In the Telum Spotlight series, we get a quick insight into some of the interesting people in PR and comms. This week we spoke with Lucy Kelley who manages global marcomms at Brookes Education Group and is currently based in Shenzhen.
I was fortunate to secure internships at Pulse Communications, Ogilvy PR and Coca-Cola in their comms team while attending university in Sydney. I fell in love with PR which ultimately led to my first “official” role as a PR Assistant at boutique PR agency, Magnum & Co, formerly known as Magnum PR in Sydney, Australia.
With schools in Canada, the UK, Russia, Ukraine, the USA and India, and a growing portfolio, my role is to be responsible for the growth and engagement of developing Brookes schools globally. This includes building marcomms departments in new Brookes schools, training staff, and developing strategies to drive local and global awareness, lead generation, and enrolments.
Schedule of a typical workday
Every morning I start by browsing social media and sipping a cup of coffee. My early mornings and late evenings are packed with meetings due to time zone differences. I am big into lists, so any spare time outside of meetings I am running through my tasks, ensuring I get them done before I clock off.
Your favourite city to live in
This is a very difficult question. I have been very lucky to have lived in some incredible places which have impacted who I am today - Italy, the UK, China, South Korea, Australia and soon Abu Dhabi… I hope to continue to grasp every opportunity and continue to learn and build on my experiences.
The one thing you like the most about your current job
Since joining Brookes Education Group in 2015, each day I have been inspired by a community that empowers young people to be agents of change. The group provides a caring and supportive environment where students feel comfortable and are encouraged to take risks, learn from the challenges they face, and build confidence that propels them to unlock their potential. Knowing that students around the world are chasing their dreams inspires me to continue my journey of life-long learning.
Next big thing you’re working on
We recently launched the Young Entrepreneurs Scholarship (YES) programme across Greater China offering students an exclusive opportunity to take part in an entrepreneurship university preparation programme led by professors from the University of Victoria. In this programme, participants will identify opportunities they are passionate about and learn skills and practice tools that enable them to create positive change. The programme also provides an opportunity for students to build their college applications and add a unique edge that will set them apart.
Top three daily reads
Most admired person in the media / comms industry
- Got to start the day with South China Morning Post.
- The Morning by the New York Times. It gives me a quick snapshot of what is going on in the world.
- I do have an addiction to fashion trends - I browse Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar... and my guilty pleasure is eNews!
I admire Anderson Cooper for his warm yet thorough approach to journalism and his unwavering dedication to the people. Within the education landscape, a person who has impacted my approach to marketing and communications within schools has been David Willows, co-founder of Yellow Car
Advice to anyone starting out in comms in education
Network and truly listen to people
! The school community is small and very open to collaboration. By connecting with other industry professionals, you receive more insight into challenges and successes. You also gain further knowledge of markets which will add to those brainstorming sessions with your teams for new campaigns and strategies!
Comms trend to look out for in 2022
From our end in education, we will be rewiring our strategy to push more content that showcases personality. We aim to drive engagement through connection to the school, its personality, and the community - we need to take a step out of the “traditional school marketing mould” and connect to what is current. School marketing teams are evolving with comms, PR, and marketing professionals shifting over from different industries bringing their agency and in-house experience to the table.
Education will always be in demand. With any product or service in demand, there is fierce competition and a necessity to remain at the edge of innovation and interest. Due to the continual building of schools globally, marketing teams need to adapt to the times and continue to tap into different approaches and trends (outside of education).