Shane Kirk joined us as our Marketing Manager and is approaching his 6 month anniversary at WeConnect Energy, learn a bit more about Shane in the piece below.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your background:
I joined the WeConnect Energy team this summer 2023, taking on the role of Marketing Manager here at our delightful Edinburgh headquarters. My background has always been in Marketing; I have a bachelor's and master’s degree in marketing & entrepreneurship, so I’ve been lucky enough to work in the field that I’ve studied and enjoy. I’ve topped those up with an accreditation from the Irish Management Institute and University College Dublin, so I think I’ll calm down on the educational front for at least a year or two as I am running short of wall space. I’ve nearly ten years business experience, with six years of those held in various marketing roles in the IT & tech industry in a medium-sized company, so it’s been really refreshing to join a company with more of a start-up mindset and culture.
How have your first 6 months at WeConnect Energy been?
Intense, rewarding, and full of learning. Rarely do you get to manage and deliver a rebrand during your probation, so it was certainly an experience and a trial by fire. As the Marketing Manager, I faced several challenges, especially when steering the company through the first rebrand in 15 years. The biggest hurdle was and still is, ensuring a seamless transition from the old brand to the new. This involves not only redesigning visuals but also reshaping the brand narrative and positioning. Thankfully, some of the core brand elements had been decided upon before I joined, but I still had to manage striking the right balance between innovation and brand continuity.
In the energy industry and considering our niche, this focus on balance was crucial to avoid alienating existing audiences whilst still attracting new ones. Therefore, the content task for the website, the social media platforms, and comms in general were areas that required quite a degree of micromanagement and effort.
Additionally, I was navigating both the business and human landscape within WeConnect Energy, making what normally is a difficult challenge an even more complex task! Luckily, I had the support of the management team, and everyone within the company has been extremely helpful and at times I should add, very patient. There were plenty of long days getting the rebrand over the line, but such is the culture of the business and work ethic within, that it wasn’t half as taxing and laborious as it could have been. The lack of second-guessing and clear direction was refreshing and made the overall project, dare I say - enjoyable.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Due to all the changes and projects taking place at the minute, my days are anything but typical. My days normally involve a good balance of Marketing tasks along with wider business tasks. In any given week I could be working on company collateral, building out propositions and service lines, to company process mapping and helping to identify new CRM. Given the company's size and aspirations, this mix was fully expected and exactly what I was hoping for when I signed up.
What are you enjoying the most about your job so far?
The autonomy and trust given to me within the role, and a real opportunity to put my own stamp on the Marketing department and other areas. Being able to help build up a department, from processes to platforms and other fundamentals is rare and rewarding.
What did you find the most challenging aspect of the rebrand?
Undoubtedly, the most challenging aspect was the narrow turnaround time, just over three months from my first day in the role to the launch of the new brand on September 5th. I had to quickly understand the company's operations and the rebranding requirements, all while juggling multiple tasks simultaneously.
What’s a piece of advice you’d pass onto someone who wants to get into Marketing?
Maintaining an open mind is crucial in all aspects, including creativity, opinions, and strategic direction. An outgoing and inquisitive nature is invaluable, especially as most Marketing roles require innovative thinking. Moreover, resilience is key in marketing, a highly visible function that often attracts diverse opinions, you can be assured of that. While marketing is highly visible, its internal processes and what 'it' actually does, can seem mysterious those outside of the department, I'd recommend giving other teams regular updates when possible. Finally, tasks can vary greatly from day to day, be prepared for the unexpected. This meme, which your friends will assume you've spent 90% of the week making by the way, accurately highlights!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
That indecision is worse than a wrong decision.
Wise words shared with me at the start of my career and how not always trusting your own intuition can be detrimental. In terms of being decisive, not every decision needs to be perfect; what's crucial is your ability to adapt and learn from the outcomes. I've been in situations where the adage of 'paralysis through analysis' rang very true. There is an importance of balancing careful thought and analysis with timely decision-making. Unless you are unsure of your ability (or are a brain surgeon), then don’t spend too long second-guessing yourself. I’ve found that Marketing teams tend to be small, so those who possess the ability to think and do are at a premium and always appreciated.
What do you get up to when you are not working?
I try to get out of the house and away from the screen and either get outdoors, to the gym, or even better yet – abroad.
Interested in discovering more about our company and what we can offer?