How I went from dancer to digital marketing
Dolly Williams is a Senior PR Account Manager at Jayne Moore Media, a Liverpool-based multi-media PR agency with a particular commitment to “use today’s technology to innovate campaigns”. She’s a skilled digital marketer and fully at home in the glamorous world of PR, but her route to this enviable career has not been straightforward.
Dolly started off in the world of performance – she danced professionally for some years before taking a degree in Arts and Theatre Management. During the course, it was the marketing modules that really piqued her interest, and she fell in love with the digital side. “I then became self-taught,” she says, ”learning to design, code and build responsive websites. When I graduated I joined an arts company as a digital marketer, and have since developed my skills through work.”
In her work with clients, Dolly covers all aspects of digital marketing, helping them represent themselves compellingly online and build a vibrant social presence. She’s equally at home casting her expert eye on graphic design, wielding a camera or editing code on a website. “I enjoy the challenge of my daily work and the development of my skills and the industry,” she says. “It’s an interesting time to be in the business.”
Looking back at her progress to date, Dolly wonders if there might have been some unconscious bias during her education. “When I was at school, I highlighted that I was interested in IT and business but was told to stick to performing arts. I took the advice, but was clearly destined for a life in tech and so my career path has taken so much longer to get to where it should be and I am having to catch up with my peers.”
It’s to ensure that other girls don’t get diverted from their passion for tech that Dolly is involved in a range of mentoring and guidance activities. She is a proud ambassador of the Liverpool Geek Girls, and has worked in partnership with the Liverpool Girl Geeks and FACT in Liverpool to deliver the first Girl Geek Academy, teaching digital skills to girls aged 11 – 16.
She’s also starting to set up coding meet-ups in the city and working in partnership with several local tech agencies, all with the warm support of her employer. And perhaps most importantly, Jayne Moore Media now has its own PR apprentice, Molly Carr – one of the next generation of digital women.
“It’s important to remember that there are already a good number of women in the industry,” Dolly points out. “They just may not be loud about it. We need to encourage young women into tech, but also develop the women who are already there, to get them to senior levels.”
Her own aspirations – “to assist my company to work with more digital apprentices that really need the opportunity, and to offer a full range of digital services which will complement our more traditional PR offer to further enhance a client’s brand and reputation” – will certainly contribute to this ambition.