In our continuing series of interviews with the people of LEAP, we get to know Digital Project Manager Kelly Newton. Kelly is based in our Chichester office where she coordinates designers and developers across multiple projects to deliver top quality creative work for our clients.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am the day-to-day point of contact for our clients. I manage the scope of work, timings and budgets and ensure the quality and creativity of the work we deliver.
With constantly changing priorities and often challenging deadlines, my calm and happy-go-lucky personality helps me to manage our internal teams and client expectations with enthusiasm and a smile. I ensure a harmonious work environment, even at the most challenging of times. This even carries over into my home life where as mum to two boys (14 and 10), this approach is often tested to the max!
What led you to where you are now?
My career started off with customer service-focused roles in the IT industry. I have always appreciated and admired good design, and although I enjoyed my customer-facing role, it lacked creativity and the opportunity to produce something to be proud of and admired by others.
In one of my earlier jobs, I was required to document the customer service policies and procedures for colleagues and managers across a global finance organisation. I decided that the best way to do this was via a website. I therefore embarked on a front-end web design course and spent the next six years serving as a web designer/manager.
The demands for web pages to support that organisation grew at such a speed that I needed to recruit additional web designers/developers, and I soon became a manager of web teams and digital projects. I found that I enjoyed having oversight and input into the creativity of projects as well as a focus on client service.
What do you enjoy most about your role/work or advertising and marketing generally?
As the digital project manager, I love seeing a project come to life – from gathering initial client requirements, to design, through to the final builds and sharing the end deliverables with the client. I get great satisfaction from sharing the initial creative concepts with the client and then the final builds ahead of the launch. I get to share in the client’s excitement as we see the vision develop into the finished product. Even more enjoyable is getting to share the client’s positive feedback and praise with the project team.
What’s the project you’re most proud of?
I’m really proud of the Kempinski Hotels Careers website. I managed the website design and development. Being part of the wider project team and seeing the development of the employer brand was especially exciting.
What’s your favourite ad and why?
I love Christmas and share in the excitement with my kids, so for me it has to be the Coca-Cola Christmas ads.
Do you have any hidden talents, interesting hobbies or do something else that’s really important to you?
My favourite hobby is body combat. It combines my love of music and martial arts. I’ve also recently joined a running club in the hope that I will one day achieve my goal of running a 10k race. (Note, there is no mention of a marathon as running really isn’t my thing, and it takes a lot of motivation to get the old pumps out of the cupboard!)
Who’s your inspiration?
There are many people I admire, but my true inspiration is my mum. She has experienced many challenges through her life, including battling breast cancer. No matter how difficult or challenging the situation, she has always remained calm, maintained a positive attitude and most importantly, continued to smile. I have thankfully inherited these wonderful traits from her, and I apply them to my everyday life.
What’s your biggest motivation/how do you stay motivated?
My biggest motivation is my kids. I have a great work-life balance which enables me to work hard but play even harder. I cherish every moment with them and love nothing more than being silly and acting crazy with them and creating memories. My eldest son loves to hear about the work I am doing and likes viewing new websites once they’ve launched. On the other hand, my youngest son refers to me as ‘Chandler’ because he’s still not quite sure what I do.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in this field?
Chose a path that brings you enjoyment and satisfaction because your enthusiasm and the quality of work you deliver will be a reflection of this.