Welcome to our meet the expert feature, where you’ll have the chance to get to know the people behind the series of events submitted as part of Huddersfield Business Week 2019.
Katrina Cliffe, Founder and Managing Director at KC Communications and organiser of Huddersfield Business Week, is hosting a workshop on maximising your marketing efforts with the use of all available channels. More info on Katrina’s event can be found here.
Name, company and role:
Katrina Cliffe, founder and Managing Director of KC Communications
What does your company do, and how does your role support the company goal?
KC Communications is a marketing communications agency based in Lindley. We work with businesses of all sizes and various industries with a specific focus on professional services, manufacturing, hospitality and property to help them share their story and achieve their business ambitions through PR, social media and other marketing-related activities.
My role specifically focuses on the running of the business, but more importantly supporting my colleagues with strategy development and ideas generation for the projects we are working on. I also work on a number of accounts myself, more so in an outsourced Marketing Director capacity.
What is your career background?
I started my career as a business administration apprentice. I left school at 16 with some very good GCSE’s, but as the eldest one of four children gaining my independence couldn’t come soon enough. One of my first roles was working within a marketing recruitment business which gave me a taste for the sector, after that I went on to work for one of the region’s most well know design agencies (ATTIK), where I took a step backwards in my career to become a receptionist, purely to get my foot in the door. Fast forward a few more years and I have worked client side as a Marketing Manager with overall marketing responsibility within those organisations, some of them on an international scale.
After a 6 year stint in the tech sector I decided I wanted to do my own thing and set out to become a freelance marketing consultant. Within 4 months I had my first employee! Over the past 5 years I’ve helped to support a variety of businesses with their marketing and PR strategies.
What makes your company stand out in your industry/sector?
I think it’s the fact that we become an extension of our client’s businesses. We’re certainly not just outsourced expertise and this is evident by how we get involved in our clients businesses. Today as an example I’ve been at West Yorkshire Police in Leeds presenting a client’s products and services.
Aside from that we genuinely care about our clients success. It’s never about another client win. If we don’t feel we can add value or do a project justice we’ll step away.
What is your proudest achievement since being with the company?
Where to start. We’ve just celebrated our 5 year anniversary which is a huge feat for any start up business. However, I’d say it’s been the overall journey, both highs and lows which help to make you a better person and better at the job you do.
We’ve been lucky to work on some really interesting projects and I’d say one of our biggest wins was probably for a client in Leeds who at first felt we needed to be based in Leeds ourselves to do their project justice. Let’s just say, having taken over the project from a Leeds based agency we’ve certainly demonstrated that where we’re based has no impact on our promises to deliver.
What is your top tip for success in business/career?
Be passionate about what you do. If you are passionate then nothing will stop you. I’ve had a number of knocks along the way and if I wasn’t passionate about what I do I would have packed it in a long time ago.
Why are you passionate about being located in Huddersfield?
I was actually born in Halifax and relocated to Huddersfield when I was about 5, it’s been my home ever since. In a previous role I had the pleasure of being able to work from home and travel overseas and in another, I had the not so enjoyable M62 commute to Leeds.
Aside from not having to deal with commutes as often, I love how diverse our town is and how there are so many hidden business gems in and amongst us. I often get a surprise when I open a paper to discover something new about what happens in Huddersfield. I also think it’s just a really nice place to live, there are lots of lovely places to eat and drink or simply go for a stroll. It really is a great place to unwind when needed.
I don’t think we shout enough about the successful organisations in the region which in turn could have so many positive impacts on the local community and the young people who are considering or taking their first steps into a career. I’m probably extra passionate about this with having two kids myself, one of which who is starting to think about her career choices.
What do you enjoy doing when not at work?
I tend to spend a lot of my free time ice skating. What started as a Christmas present for my daughters almost two years ago has turned into a real family affair. Having completed the Skate UK grades I am now working with a coach to develop my skills and I have joined the adult synchronised skating team. I have my first competition in London in November so there is lots of practice to fit in between now and then. If only Huddersfield had its own rink it would save me a lot of time on the M62/M606.., I can dream!