Sara Brocklesby - About me! Read me!

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    24-Mar-2016

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My personal manifesto - management, writing, social media, design and more. Read about selected projects and my personal approach to my work.

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  • Sara Brocklesby

    Communications specialist

  • My experience is based in management of the communications portfolio for the higher education and research sectors. My briefs have been wide ranging: ensure all audiences, from the youngest potential student to the most senior of alumni, both here and overseas, feel part of scholarly and research communities through the communications they received. Brochures, newsletters, advertising, websites, social media, postcards, even cute cartoon student USB sticks handed out at events. All this on large and tight budgets.

    On my watch communications efforts expand and address more audiences. Academics support branding. More flyers made in Word grew up to be properly-designed pieces that meet style guidelines. Students were media-trained and had a lot of fun in the process, and more stories made it into the media. I also steer organisations through the social media seas, often for the first time, leading the way in their organisation or sector.

    "Action expresses priorities." Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi

    Communications portfolio management

  • Strategic planning

    "The whole wood seemed running now, running hard, hunting, chasing, closing in round something or - somebody?

    In panic, he began to run too, aimlessly, he knew not whither."

    Kenneth Grahame

    I have developed a reputation as an exceptional communications strategist and planner. I enjoy taking a long, broad view, while my editing training taught me the true meaning of detail. My approach to communications planning is adopted by my teams as a whole, because it clearly linked our mission statements with our aims; our aims with our goals and strategies; our strategies with our tasks; our tasks with each day of the year. The outcome is more tightly integrated annual plans, with a more

    accurate depiction of costs. Colleagues and support staff know exactly when and where to steer their ships. Being clear about our goals allow greater space for imagination and inspiration.

  • Branding

    "Be yourself, everyone else is taken." Oscar Wilde

    I enjoy seeing the true character of an organisation and its mission reflected in its brand, and have worked as a guardian of brands over the course of my career. At the University of Melbourne, I steadily implemented brand guidelines across an increasing range of material, and persuaded staff across nine academic departments of the merits of working with the guidelines. On secondment to the International Market Development team, I assisted staff in our offshore offices to become familiar with and implement brand guidelines, improving our presentation as an organisation at events and in international media. In 2010, following on from the inauguration of the Melbourne Graduate School of Science, I had the opportunity to imagine its brand from scratch. A labour of love for an organisation I deeply admired, I was given free rein to manage all aspects of the project: conducting many enjoyable interviews with various stakeholders to capture the aspirations of the School; creating brand values, writing taglines, mapping goals; choosing typefaces, signature colours and photography; designing logos. Persuading the Executive to adopt my proposals. Enjoying the sense of achievement when they did.

  • Stakeholder engagement and management

    "I not only use all the brains I have but all I can borrow." Woodrow T. Wilson

    Developing external communications material is a deeply collaborative pursuit. My diplomacy, discretion and respect for the time of colleagues has enabled me to coordinate large groups of varied stakeholders and deliver content and collateral by deadline.

    I cemented my stakeholder engagement and management skill through the University of Melbournes annual Open Day. From 2007 to 2010, I coordinated all printed material to be distributed at science-themed areas on campus. This could amount to almost 50 separate items (brochures, flyers, bookmarks, posters), involving approximately 100 academic and professional staff members with sign-off

    authority. This material was produced over a high-pressure, three-month timeframe. My success was in large part made possible by the trust I had developed with the stakeholders, transforming disputes over content into small issues that were resolved quickly and without fanfare. On my ship, no crew are ever lost.

  • Corporate writing, editing and proofreading

    My writing and editing skills have been regularly called upon, and Ive experimented across different types of publications, tones and styles.

    Brochures and newsletters

    Web content

    Social media, including blogging, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

    Media articles

    Media releases

    "Ah, sweet Content, where doth thine harbour hold."Barnabe Barnes

  • Social media, blogging and Wordpress

    "Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours."

    Noela N. Evans

    My experience with social media lies in persuading organisations of its worth; matching it to their communications goals; setting up and maintaining social media channels; and measuring its impact. In essence, I provide encouraging support and know-how as organisations make their first foray into the exciting terrain of social media.

    I created and maintained one of the first twitter accounts representing the University of Melbourne www.twitter.com/scimelb.

    I believe blogging is fundamental to a successful social media strategy. Blogs humanise an organisation, provide it with

    personality and help customers and clients to emotionally connect with the organsation.

    I created the first marketing-driven blog at The University of Melbourne, Science Matters sciencematters.unimelb.edu.au

    In creating Science Matters I became proficient in using Wordpress, looking after the both front and back end of the site.

    As a leader in this space I was asked to speak in different forums across the University, providing guidance and inspiring others to follow my path.

    Samples of social media projects:

    sciencematters.unimelb.edu.au

    www.twitter.com/scimelb

    www.facebook.com/ ReclaimTheNight SydneyRd2012

    www.facebook.com/unilibrary

  • Design and desktop publishing

    "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."

    Charles Mingus

    Combining my writing and design expertise, I can take a publication from first inspiration to finished product. I have experience in working to style guides, branding guidelines and existing templates, ensuring layouts meet requirements and compliment the brand. Over the course of my career I have regularly created templates, either to add to an existing suite or provide something fresh.

    I also have experience freelancing for loyal clients providing designs that mirror the values of their organisation and help achieve their communications goals.

    I am proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite.

    My design and layout skills have been brought to brochures, postcards, event banners, signs, print and web advertising, presentations, web banners and logos.

    At each organisation I have provided service to, I promote the importance of branding all our marketing collateral by offering a design and layout service. Through the provision of this service I am often asked to provide training in InDesign to colleagues, so that their collateral is presented in a more appealing, exciting and professional manner.

  • Re-brand of the Melbourne Graduate School of Science 2010

  • Re-brand of the Melbourne Graduate School of Science 2012

    Graduate Course GuideTemplates: Banner, posters, flyers

  • International Alliance of Leading Education Institutes (IALEL) and the Faculty of Education

  • Australasian College for Emergency Medicine

  • Production coordination

    Solve it. Solve it quickly, solve it right or wrong. If you solve it wrong, it will come back and slap you in the face, and

    then you can solve it right." Thomas J. Watson

    Production coordination involves great planning, an understanding of your suppliers needs, an eye for detail and an attitude of responsiveness.

    I have extensive experience in coordinating the production of print and electronic communications, in areas such as brochure and newsletter printing, the preparation and submission of advertising artwork, and the coordination of websites going live.

    My own little ecosystem of printers, web hosts, paper suppliers and others works for mutual benefit and operates on trust and laughter.

  • Story discovery and media liaison

    "We determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations." Alfred Adler

    Over the course of my career I have developed media contacts through advertising, story pitches and the provision of media spokespeople to media outlets. I understand how the media works and what various mediums require e.g. spokespeople available early in the morning for talkback radio.

    In 2010, I developed a media training program for young researchers to increase our group of science media contacts and the quality of our media presence. This involved the organisation of an annual training day, which offered speakers such as The Age science editor, a media consultant with over 30 years experience, and a climate change scientist under media attack.

    This training program delivered many more potential spokespeople to the Universitys Media Officer and broke down some of the cultural barriers between scientists and the media.

    I have had enormous amounts of fun digging up stories in this academic context finding the physics professor buried away in the department doing amazing work with lasers; discovering that our information systems researchers were doing work with WikiLeaks.

    My community campaign work for Reclaim the Night Melbourne has generated national and international coverage. Im proud to work with the media to help women and children.

  • Personal achievement: a chance to teach

    "The world is a playground, and life is pushing my swing."Natalie Kocsis

    In 2010, it came to my attention that a third-year subject was being planned to teach science communication the advocacy, promotion and marketing of science to the general public. The subject would be offered to students in any science course. The cause of science communication is a passion of mine, and with a mind full of ideas I contacted the academic leading the subject to offer my help and my communications channels to promote the work students would do in the subject.

    I made a strong push for industry representatives to be invited to teach into the subject, as I knew it would improve the student experience and hopefully inspire some of them to a career in science communication. My push

    was successful and quality people were brought in to teach a range of topics. I was honoured to be asked to teach a tutorial on blogging, and mentor student groups who chose this topic for their group project.

    I experienced a real satisfaction in teaching these students something about writing, witnessing their passion for the subject, hearing about their own existing blogs or blogs they planned to create.

    blogs.unimelb.edu.au/sciencecommunication/

  • Sara Brocklesby

    Tel: 0403 778 068

    bluebird.production@gmail.com

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