Name: Gemma Hyslop

Age: 31

Job title: Social Media & Content Manager

Time in current role: 11 months

Gemma is Social Media & Content Manager at Monarch Airlines.

How did you land your current job?

I’ve been working since I graduated in 2007. I knew I enjoyed creating consumer content and I never really fancied print media so I was very happy to move into the online world post graduation. After working for a B2B company for five and a half years and being promoted from a researcher to a web editor, I moved into travel.

I’ve always loved travel and living near an airport I was always looking for opportunities to  come up in one of the many nearby businesses. When I did finally start working in the industry, something that hit me was there isn’t much time to breathe! It’s very fast-paced and things can change very quickly. I found soaking up as much knowledge from my colleagues as possible and constantly asking questions helped me understand exactly how the industry works.

What are the key functions of your role?

I sit in Monarch’s marketing team alongside the online, offline, partnerships and CRM (customer relationship management) teams. My main functions include managing and implementing the social media strategy, and working alongside commercial and the other marketing teams to ensure business objectives are met.

The great thing about social media is you get to work with many areas of the business, from cabin crew to PR and customer services to legal. I have a Social Media Executive who reports into me and I also work very closely with the customer service team to ensure the service our customers receive on our social channels is exactly the same as when they talk to us mid-flight or on the phone.

Another important aspect of my role is working alongside the PR team, particularly in times of crisis. More often than not we hear news of a major crisis from social media first, so I need to ensure the team know exactly how to handle these incidents and that they’re equipped to respond to our customers.

Talk us through your typical day at work

I get into the office just before 9am and finish at 5.30pm. I have a number of weekly meetings with different departments including the marketing and PR teams. Daily duties can vary depending on any incidents – unfortunately working in the travel industry you never know when a severe delay could happen, or even worse a terrorist attack.

First thing I tend to do is log onto our social media listening tool to look into what is happening on our channels. I measure sentiment, share of voice and any key topics or subjects which may be driving high volume. We’re currently progressing well with our video strategy and I’ve been spending a lot of time on YouTube, talking to agencies, feeding back any amendments to edits and checking out other new content that may be useful in future.

I’m very lucky to have a fab executive who manages all of the content on our channels. We discuss what’s coming up over the next month, e.g. key dates (National Flip Flop Day was one of my faves), anything happening around the business which we can use for content and finally any commercial needs that require support. We use a content calendar to map out what’s being published and when. This also helps us manage our budget and ensure content is consistent day by day. I also use the calendar to report quarterly on what has worked well and what hasn’t. This is then fed back to the teams.

In terms of working hours, unfortunately there’s no ‘off’ switch on social media so I do have to be prepared for out of hours work. I have a work phone which means I can communicate easily with the right team, or head to the office if there’s a crisis overnight or at the weekend.

How would your colleagues describe you in three words?

Meticulous, proactive, forward-planning.

Your favourite part of the job?

Having a touch point with pretty much everyone across the business. Whether it’s creating some great video content for which I need to call on our fab cabin crew or pilots, or talking to the ground operations team concerning a delay. I enjoy talking to different parts of the business and learning more about their roles. The great thing about an airline is there is so much to learn and so many people to meet – I haven’t quite got round the entire business yet!

…and the part you could do without?

Reporting isn’t something I look forward to! I much prefer someone else sending me a report, all pretty and easy to read, than me downloading files and trying to make sense of everything. I get bored of Excel pretty quickly!

Plans for the future? 

I’m currently covering a maternity role so I can’t say if I’ll be in this exact role in the future. I know I love working in the travel industry because it’s fast-paced and varied. Social media and content creation is also something I enjoy so I’d love to stay in this field. I wouldn’t say I’m a hugely ambitious person. As long as I’m happy and have a great team around me then I’m good!

Do you have any advice for others aspiring to break into your field?

This is going to make me sound very old but social media wasn’t really around when I graduated. I studied journalism and I definitely found doing work experience and being proactive when studying and after graduation definitely helped me get where I am. As long as you have a can-do attitude and are willing to learn, you’re pretty well equipped to work in social media. LLY

Posted by:Carly Lewis-Oduntan

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