By Danielle Ord and Sophie Green.
Samantha Czwordon-Auld, 36, marketing and communications manager at The Bridges, Sunderland gave fashion journalism students an insight into the busy life of marketing.
In addition to implementing marketing strategies, organising events and liaising with the growing buzz of the media world, Sam maintains a personal blog which she remarked encourages “self-motivation” – a necessity within her work. The lack of structure in the absence of a 9-5 work timetable fluctuates Samantha’s day-to-day work schedule depending upon multiple factors such as up and coming events or on-going projects within the North East. One of which for instance, allowed Samantha to target students within her talk, catching their attention with the notion of a ‘Student Raid’ whereby students are designated an evening to get discount ready and shop at The Bridges.
The centre will also have a Beauty Week in the coming months which will see influencers and bloggers creating tutorials, a safari around the beauty stores, as well as an amazing goody bag. We love the sound of this!
The Bridges shopping centre targets a broader range of consumers through the use of a ‘mass market high street offer,’ Samantha described. She also told the students of the aspirations for the centre by increasing the food and beverage market. As a result of the choice of shop provision being out of the hands of the shopping centre, the aspiration is left to chance and industry interest rather than responsibility.
Samantha dedicated a section of her talk to her personal DO’s and DON’Ts, in a journalistic stand-point, when contacting her for quotes for gaining information regarding The Bridges. These can easily be transferable across media industries, however, as Sam communicated her agitation for students who only rely on email, she advised: “Don’t become a shrinking violet” as her busy lifestyle does not allow her to sieve through requests in the prioritisation of The Bridges – at the moment it is occupied with the seasonal shoot for the store which she came from and returned to after the student talk.
The hussle and bussle that works hand-in-hand with marketing became apparent in the Q&A as the students asked questions surrounding Samantha’s contacts and experience. The question section not only exposed the worries of student’s entering the challenging industry but also allowed Sam to respond to some of these, breaking down myths through her personal experiences. One student questioned the importance of gaining contacts and building relationships with those around you. Samantha regarded how she had been “quite lucky” in regards to her progression through the industry, as the transitions between retail work with brand outlets such as Nike and Adidas, to now working at The Bridges was seemingly smooth, as a result of contacts.
The talk, in all, was enlightening for the student’s, with Sophie who was on work experience at the time explaining how: “It was very engaging and entertaining and gave [her] an insight into that world of work.”
If you want to know more about The Bridges, Sunderland head to their website here.