Day in the Life – Juliet Callaghan
Job title: Director of Corporate Communications
Function: Corporate Communications
Tenure : 6 years
Tell us a little about yourself
I have been working in comms throughout my career and have always loved the variety, working with lots of different people, and the positive difference I can make. I grew up in the country (East Sussex) but now live in London – conveniently close to Paddington for trains for Reading. I am married to Steve and we have a seven-year-old daughter, Rosie, and a lockdown dog – Mandy, a working cocker spaniel. Courtesy of Steve, I have three grown-up stepchildren and four step-grandchildren, just to mix things up!
In a nutshell, describe your role and how you support our business objectives
I oversee the external, corporate responsibility and internal communications for Three UK, and my team works alongside other comms teams across the business, including the retail comms team, the consumer PR and social media team, and the government affairs team. In short, I try to ensure that what we are saying internally and externally gives a fair representation of who and what we are as a business, and supports our business objectives. My team and I are focused on generating positive coverage around our four company objectives: improve network experience, transform customer experience, grow the business, achieve financial goals. Each year we are all judged on our work to support two of Three’s enablers: being a trusted brand, and fostering an engaging, inclusive and ambitious culture. I’d love to be able to support the third – driving digital transformation – but I know my limits!
What has been your career highlight?
The most rewarding thing about my line of work is the difference you can make to how people feel about a company – normally over a quite a long period of time. There are lots of things that contribute to this, such as actions that you take as a company, changes that you make, but also what independent experts and the press say about you. It’s no good if you have lots of great initiatives and projects but you don’t tell anyone about them. When I first started in financial PR, I worked with listed tech companies that had been through the dot com bust and were looking to repair their reputations with investors. One example was Pipex Communications, who I worked with for a long time on the financial PR side. Rather randomly, Pipex ended up selling a chunk of WiMax spectrum to UK Broadband, which was then bought by… Three! The best example of reputation repair was when I worked for Torex as director of comms and marketing. Torex sold point of sale systems – you still see them in Caffe Nero and lots of pub chains – but they’d had a terrible time, had gone into administration, let go three quarters of their staff and been through a Serious Fraud Office investigation. I was hired to repair its reputation ahead of a sale and two years later Torex was bought by Micros Systems. It was a steady slog of incremental improvements, driven by the successes within the business, but we got there.
How have you supported your personal wellbeing during the past couple of years?
I think sport is really important for making time for yourself, not to mention all the obvious benefits of staying fit. I keep reasonably active either at the gym, playing tennis or making a fool of myself with choreographed dance (think enthusiastic but uncoordinated MTV backing dancer). Apparently, it will help stave off Alzheimer’s. I’ve only started doing that in the last couple of months and I get very cross if I can’t make it! The flexibility of hybrid working has meant that I have been able to be a lot more present with my daughter, and even just a short walk to school a couple of times a week gives a different perspective on life. I love my job, and would wish that for everyone, and recognise that we all need a life outside and we all need balance.
When you were a child, what job did you see yourself doing
I didn’t see myself doing anything in particular, I think because I enjoyed lots of things more or less equally. As I got older I wanted to be a diplomat, no doubt imagining a glamorous life hanging out in Cuba with James Bond eating Ferrero Rocher, but in the end, didn’t make it through the exams, and fell into a job that I really enjoy – so no regrets!
Give us a fun fact!
Knitting helps me relax, and I particularly love cable patterns. If you see me wandering around in a chunky grey cable knit, I made that during Covid crisis calls. It was either that or Candy Crush 😉