Parting Words and Pathways:
By Martyn Hordern,
Learnings and Signing Off at Staffordshire Forensic Partnership
by Zainab Mansoor.
As my internship journey with Staffordshire Forensic Partnership draws close, I stand at the crossroads of discovery and reflection. In this final blog post, I invite you to join me in revisiting the pivotal moments, invaluable lessons, and transformative growth that have defined my time here.
The Journey Began in June!
Clueless, anxious, and a bit ecstatic, my journey at the Staffordshire Forensic Partnership started in June 2023. The three initial feelings were just the tip of the iceberg of what I felt because I always wanted to over-achieve in life. This aspiration has allowed me to push boundaries, overestimate my goals, and eventually strike some success in the past. But this time, it was different. I was accompanied by highly professional and trained staff members who helped me pave realistic, timely, achievable, and specific goals. I learned that while confidence is necessary, overconfidence in any workplace can lead to problems. But more on that later!
Planning what I wanted to achieve and do in the placement for my first learning. It was the first step towards realizing that planning is helpful in every facet of life. It helps you strategize, contemplate, and manifest. I was deployed in the company’s social media department and was in charge of generating organic leads. Organic and developing are two intimidating words; how would I have known what people would want to read and/or like?
However, this is where the fun part began. I stumbled upon the act of research, conducted a thorough competitive analysis, evaluated strategies, and drafted my version of a testing strategy. Slowly, I began to test my content on different channels; one of my favorites was the mighty LinkedIn. I started by visiting different conferences and workshops, posting blog articles on topics like CSI and the latest forensic trends and interviews with Academics, Police and Students. While the pieces managed to gain traction, the over-arching goal of achieving more kept pushing me to try new ideas.
The growth phase (Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome)
As with all great digital marketers, there is a one-size-fits-all strategy. Especially in the digital space. There is always a need for improvisation, and this is where I learned the role of content curation during my placement. After creating my blogs, I realized my LinkedIn audience greatly appreciates video-based content. I stumbled upon the idea of creating podcasts with Staffordshire Alumni who were employed in the forensics field. The idea of podcasts was solid because people habitually scroll or listen. This passive content consumption is widespread because it is effortless and allows people to do their work without distraction. It’s like being on social media yet working at the same time.
In the next stage, I could loop in two additional guests after reaching out to different guests and explaining my agenda. I launched the podcasts in their basic formats through audio files, and they garnered an overwhelming response from the community. Not only engagements, but I was also able to grow the organic follower count on LinkedIn. This is where I learned that I had overcome the plateau of engagement, likes, and page reach. Initially, I struggled with Word Press but then when you have the right support, you are always able to get pass through it. I learned how to do specifications on the website. Working with Police, Academics and to top that in the field of Forensics, it was not easy as you know nothing about it but eventually with time, I learned about the field through different workshops and conferences. I also visited Staffordshire Police Headquarters with an opportunity to meet with their Communications team. I sat with each one of them to know their respective roles and to have all the motivation and inspiration of how do they manager their respective job roles and responsibilities.
Bidding a hard farewell
At the end of this placement, I would be remiss if I did not say that I have a whole new perspective on digital marketing. My advice to all future digital marketers is based on different tiers. Tier 1 starts with understanding your audience and who you are primarily reaching; this is very important. Without your audience, you’re just shooting arrows in the dark, which might land, but who’s to know where. Tier 2 involves understanding the audience’s pain points and creating personalized content. This personalization consists of following social media trends or posting enough content to become one. Pro tip: I suggest pumping lots of content if you’re managing a relatively new page. A suitable method for this is to create a content calendar that allows you to plan ahead. It enables you to estimate the type of posts, maintain diversity, and reach those hungry people. The last tier involves content monitoring and improvisations at the very best. Content monitoring will help you evaluate the performance of every post, helping you make intelligent decisions. As I bid farewell to this beautiful place, I only wish to see the page flourish and carry on the foundation to build into a social media giant.