National recognition for local ‘lockdown saviour’

Hayley Alexander receives her award for Excellence In Marketing from Erica Kemp and Julie McGarrigle of Alsters Kelley Solicitors. Photos by Spaces and Faces Photography.

A south Warwickshire woman who helped navigate her new boss’s business through the challenges of lockdown, has been named among the winners of a national awards celebrating female achievers.

Hayley Alexander, from Welford, won the Ladies First Professional Development Awards Excellence In Marketing category after judges heard from Shakespeare Media CEO Vicki Bravington about how she’d helped to take the company from near closure to the multi-million-pound agency it is today. This was despite starting her role there just three months before the pandemic struck.

Vicki said: “Having hit the ground running and learning everything there possibly was about a new industry within a short period of time, Hayley was then put on furlough for 12 months. Upon returning the landscape had completely changed and the ways to market a business had changed, therefore Hayley was starting from scratch again.

“It was touch and go as to whether Shakespeare Media could find its new feet and survive. But thankfully down to the determination of myself and Hayley we did not let this happen.

“Hayley adapted herself and put her heart and soul into finding solution for new clients after coming through a very tricky period. She was instrumental in us winning some very large contracts and fully exceeding their expectations and marketing results.”

She added: “Hayley is a dream – she is passionate, committed, determined and positive. We have had an extremely difficult few years with advertising being the first thing that clients sadly scale back on, but Hayley has always found a different solution that works for them.”

Thirty-three-year-old Hayley grew up in Wellesbourne before moving to Stratford, and enjoyed a nine-year career in local radio prior to embarking on a new challenge at Shakespeare Media, in Atherstone On Stour.

She was among 35 winners who were selected from hundreds of nominations across the UK at a glittering awards ceremony, hosted at Coombe Abbey Hotel in Coventry last month.

All the Ladies First winners.

Looking back, Hayley said: “It was incredibly difficult. I’d been at Shakespeare Media for just three months and then suddenly the world stopped and this job that I was just beginning to grow into, was halted. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. However, I knew that I had to be proactive, so I used it as an opportunity to upskill and learn more/teach myself about digital marketing and social media advertising.

Reacting to her award, she added: “I’m incredibly proud to win. It’s a very special moment for me and it marks an amazing three years at Shakespeare Media. To be recognised in this way, by my peers, is humbling.

“I truly LOVE my job. I’m so passionate about what we do and I’m very lucky to work with incredible clients & businesses who put a lot of trust in me. My colleagues at Shakespeare Media are the best in the business. The passion that we all have for what we do is palpable. It’s a privilege to work alongside them.

“My ambition is to help grow Shakespeare Media. We already do amazing things every day, as a small team, but there is so much more that we can do. I never want to stop learning.”

The Ladies First team.

Other winners from south Warwickshire were: Emily Biddle who was awarded Business Woman of the Year for Emily Jayne Hair & Beauty, in Southam; Sue Ford from ActionCOACH in Warwick (Achieves Through Networking); Lisa Devine, Therapy & Fitness Centre, Leamington (Excellence In Health & Wellbeing); Kate Wilson of Medics to Medics, from Kenilworth (Woman of Courage); Charlotte Pitts, HR Consultants, from Stratford (Service Provider of the Year); Jayne Scandrett and Jane Medd, Justina and Dice, from Wellesbourne and Shipston (Service Provider of the Year – Retail); Sarah Day, One Day Film Productions, from Henley-in-Arden (Unique Business); Leanne Horne, Air Aesthetics, from Henley-in-Arden (Rising Star) and former Stratford Herald editor Amanda Chalmers, Director of Chalmers News PR in Warwick. (Excellence In Media)

Hayley’s recent success keeps the award in the Shakespeare Media family following Vicki Bravington’s win in the same category last year.

Vicki established media planning and independent buying agency Shakespeare Media in 2014 working with local and national brands such as the RSC, Warwickshire College Group, The Jockey Club including the Cheltenham Festival and Randox Grand National, Bell Court Shopping Centre and Michelin Star restaurants.

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