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Staff Spotlight with Rhiannon Davies

Ahead of the UN's International Women's Day 2022, we're interviewing one of SafeLane's strong, female leaders. Meet Rhiannon - SafeLane's Head of Marketing and Communications.

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In celebration of the UN's International Women's Day 2022, we are going to spend a whole week shining the spotlight on women working across the SafeLane suite of sites and projects, business units and professions.

Staff Spotlight - Meet Rhiannon Davies - Head of Marketing and Communications

We're starting by interviewing Rhiannon Davies, Head of Marketing and Communications for SafeLane Global - she's the brilliant mind behind SafeLane's rebrand and its ongoing marketing strategy. 

When it comes to SafeLane's Staff Spotlight, she is usually the interviewer rather than the interviewee.  But today, the spotlight has been flipped in Rhiannon's direction!  We caught up with her for a long overdue Staff Spotlight:

How long have you worked at SafeLane Global?

It’ll be four glorious years in May.  Fun fact – Financial Controller Jonathan Kennedy and I joined on the same day and underwent the entire induction process together.  It got to the point we were telling each other’s life stories as we’d heard them so often!

What did you do before joining SafeLane?

Many weird and wonderful things – but there has almost always been a communications theme to my work. 

I love words and grammar and the challenge of making the inaccessible accessible to everyone through effective communication.

An example – I spent years in investment banking and then international finance.  Areas that are so tedious they’d bore the pants off most people.  However, I created training packages and financial education programmes that garnered excellent engagement, turning the previously uninformed into red-hot, sales-qualified leads.

I quite literally see aesthetic beauty in the written word – it’s probably some sort of odd syndrome!  But it means I want to use the power of communication every single day to enlighten, delight, awaken or inform. 

What made you choosing marketing as a career path?

It wasn’t my first choice.  From the age of 7 I had lofty ambitions of a career on the stage!

It’s fair to say my career path has not been a straight conventional line by any means.  But harping back to my previous answer, I love the power of communication and how effective it can be in marketing…and that led me to where I am today, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Head of all thing MarComm at SafeLane.

What brought you to SafeLane? 

Honestly?  The comprehensive challenge the role posed when I first read the job spec was so insane, I thought I have got to meet these people.  They clearly believe impossible is nothing! 

And I was right to want to come to SafeLane.  The first two people I met were Baxter, a clumber spaniel, and Rachel who offered me a coffee but warned me it might be disgusting!

Every day since has been a truly positive challenge and I have such broad scope in my role I am probably the luckiest marketer in the land.

What’s the most unique part about working here?

As a company, SafeLane’s service offering is incredible.  And the one thing about SafeLane that nobody can argue with is that we attract the absolute best talent.  I have never worked with so many dedicated, clever, and passionate people.  I am inspired and impressed by my colleagues on a daily basis.

From a purely marketing and communications focus, no two hours are the same, let alone two days!  My job here will never be complete as there are new opportunities every single day.  Mostly this is brilliant, occasionally it’s exhausting.  But then, I have my marvellous colleagues Henry and Julia to prop me up!

Please tell us what you do and what a day in the life looks like?

My mini department does everything marketing related (well, except guerrilla marketing!)

So, we do market research and competitor analysis, content marketing, inbound, outbound, SEM, SEO, direct marketing, video marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, digital, online, PR, email marketing, acquisition, contextual, crisis comms, personalised, brand…and so on!

We are 100 roles rolled into two people and we absolutely rock!  We even have a tiny influencer reach with Connor’s Rig, our firefighter friends, and connections in high places at 10Yetis!

Can you tell us what you appreciate most about your job as a Head of Marketing and Communications at SafeLane? 

The people I work with.  I actually take it highly personally if anyone dares leave the SafeLane Family.  How could you leave me!

Seriously, I work with the best people – from my line manager who gives me just the right balance of direction and freedom to my Marketing Executive Henry for whom no challenge is a problem.  Then there are the business unit colleagues who blend outrageous humour with absolute professionalism, people like Lucie Tiverrier, Richard Lane, Charlotte Turk to name but three of so many.

I learn every single day, I interact with good people every single day, I work for arguably the best company in the world.  Is that a good enough answer?

What was the most challenging and rewarding aspects of rebranding Dynasafe into SafeLane Global?

I joined in 2018 specifically to spearhead the rebranding of the Dynasafe service group of companies and create one cohesive narrative to wrap up the likes of MineTech and BACTEC in a bubble of SafeLane Global warmth.  I’ve probably never cried as often as I did during the four months it took to get the work across the line!  I’d go home night after night and wail at my husband ‘I can’t do this’ – but I DID do it. 

Of course, I had amazing support from some exceptional colleagues and whilst there was discernible emotional pain (!) the highlight was organising the inaugural company get-together.  WHAT a day and night we all enjoyed meeting colleagues from across the UK, Germany and even South Africa.  That was absolutely the highlight for me.  (The hangover less so!)

Rhiannon, can you tell us something that most people don’t know about you?

I took some time out for an internship when I was at university, and I worked on Kenneth Branagh’s version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  Famously, it’s his worst film, I think.  But I don’t think that was my fault?

I worked as a runner and walked into the costume department one day to find Robert De Niro in his undercrackers.  They were brown.  I was underwhelmed.

If you were stuck on a desert island without electricity and you could bring three things, what would they be?

Apart from my family and dogs?  OK, so Bear Grylls – I’d get him to build me a shelter and teach me how to survive and then I’d build him a raft and float him back out to sea. 

I’d also bring a lifetime’s supply of crisps and books.

What you are most proud of outside of work?

My daughter Isabella.  Every day I look at her and am stunned that I helped create this gorgeous, clever, and hysterically, outrageously funny young lady!

What is something you are proud to have achieved?

Since the avoidable death of my firstborn daughter Kate in 2009, I have fought against the system and the odds to uncover the biggest tragedy in NHS history.  I have done so to force required change to make Britain’s maternity services safer for mothers and babies. 

So far, this has resulted in NHS England committing an additional £95M – every year – to create improvement.

My work is not finished – but I have heard from families who’ve been empowered by Kate’s story to challenge the care they were receiving, and who have had a healthy baby as a result, where otherwise the outcome would very likely have been tragic.

In amongst the many, many achievements this work has resulted in, perhaps one that strikes me the most is the fact I helped a mother who was bereaved over 40 years ago to discover where her newborn baby was buried.  She never knew where her baby’s grave was.  She knows now.  She visits now.

Tomorrow is the UN’s International Women’s Day.  Is there anything you would like to say / any advice you’d like to give to all the young women out there aspiring to work in marketing?

Never stop learning, never stop trying, never stop pushing against any barrier you face.  Question, challenge, don’t be passive.  And in everything you do, from a career to a relationship and beyond, know your value.  You deserve only the very best – go out there and get it for yourself.

Thank you Rhiannon!

Many thanks to Rhiannon for taking the time to chat with us!  It was great to learn more about the fantastic woman behind all of SafeLane's marketing!

If you would like to connect with her on LinkedIn, you can do so here.

If you would like to contact Rhiannon or SafeLane's marketing team, you can do so by clicking here.

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