Job Title: Director Of Marketing
Type of Company: I work for non-profit medical group with more than twenty offices in the greater Boston area. We provide primary and specialty care for adults and children.
Education: BA, Journalism, UMass-Amherst
Previous Experience: I started at a medical technology company as an investor relations coordinator for two years. From there, I went to work at a public relations agency and was promoted from account executive to senior account executive before I left two years later. I then spent eight years at a software services company working in its marketing department, first as the public relations manager, then as director of public relations and ultimately director of corporate marketing. After that I spent two and a half years as director of marketing communications for a software company before my current role as director of marketing for a non-profit medical group.
Job Tasks: I'm the director of marketing, which means I am responsible for all marketing planning and strategy. I manage the organization's $750,000 marketing budget and develop a detailed tactical plan each year. I'm responsible for its public and media relations (responding to media inquiries or pitching a story that features our organization), its marketing communications (brochures, newsletters, and other printed media) and its internet and intranet strategy and management (I manage the company's intranet and three different public websites.) I also recently assumed responsibility for community relations, including the scheduling of health screenings and other health-related lectures for the public.
I have a staff of three. One is a senior marketing project manager who manages a lot of the marketing communications and website projects; a web/intranet project coordinator who works primarily on our new intranet and updates our existing public websites; and a community relations coordinator who schedules health screenings at various sites across Boston and organizes our medical staff's participation at these events.
On a typical day, I meet with a specialty area (like dental services) to develop a new brochure for them about the services they provide patients; respond to a media inquiry to have one of our doctors do an interview for a story on swine flu; review and editing a story to be posted on our company intranet about an award our organization won; plan for an event for our doctors to attend and develop all related materials and signage; develop a plan to redesign our entire web site to make it easier to navigate and more patient-friendly and write our employee newsletter.
But really, there is no such thing as a typical day. Much of what I do is a reaction to requests from staff and doctors across the practice, or to media requests which come into our office once or twice a week.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is working closely with all departments in our organization to plan how to let patients know about the wonderful care and services we provide.
The toughest part of the job is there are really only about 3 of us in marketing but there are 4000 employees, more than 35 specialties and 800 doctors, so sometimes it can be hard to keep up with the workload. But that is also what makes it so different from day to day.
1. Try very hard to do some internships in marketing, particularly if you are interested in public relations/media relations. The PR world can be less glamorous than people think and a lot of hard work.
2. Be willing to take a junior role in a marketing department and ask to take on everything and anything. A major part of marketing success is learning successful project management and multi-tasking and juggling things well.
3. Learn how to write concisely and well. It will be a skill that will be very valued in marketing, particular if you have any internal marketing/communications responsibilities and will be asked to develop corporate communications, speeches, press statements, etc.
Additional Thoughts: Marketing is a very fast-paced area with a lot of variety in projects and responsibilities. You need to be able to juggle a lot of priorities at once and be comfortable switching gears quickly between projects. If you are a person who needs a lot of consistency in their work or needs to be able to say you completed ten things each day, you will probably not like marketing much.
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