In January, Headlines welcomed former Homebase Brand Design Manager Simon Dowsing as Director of Media Operations and experienced Marketing Strategist and Engagement Specialist Silke Brittain as Commercial Director.
Now that they’ve had a chance to settle in, we thought it was time to grill them on their first impressions and plans for Headlines.
What does your role involve?
Simon: I lead the teams within Media Operations – Content, Creative, Video and Digital – to ensure the best possible work for our clients, on time and to budget.
Silke: I lead the Client Services and business development teams and help them and our clients achieve the best results from the internal communications strategies we develop and implement.
How will your role impact Headlines’ clients?
Simon: I work with the delivery teams to develop new, exciting ideas and to ensure everything we do is best-in-class.
Silke: I work with the team to develop innovative solutions and communications strategies for our clients, improving their communications and engagement with employees and channel partners.
How do your roles complement each other?
Simon: Silke is more outwardly focused towards clients. My focus is internal, towards supplying the best possible work for the Client Services team. In many ways, my team is a customer of Silke’s team.
Silke: The Client Services team sets the strategy and targets for what we want to achieve for a client and works hand-in-hand with the Media Operations team to implement the communications to achieve the clients’ goals.
What are your thoughts on the future of the IC industry?
Simon: I see it going from strength to strength. I haven’t been brought in for my experience in IC; my background is brand and corporate communications, which brings a different dimension to Headlines. But right now, IC is an industry ready to embrace the digital step-change, and that opens up a realm of possibilities.
Silke: It’s evolved tremendously and has almost seen a merger between Marketing and HR departments. The focus is not only on communications but on enabling engagement and helping employees to understand and live by their company’s vision and values.
What are your first impressions of Headlines?
Simon: It’s an exciting, dynamic and growing business with some very motivated and engaged people.
Silke: Everyone is extremely friendly, helpful and you feel a buzz and warmth between all the team members.
What’s your greatest career achievement?
Simon: Joining Headlines. It’s going in the right trajectory.
Silke: Working with a research client to build a global team and achieve fantastic results by applying best practice from across the world. We had huge cultural challenges and different working procedures to contend with, and it was a particular challenge to get the US team on board.
What are your interests outside of work?
Simon: I’m a family man – my partner and I have seven kids between us. Other than that, I spend too much money on photography equipment, because I love it! I enjoy being out in the elements taking photos. I also love rummaging around antique and vintage shops, looking for a bargain and restoring antiques.
Silke: I’m a big skier; I’ve been doing it since I was four. Even when I was nine months pregnant I was keen to ski, but my mother stopped me – so I went tobogganing instead! I love spending time with my family and two children, enjoying their sporting successes in rowing, hockey and gymnastics.
Tell us a random fact about yourself.
Simon: Given the beard, it’s quite ironic that I have quite a large collection of very old razors and shaving memorabilia, like adverts and razor packets, all stored in a glass cabinet at home.
Silke: I speak four languages – German, English, French and Spanish. And the first single I ever bought was ACDC’s Back in Black, not that I was a rock chick in any way!