PR and marketing strategy will develop your business and attract new customers

Value every second of ‘me’ time – we know how time-consuming PR and marketing can be. How many times have you sent a social media post from your business Facebook page after 5pm or at the weekend as an afterthought? Chances are that you haven’t sent the post at the right time or on the right day to make much of an impact, and if you are doing it in a rush the messages are often not on point and hashtags are missed. Or how many hours have you spent trying to chase down a journalist to publish your latest news? Let us take the hassle away so you can focus on other areas of your business, or grab some much needed ‘me’ time!

Now more than ever it is important to invest in your business communications strategy. The world is changing, and we need to keep up! Get in touch for a chat and a virtual coffee, we are always keen to talk to new people and bounce ideas around.