• 21 July 2020
  • Life at HJ

Meet our new Head of Marketing

Recruitment is our area of expertise, which gives us a huge advantage when we are adding key members to our own team.

So, we are delighted to welcome Ian Trevett, who joins us as our new Head of Marketing. Ian brings vast experience with exceptional content marketing skills, having co-founded the Platinum Publishing Group.

Tell us a bit about your background…

I have spent most of my career in journalism and publishing. 

I discovered my love of writing when I launched an Arsenal football fanzine called Highbury High, back in the 1990s. 

At the time. this effectively became my CV and gave me a foot into the world of commercial publishing. I was appointed full-time editor of Sussex Life, Kent Life and Surrey Life. I joined the company at an exciting time. Working as part of an ambitious leadership team, we quickly built up the Sussex Life paid-for readership from 800 to over 10,000. 

Later, I teamed up with my business partner, Maarten Hoffmann, to launch Platinum Publishing, a publishing company specialising in business magazines, including Platinum Business Magazine. We also acquired and ran the leading business awards in the region, including the Sussex Business Awards and the Brighton & Hove Business Awards (BAHBAs), becoming highly respected amongst the business community.

Why did you decide to join Harvey John?

Over the years, I met Managing Director David Waddell at several networking events, and I had always been impressed with the ethos and professionalism that he has instilled into the business. It is clear that the consultants at Harvey John take the time to properly understand the needs of recruiting companies and the strengths of prospective candidates. It’s not just about finding jobs, filling them and walking away.

The recruitment consultants and directors at Harvey John only place candidates who they genuinely feel will fit in with the business culture and become an asset to the employer. In the same way, they also have the interests of the candidate at heart. They want propositions to last and for candidates to find the job of their dreams. They are impressively delivering this vision with 94% of placed candidates still with their new employer two years after they start a new position. There’s a real sense of longevity at Harvey John which impressed me.

When joining a business, it is very important that the values and approach align with your own. That was certainly the case with Harvey John, and I didn’t hesitate to apply when I saw the position being advertised. I was looking for a new challenge, but it had to be right. Harvey John fitted the bill.

How will you approach the new role?

I want to raise awareness of the expertise within the business. This means ensuring that when people see a social media post, an email or blog from Harvey John, they can trust the content will be authoritative, engaging and interesting. 

People are bombarded with information everyday and everyone demands instant attention. Most readers decide in a split second whether or not they are going to look at a newsletter or a social media post. They decide if they trust your brand before they commit their time to read your message. Credibility is everything.

The directors and consultants at Harvey John have vast experience in recruitment in the accountancy, tax and legal sectors. They have expert knowledge and insights that deserve to be shared. My job is to facilitate this.

What attributes do you bring to the role?

Firstly, I have direct experience in writing for Harvey John’s primary audience through editing a stable of business publications. At Platinum Business Magazine, the majority of the advertisers and readers were from the financial, accountancy and legal sectors. The same applied to the sponsors of the business awards. I am familiar with the tone of voice and what subject matters are of interest.

Secondly, I have been instrumental in building brands. The Platinum Publishing magazines and events quickly gained a loyal following within the business community, and built a reputation for high standards and quality.

Previous to this, the growth during my tenure at Sussex Life was dramatic. The content had been stuffy and dull. I introduced a livelier and bolder approach. But, I also learned that content alone is not enough. The business invested whole-heartedly in distribution, marketing and growing awareness. The content could only be appreciated if someone actually picked up the magazine. 

The growth at Sussex Life involved traditional marketing methods including direct mail, radio, TV and posting sample copies through letterboxes. It was phenomenally successful, and the magazine became a recognised brand across the county. 

The methods used twenty years ago are light years away from the complexities of today’s digital marketing world, and innovations are accelerating. But the basics remain the same. Use the most effective instruments to reach the right audience and ensure the quality is such that they come back for more.

Harvey John MD David Waddell succinctly summarised the strategy. It’s about getting: “The right content to the right audience in the right way!” That’s my passion and expertise, and that’s what I’m here to do.

What is your first priority as Head of Marketing?

In normal circumstances it would be a case of analysing all the current marketing activity to establish what areas need to be improved upon. And then authoring a marketing strategy.

But these are not normal times. 

With millions being placed on furlough, made redundant or feeling fearful of the future, the recruitment industry is in uncharted waters. The headlines on the news broadcasts are frightening. What people really crave is information on the recruitment landscape – are firms recruiting?

The leadership team at Harvey John have just undertaken a survey of around 350 clients and candidates in the accountancy, tax and legal sectors to get a snapshot of recruitment intentions and market confidence.

The results are fascinating. Over 50% of employers state they are recruiting now or will do so in the next six months, which is a welcome ray of light. Conversely, the survey also showed a distinct lack of confidence in the job market among candidates. Perhaps the results from this survey will improve that confidence?

My first task, therefore, is to draw the conclusions from this important survey, produce a blog and infographic, and circulate the results.

Then onto the full strategy! Exciting times. I’m definitely up for the challenge.

Ian can be contacted at ian@harveyjohn.com


David Waddell is Managing Director at Harvey John.

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