Good writing is clear thinking made visible

Bill Wheeler

about me

A creative type with a sound academic background, I’ve been working in media, marketing and PR since I graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2001. Thanks to the varied nature of this experience, over the past 20 years or so, I am adept at communicating with, and positively influencing, a diverse range of audiences – from consumers and small business owners (of varying demographics) to C-suite executives at some of the UK’s largest organisations.

I’ve headed up editorial teams on both consumer and trade publications, and written freelance for a number of lifestyle titles in the UK and abroad. In addition, I have had three interiors books published in my own name, Happy Home (2012), Everything in its Place (2015), and How We Live Now (2021), plus I co-wrote another, Space Works (2017).

I’ve previously worked in both agency-side and in-house PR and marketing roles, applying my expertise across a variety of sectors including home interest, engineering, manufacturing, local Government, financial services, education, retail, leisure and construction. As I’ve been involved in the whole marketing mix – including strategic planning, media relations, events, social media, digital marketing and the project management of marketing collateral (both print and digital) – I have a wealth of all-round experience that informs my ability to understand a client’s objectives and deliver above expectations, with maximum efficiency and minimum fuss.

I’ve been freelancing to a greater or lesser extent since 2008, and it’s now my sole occupation. My specialisms are content and copywriting (particularly anything complex, technical, or otherwise specialist, including long-form copy for discerning, high-level audiences), and although I can turn my hand to any topic, these days I tend to focus on homes and interiors, property, construction and maintenance, building services, and engineering.

 

April 2008 – present: Freelance Communications Professional

Able to tailor my offering to a number of different markets thanks to my broad skillset, I have been working flexibly as an editor, journalist, copywriter, PR, and marketing consultant. I have counted consumer and trade magazines, PR/marketing/picture agencies, private companies, and public sector organisations amongst my clients, across sectors as diverse as education, hospitality, food, interiors, health, tourism, luxury lifestyle, fashion, retail, finance and construction.

Stand-out projects include creating all the editorial content for the Visit Essex Visitor Guide for four years in a row (working with Archant Dialogue from pitch stage, to help them win the business); ghostwriting two business books (one on sales optimization, for a private equity investment audience; one a motivational title aimed at entrepreneurs, on behalf of a Financial Times personal finance columnist); and having three glossy hardback interiors books published under my own name – with one other published as a collaboration with three leading interiors writers.

January 2019 – October 2019: Marketing Manager (part-time)
November 2019 – September 2020: Marketing Manager (full-time), TysonCooper

As a one-woman marketing department at this vehicle solutions company, I carried out a variety of activities to generate sales, leasing and finance enquiries from both businesses and private individuals, mostly working in tandem with membership organisation partners (NFU, BASC, Fram Farmers, RICS, RIBA).

Print and digital advertising, social media and web content, digital newsletters, promotional literature and show stand planning all factored in my workload. When it came to producing marketing assets, I was often responsible for design work as well as copywriting.

In addition, I provided business development support to the directors, who were expanding the finance brokerage side of the company.

February 2017 – August 2019: Consultant, Cloudfm Group

I worked with Cloudfm in a consulting capacity at a time of strong growth for the company. This entailed a nimble approach to keep pace with the shifting needs of the organisation, and involved applying my skills across the marketing mix, liaising with a wide variety of stakeholders and managing outsourced providers, driving projects from conception to evaluation. I spearheaded the brand’s PR campaign, created a raft of marketing assets which supported the brand’s positioning strategy, and developed events that supported stakeholder engagement.

My biggest project was to develop and implement a sophisticated, industry-leading owned-media publication, distributed directly to a targeted list of C-suite executives at large organisations, and through business class lounges at selected UK airports. Conceived to engage a very small, hard-to-reach group of decision-makers, the title boasted superlative quality content (with an emphasis on the cross-fertilisation of ideas from other business sectors), as well as superlative production values. The first issue was published in Q4 2018, and swiftly resulted in significant conversion of high-value contacts.

April 2010 – January 2013: Account Manager, PrettyGood PR

In this role I was a driving force in the targeted, high-impact marketing strategies that we undertook for our consumer and B2B clients – including manufacturers, retailers, consultants and professional service providers, across a wide range of sectors including hospitality, energy, building services, automotive, insurance, accountancy and property. Common to all accounts was the same focus, lateral thinking and outcome-driven approach that ensured a consistently high level of service, partnership and results.

I was responsible for accounts from initial proposal through to results reporting – sometimes working with other team members, and other times being solely responsible for the day-to-day account activity. Owing to the small size of the agency (and the diversity of the client base) a flexible, creative approach was essential, and I honed all sorts of PR and marketing skills – including analysis and research, strategic planning, copywriting (SEO copy, press releases, by-lined articles, newsletters, video scripts and awards entries), website planning and project management, media relations, photo shoots, presentations, promotional literature, advertising, event management, social media and press launches. A personal highlight was managing to get a regional accountancy firm quoted in articles in The Independent and the Financial Times.

June 2009 – April 2010 (maternity): Editor, Attire Bridal and Editor/Editor-in-Chief, Craft Focus, KD Media Publishing

During this 11-month maternity cover contract I worked closely with the magazines’ respective advertising managers to develop the titles and improve revenues. Within a few months, each had grown so much that it became necessary to recruit a new member of staff, since both magazines had reached the point of needing a dedicated editor. By the end of my contract, both were being published with a better quality of editorial, a higher pagination, and higher profits – one of them even doubled its revenues compared to the previous year’s figures, due to these enhancements and also through improved advertising/editorial department relations.

April 2008 – September 2008: Publications & Advertising Assistant (part-time), Colchester Institute

My duties in this part-time post comprised general marketing and publishing support, from collating prospectus amendments to proofreading, and from booking advertising to assisting with open evening events.

July 2006 – April 2008: Editor, Period Ideas, Aceville Publications

During my editorship of Period Ideas, the magazine reached its biggest pagination to date, and brought in its highest-ever advertising profits. I had responsibility for driving the title’s direction and content, and leading a team of three editorial staff, while working closely with my advertising counterparts to maximise revenues. I generated 30+ editorial pages per month, I managed the production process to ensure all deadlines were met, I formulated strategies to increase readership, and I planned promotional activity.

October 2003 – July 2006: Deputy Editor, Period Ideas, Aceville Publications

While working as Deputy Editor for this magazine I was responsible for generating 30+ pages of quality editorial per month, all the while balancing the sometimes conflicting demands of the readership and the advertisers. My remit hinged around feature writing, although I was also responsible for arranging competitions and promotional features, commissioning freelancers, and representing the title at events both in the UK and abroad. Additionally, I would be the senior point of contact for the team, and other stakeholders, when the editor was not in the office.

January 2003 – October 2003: PR Consultant, Quay West Communications

I joined Quay West at a time when it was one of the top ten B2B agencies in the UK in terms of revenue. I was a team member on several accounts, and actively involved in conference management, direct mail, internal communications, media relations, advertising, copywriting, corporate literature production and launch event management. Clients included Nicholas Anthony, Poggenpohl, Hungry Horse (Greene King), The Curtain Exchange, Lennox, Vaillant, and MacLellan International.

July 2001 – December 2002: Editorial Assistant, Essential Publishing

I learned the ropes of magazine publishing working across several home interest titles – Homestyle, Period House, Essential Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Magazine and Rooms & Living – plus I created editorial for various contract publications, most notably for Showerlux and The Carpet Foundation. My role included feature writing, proofreading and editing, commissioning, producing promotional features, arranging competitions, and styling for photo shoots.

EDUCATION

1997 – 2001 University of St. Andrews
2:1 MA (Hons) in English
Other subjects studied included French, Spanish, Social Anthropology, Linguistics and Russian Literature & Society

1995 – 1997 The Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Suffolk
‘A’ Levels: French (A) Art & Design (A) English Literature (B) ‘S’ Paper: English Literature (Distinction)

1990 – 1995 Hadleigh High School, Hadleigh, Suffolk
GCSE 7A*, 2A