Communications Manager, Cornerstones Education, December 2014–
I'm currently Communications Manager at Cornerstones Education, the UK's leading creative curriculum company for primary schools. I manage the marketing team and work with teachers and subject specialists to produce educational content for early years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children. I’ve led three major projects over the last year.
Working with an external agency, I created the wireframes, information architecture and content for a new Cornerstones website. My aim was to simplify the company’s offer by focusing on simple navigation and strong usability. The site launched in September and visits, page views and downloads have all increased by a third.
The company has gone from selling one to eight products in 18 months. Through the new website, targeted email campaigns and an updated suite of printed materials, I’ve helped tell that new story to both existing and potential customers. Cornerstones has a wealth of teaching experience and a bank of great content. I’ve pushed the idea that the more the company shares, the more they will get back.
Finally, I’ve continued a lot of the work I did as a consultant. Working with the company’s creative director, I am producer, editor and quality assurance across all Cornerstones products. My favourite is Love to Investigate, 126 science investigations that help teachers bring practical science into the classroom. It was created in collaboration with the company’s science specialist.
Very Meta (Freelance), April 2014–
Very Meta is my one-man freelance content and communications outfit. I worked on freelance projects full-time for nine months before being offered a role with my biggest client, Cornerstones Education.
Cornerstones originally hired me to edit and help launch their flagship curriculum product. I went on to produce educational video content, audio content and hundreds of teaching resources aimed at primary school children. In doing so, I developed new company style and standard guides used by a team of teachers, designers and subject specialists.
Other freelance work has seen me produce and deliver two successful social media campaigns for bestselling author, Wilbur Smith. I created some snappy copy for Rckt, who were developing an online game for Channel 4. White Bruce, an accountancy firm, asked me to do some branding work, as well as set up a small WordPress installation for their new website. And I ran a day-long branding workshop with the marketing team at Westfield Health.
Researcher (Digital Communications), Sheffield Hallam University, January 2013–March 2014
I was part of the interaction design team in Sheffield Hallam’s Cultural, Communications and Computing Research Institute (C3RI). As part of the Innovation Futures initiative, I worked with SMEs in Yorkshire to provide short-term consultancy, helping them produce digital content and develop new products. That included a new content strategy, website and membership scheme for Writing Yorkshire, a non-profit organisation part-funded by the Arts Council.
Content and Communications Manager, The Workshop, June 2006–October 2012
The Workshop is a design and communications agency whose clients include large businesses, educational organisations, charities and non-profits. I produced and edited content for websites, web apps, marketing campaigns, branding projects, training materials and various other communications.
As a senior member of the content team, I worked alongside a team of talented designers and developers. Our ethos was to produce research-led, digital products that were technically robust but also sparkled. We did it by really thinking about the problem and putting content first. For me, that meant carrying out user research and testing, assessing usability and accessibility, and creating all manner of wireframes and personas.
For most of my time at The Workshop, I managed all internal and external communications. I told the company’s story through its website, social media accounts and marketing materials, and by developing a house tone of voice and shared style guide.
In 2012, I spoke at the Children's Media Conference, leading a panel called, 'Engaging Kids, Connecting Communities’.
Senior Publications Officer, Sheffield Hallam University, 2003–2006
I was as part of the team responsible for writing, developing and publishing the University’s big-budget, corporate publications, including the online and printed prospectuses. My editorial work was heavily project driven and based around working to tight print schedules. I carried out an in-house training programme for faculty marketing staff, which involved writing materials and scheduling a series of group sessions on producing and editing copy. I also worked with employees who had limited writing experience on a one-to-one basis to improve their general editorial ability.
Associate Lecturer in creative writing, Sheffield Hallam University, 2002–2003
On a fixed contract, I worked in Hallam’s English department teaching creative writing to undergraduates. I wrote, planned and structured a 12-week programme across a range of modes, including the short story, scriptwriting, poetry and journalism. It was hugely rewarding and my first taste of creating a supportive, structured environment for creative people.
Write for Your Life podcast, 2009–2016
The Write for Your Life podcast is part of the 5by5 network. It's a show about creative writing, copywriting, reading, and the ever-changing publishing industry. Featured in the ‘new and noteworthy’ section of iTunes and having reached number three in the ‘Arts’ chart, the podcast is recorded and published with co-host, poet and copywriter, Donna Sørensen. In November 2015, the show passed 250,000 total downloads.
Writing at iainbroome.com 2008–
I’ve written for my website for many years, mostly offering advice and tips for writers. I set the site up in December 2008 (then called Write for Your Life) to bridge the gap between my fiction writing and professional career, and to help build my profile as an author. By using social media, especially Twitter and Tumblr, the site rapidly developed a strong community. It has more than 3000 RSS subscribers and in its heyday received 10,000–15,000 pageviews a month.
Co-founder, Words Aloud, 2006–2008
Words Aloud was a popular monthly Sheffield-based spoken word night. Tired of attending stuffy, unsupportive open-mic events for creative writers, our aim was to create an environment where writers of all shapes and sizes, whatever their ability or experience, could share their work and feel comfortable. .
Editor, Matter, 2005–2007
Matter is a literary magazine, published annually, that showcases the work of new writers from Sheffield Hallam’s MA Writing course alongside established authors, including Benjamin Zephaniah, Ali Smith and Toby Litt. I managed a team of nine people to produce Matter 6, leading an editorial board to develop the magazine’s content and a publicity group to plan advertising, marketing, launches and events.
Sheffield Hallam University, 2003–2005, MA Writing
Sheffield Hallam University, 1999–2002, BA (Honours) English (1st)
- Final Cut Pro
- Logic Pro
- Content strategy
- Copywriting and editing
- Tone of voice
- Social media
My first novel is called A is for Angelica. It was published by Legend Press in 2012 and has received extremely good reviews, including from the likes of Time Out and the Daily Mail.