5 Minutes with Caroline Carr

Caroline Carr is the Director of CC Marketing Communications and Communications & Client Director at workplace mental health organisation This Can Happen.

In this role, Caroline works across sales and marketing to achieve the company’s aims of supporting employers and employees to create a positive environment for good mental health.

Hi Caroline, thanks for chatting with Colour Me Social! Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background?

My background has always been in events marketing. I am events through and through – any type of events, awards, conferences, big consumer exhibitions – in every sort of industry. I’ve done everything from finance, retail, and consumer. I was the Marketing Director of the Ideal Home Show for about six years, which was the massive big event that happened at Earls Court, and on the Ski Show, women’s health events; a real mixture! 

And then, about seven years ago, I set up my own consultancy, and it was very much a lifestyle choice. I wanted to be a mum to my kids and run my own business as well, and I haven’t looked back. This Can Happen is one of my clients, so I juggle them along with a few other clients as well. I love the variety. 

What do you like about running your own company? 

I love the flexibility, and I love being my own boss. The fact that it’s in marketing is exciting, as things are constantly evolving in the industry. I had learned more new skills in the last five years than ever before because suddenly, I didn’t have a team around me, and I had to do it myself. I’ve really become an expert at WordPress and MailChimp and HubSpot, and so much more. Previously I was working at a much more senior, strategic level, but now I’m managing strategy plus all the hands-on elements of marketing too.

What does your role at This Can Happen entail? 

Well, I’m an early riser. So you’ll always find me at my computer by half-past five in the morning, and that gives me an hour and a half to get ahead of everybody. In my role at This Can Happen, I head up all the content and the sales side, so I’m really spinning two plates. On the content side, I’m looking after our social channels and email, all of our content, be that video articles, blogs on which I work with the brilliant Colour Me Social! 

Within my role, I am responsible for marketing our different products and pushing them out appropriately, and also, I’m a brand ambassador – it’s up to me to make sure that everything we put out represents the brand.

Then on the flip side, I also look after the sales team. So it’s my responsibility to bring in the revenue that allows us to do what we do to continue growing. So that’s revenues across everything from ticket sales, our friends’ programmes, the webinars we sell, speakers –  everything, and we’re a really small team! Although everybody gets involved and helps, which makes it lovely.

What was it that appealed to you about This Can Happen?

So much, you’re not gonna be able to stop me! The company is all about workplace mental health. I can honestly say for the first time in 25 years of being in the event space, I feel like I’m working on a brand that is making a difference – quite simply making a simple difference to people’s lives, and that is so refreshing, and motivating, and so rewarding. I just love it. 

Everything we put out as a brand is there to offer solutions and support to people to help them with their mental health, and if one thing I do can make a difference to someone’s mental health, then that’s just brilliant. 

It’s also really exciting to be part of a brand that is growing rapidly. We started as a conference three years ago, and now we’re much more than that – we’ve got about seven or eight different products. So the pandemic really challenged us to look at changing our model and how we operate and offer resources all year round, not just sporadically. 

The people you meet come into this mental health space because they have a personal experience of some sort. It might be their own personal experience or colleagues or a family member. Still, they’ve all somehow indirectly or directly been involved in witnessing someone with poor mental health, and it’s made them want to make a difference. 

What are the unique marketing challenges for an organisation like This Can Happen?

I think the challenging thing for us is that in the last 18 months, mental health has really come to the top of the workplace agenda. With that comes 3000 companies offering apps and solutions of some sort to people. So it’s suddenly become a very crowded space – there are a lot more conferences, a lot more awards, a lot more experts, and a lot more services being offered. So that’s a real challenge, trying to make This Can Happen’s brand stand out amongst all the support out there. 

Ultimately, the fact that there is so much support and that it has come up to the top of the agenda is brilliant. But we as a brand have got to make sure that we get our voice out there, and we’ve also got to make sure that we are constantly innovating to stay ahead of the competition. So it certainly keeps us on our toes!

How has the role of marketing at This Can Happen changed in the Covid-era?

Of course, the biggest shift is that nearly everything is now digital. I’ve seen LinkedIn explode. I think that’s due to a mixture of people having a bit more time, people being furloughed, job hunting, people supporting each other and struggling industries more – there’s a real sense of camaraderie. However, LinkedIn has been saturated on the flip side, so trying to get your voice and your message across has become almost impossible. 

Another change is the shift to virtual events and webinars, and I think there’s real fatigue for that now. People are consuming media on the go – there’s been an explosion of podcasts, which is great because you can listen to them as you’re walking. And I think the way to stay ahead is just being really innovative with your approach in terms of digital, particularly on LinkedIn. 

Finally, what is the best marketing campaign you’ve seen?

You know, there’s only one brand that I absolutely love. And I don’t know if it’s because my mum was Irish, but it’s Guinness. I absolutely love the Guinness marketing – I think it’s so clever. But, of course, I also enjoy a pint of the black stuff myself! So I just think it’s brilliant: it’s simple, striking and funny – the adverts make me smile. And if something makes me smile, it sticks in my head. So to me, it’s genius marketing.