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60 Seconds with…Emmeline Willcocks

Our ‘60 Seconds with…’ blogs are designed to provide a quick run down of what our staff do here at Itad. Here is what Emmeline Willcocks had to say…

What’s your job here at Itad?

I am Itad’s Communications Officer.

What does that involve?

I lead on our internal and external communications – this ranges from scheduling and coordinating our marketing activities, maintaining our social media profiles and website, putting together newsletters, copy editing blogs and other products, as well as designing and formatting knowledge products, presentations and sometimes the odd infographic! I also sometimes do comms work within our projects, and this can involve stakeholder and communication channel research, product design, general comms coordination and scheduling, and evaluation-speak translation! We are also part of the Centre for Development Impact, so I manage the Itad-end of comms for that, along with colleagues from IDS and UEA.

How did you get into the field?

I started at Itad as the Business Support Assistant, maintaining the office facilities, but as I had always been interested in communications, there was space for me to work on the website and social media as well as my office role. As the company has grown, so has our need for more diverse and organised comms – so I was able to move into a role that focused on this full time!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Definitely the diversity – I feel like every day I’m working on something different, with a wide range of people both in and outside of the organisation. Because of the variety, and the fact that the comms role at Itad is so new, I’ve been on a steep learning curve – I’ve learnt how to use all sorts of different design programs, how to put together communication strategies, how to copy edit, and I’ve been to conferences and meetings which have allowed me to understand how communications fit in with our work in monitoring and evaluation.

What new innovations/methods have you noticed in your sector?

The drive towards more visual ways of representing data is really interesting, and the growing popularity of the infographic is something that I think can really help to engage an audience in our work who may not previously have been reachable. We used infographics to represent information for our work on DFID’s Macro Evaluations and it really showed us the potential for this kind of comms.

Recent highlight?

I recently held ‘How to write a blog – and why!’ sessions for my colleagues here at Itad, and as a result we’ve been doing a lot more blogging! It’s a great way for people to get an idea of what we do here, as people have been reflecting on all sorts of things such as methodologies, conferences, and projects.

Most interesting question you have been asked recently?

‘Can we keep the cogs?’

We’ve been working on logos to represent each of our themes, and it has been quite tough to figure out how to accurately represent really dynamic areas of work with one tiny graphic. Our Private Sector Development theme liked the idea of cogs, but how they represent the work the theme do within the logo is the tricky bit!

Favourite place you have visited as part of your job?

I went to Addis Ababa in August 2015 to record, photograph, and report on lesson learning workshops being held for the SCIP Programme. The city was so busy and bustling (although it was a bit chilly being so far above sea level), the food was unlike anything I has ever eaten before (I’m still searching for where I can get Ambo water in the UK), and I met some really lovely people! Getting to be involved in the project on the ground was a really great experience and one I’d like to build on.