Reece Caizzo Brown is the Communications Manager for the Newlife Foundation, a charitable organisation caring for disabled and terminally ill children. After a career spanning over eight years in various communications and marketing roles, he came across Squared Online in a Click Z newsletter – and Newlife signed him straight up.
‘I’ve always had a digital mindset,’ he explains, ‘but here was this great opportunity to fine-tune and refine my skills.’
A self-taught IT specialist, marketer and graphic designer, Reece is a self-starter, but a non-traditional learner. This made him a little apprehensive about going ‘back to school’:
‘I didn’t go to college or university - I left school and went straight into work. I’m also dyslexic and don’t consider myself a ‘normal thinker’’, so it was quite nerve-wracking wondering if it would be a good fit for me.’
And how did it go?
‘The best, hardest learning experience of my life. Within a first few hours of the course starting I realised that an online, tech-based learning style was perfect for me. I was able to go off and think about things, and come back having processed that information.’
Some words of advice for Squared success (tip no.5 – mess it up) from that very first class gave him afurther confidence boost, and stayed with him throughout the course: ‘I knew Squared Online was designed to be a safe place to learn and that there was no better place to fail.’
After that there was no holding him back, folding his learnings back into his daily routine and practice from the off.
‘My cohort was really active on social together. Everyone would take the live classes as a starting point, and then post related content on our G+ community throughout the week. I even used an article a fellow Square posted when talking to senior management about how to an engaged community online matters more than the number of likes on a page.’
Reece considers that one to be one of his main takeaways from the course: feeling more understood by the exec team now that he’s able to speak on their level.
‘That said, however, so much of my Squared Online training has played a role in my work – both during and after the course. Having that customer and data-driven focus and understanding; mobile; brand voice and tone with content and messaging – these were all things I was very much aware of, but I’ve now been able to put them into practice.’
The virtual group work elements have also had an impact on his communications plans. And now he's looking at his next challenge to apply those learnings: refining the company working strategy so that everyone can be involved and aligned on messages and campaigns.
So he’s looking at the big picture, but he’s not missing the details either: next up is upskilling his team of four at Newlife on Squared Online too.
‘Now it’s all about moving forward together.’
More about Newlife Foundation can be found at www.newlifecharity.co.uk.
Find out more about how Squared Online can work with your team to upgrade your digital capabilities: download the brochure to read about the course and the Squared experience.