Meet Peter Cumiskey part of the Marketing Team at The Auckland Project, a visitor destination in Bishop Auckland.
Tell us about your career journey so far?
Shortly after graduating from university, I had a few internships including at Visit County Durham and New Writing North. My internship at New Writing North led to a part-time role there as Marketing & Events Assistant.
The most significant step in my career was as the first ever Marketing & Events Coordinator at Newcastle Castle: a role that hadn’t existed in any sort of capacity previously. I came on board initially to oversee a rebrand, and for the opening of its medieval gatehouse for the first time since the 1980s, as a visitor centre. Over the next three years, I was lead writer for all on-site and promotional materials (including the souvenir guidebook) and coordinated the Castle’s first organised events programme.
How has studying with nesma helped you in your current role?
When I began studying with nesma, I’d recently joined the marketing team at The Auckland Project: an upcoming arts and heritage destination centred around Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland. The HR team and managers there were excellent and supported me in doing my CIM course on the side.
I had actually studied Media and Journalism – not marketing – at uni; so, even though I had the practical experience, I lacked a professional marketing qualification to back it up.
I chose to study towards a Certificate in Professional Marketing – Level 4, which consists of three modules. Marketing and Integrated Communications gave me an excellent, solid grounding in marcomms theory and strategy. I was doing lots of these things instinctively… but not fully appreciating the ‘science’ behind it, or knowing the terminology, until now.
What extra skills do you now feel you can bring to the job?
The Digital Marketing module taught me ways in which print and digital materials can be incorporated into a seamless campaign. A visitor might first hear about the Castle via a leaflet or advertising billboard. However, many people would nowadays check the website or social media before planning a visit. It is essential that all elements of the marketing mix are properly consistent and linked-up; this module gave me pointers on how to achieve this.
A great thing about studying at nesma was that I was able to learn from the experiences of other students. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed – and just the right size to allow for 1-2-1 discussion. During group activities, I was interested to hear from people who work in B2B environments, since the organisations I have worked for have been mainly B2C. I have been able to refer back to these real-world examples when planning marketing campaigns and looking to reach new audiences.
What words of advice would you give anyone considering a career in marketing?
I’ve found that a lot of marketers get a feeling of ‘imposter syndrome’: it can sometimes be a struggle to have your voice heard, no matter what stage you’re at in your career.
If you have the time to fit it in around your job, it’s definitely worth doing a CIM course at nesma. Veronica, Lucy and the tutors were all accommodating, and on hand to answer any questions I had about my assignments.
I hope to do Level 6 and 7 at some point, but what’s great is that there isn’t any expectation to do it straight away – I can wait until the time suits me, and fit it around my job and other commitments.
I don’t think you necessarily need a qualification to succeed in marketing, but it’s definitely helped boost my confidence and has given me assurance that what I’m doing is right.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
My role at The Auckland Project is continually evolving. The next attraction to launch is Auckland Castle; this will mark the shift into being a fully operational visitor destination. Everybody who visits will be supporting the Project’s mission to breathe new life and opportunities into the local area.
I relish the opportunity to work at community events such as Bishop Auckland Food Festival and the Christmas Market, giving out leaflets, encouraging sign-ups to our newsletter, and generally spreading the word. It is always enjoyable to talk to people and to promote excitement for the various developments that are happening.
The new term for CIM qualifications starts in April and as Peter mentioned, Veronica, Lucy and the tutors are all accommodating, and on hand to answer any questions.
You can study all the CIM qualifications Level 3 to Level 7 in Newcastle and Cumbria. We have a permanent study centre in Gosforth and the classroom sessions and tutorials for Carlisle take place at The Guild on a Tuesday.