Verity Calderbank leads on marketing and communications for management organisation Stockport Homes Group (SHG), as well as at Home, its new PR offering.
Home was launched in February 2021 to unify the services of SHG’s marketing and PR department, supporting the work of its companies as well as for external partners.
A highly experienced marketing and communications professional, Calderbank has worked at SHG for nearly eigt years, working cross-sector to generate growth for businesses as well as develop its reputation. She is also a trustee of Talk Listen Change, a charity providing integrated relationship support in the North West.
We found out what a week in her life looks like…
I’m one of those people who are ‘WHFH’ – that’s working half from home – shuttling between our offices in Stockport and the 10-second commute from the kitchen to the spare room.
Still, even though it’s Monday morning, there’s already a buzz to the week with a PR meeting with the team on Zoom. We’re really excited to have two new clients to onboard this week including a financial organisation and a housing provider.
After that it’s time for a black coffee and getting my head down to finish the strategy for my senior leadership team, which covers the four SHG companies – Stockport Homes, Three Sixty, Viaduct Housing Partnership and Foundations.
Thinking hard about maximising opportunities for growth and excellence over the next three years is absorbing work. And before I realise it, it’s lunchtime. Lunch is a quick salad then it’s time for a one-to-one or two with a couple of the team members.
Fortunately, we’re a pretty tight bunch so don’t get distracted by the paraphernalia of home. This takes me through to 5:30pm when it’s time to log off and think about finally stepping out of the house after a busy working day. I meet my boyfriend at the new Italian in Glossop, and the pizza hits the spot!
This morning I’m heading north – well, Bury to be precise. I’m joining our Commercial Marketing Manager to meet our brand-new Home client there.
Home is a new agency, delivered by the SHG Marketing Team to a range of clients – we only started Home in February and the response and demand has been unbelievable! It’s a really in-depth onboarding session, examining opportunities and ensuring we have everything we need to begin delivering the contract.
There are lots of ideas sparking off each other as we work out the strategy for dishing up something really amazing. And since we’re talking dishing up, it’s time for a quick pit stop for a sandwich and then it’s off to Stockport to meet our second new client – lots of financial services regulations to negotiate – another exciting project!
The only downside to the day is that I’ve only done 1,200 steps (I usually aim for 10k) so after work I go for a walk around the village where I live in Hadfield.
Then it’s back for a FaceTime with my best friend, who lives in Bournemouth, catching up on all the weekend news! Certainly, enough to make you work up an appetite – which is helpful as my boyfriend has cooked dinner. Or rather two dinners, since I’m vegan and he isn’t.
I’m in the office today and bring with me a haul of Halloween sweets – nobody came to trick or treat last night so was feeling a bit Billy no-mates – the team soon made up for it.
I meet up with my manager for a quick chat and update on all our marketing and comms activity. This includes finishing a tender for a new opportunity, our biggest to-date for Home. It would be amazing to net this one. Then onto meet – remotely – with one of the Home team who now lives in Finland. Obviously, as global award winners we’re used to working internationally!
Next I start preparing for our team meeting next week – it’s a great opportunity to talk about operational issues, but also to keep the focus on our strategy and make sure all my team have opportunities to make an impact. Feeling proud of what we all do is central to our ethos and something I take really seriously.
Talking of feeling proud, I go to the pub quiz this evening intending to smash it. Sadly, we don’t win but the mulled cider and log fire spark off that festive feeling. How many weeks?
Working at home today gives me a chance to catch up on emails, read some reports, and study the priorities over the next few weeks. Today we launch our brand-new website for SHG – we haven’t had a group one previously and it looks amazing! The product of hours of research, collaboration and maximising our SEO.
Having a shop window for our group has been a long-standing ambition and I’m thrilled with the results. Determined to up the steps, I take a half-hour walk at lunchtime up to the reservoir – I love the views up there and it’s so peaceful before catching up on life over coffee with our CEO.
I can’t believe the week is almost over! It’s been non-stop and I love the pace – though I always fret about not getting more done. That said, I’m happy to go to my mum and dad’s for dinner this evening. Mum’s famous veggie hotpot tastes even better because there’s no washing up.
The morning kicks off with an account meeting with a client we’ve been working with for about a month. Astonishingly, they hadn’t ever had analytics for their website or socials before.
They’re looking for a new website soon so this will be essential. Also, it’s lovely to hear such positive feedback about our service even after only one month. The momentum continues as I review and sign off an annual report and newsletter for another client so that it can go to print.
Lunch today with a client – at a cute little pub in Stockport. It’s so important to take time to build relationships and take time to get to know who you’re working with.
The plan is to finish early. It’s been a hectic but hugely productive week and I’m really lucky to work with such a dynamic team. Driving home gives me time to reflect on the weekend ahead: Gogglebox, Prosecco, movies, boyfriend, fresh air in the Derbyshire countryside. A chance to reboot the batteries before it all starts again.