Former BBC strategist joins Speak newsroom
We get to know the newest member of Speak’s team, head of marketing Kath Hipwell. Having worked as a strategist for the likes of the BBC and The Times, audience interests are central to her thinking.
Now, as she turns her attention to our award-winning newsroom, Kath tells us how Speak’s journalistic approach stands out in the sea of content, why the days of simply “filling channels” are gone – and how she balances her work with a passion for climbing and grassroot campaigns.
Welcome to the team Kath. What excites you most about joining Speak?
I’m really excited to be joining a business that’s thriving and is full of talented and passionate people – who also happen to be really lovely.
What do you think differentiates Speak from other content agencies?
I think the real depth and quality of proper journalistic knowledge, and the experience that the team applies to their work in both a thoughtful and professional way. This extends from editorial meetings to fact-checking, to considered interviews to SEO and, most importantly, to great storytelling.
Can you give us a summary of your career and its highlights?
I’m a brand and marketing strategist with experience working with some of the nation’s favourite brands – including The Times and the BBC. I have a long history in creating content that audiences love.
My philosophy is about aiming to work for brands that I would choose to sit around a campfire with. The team at Speak are genuinely that – so it’s a philosophy that’s working!
What’s the future of content – what trends are on your radar at the moment?
The uptake of brand newsrooms for large, blue-chip companies, more organisation within in-house teams – and a more considered approach to corporate storytelling taking off instead of simply filling channels.
How do you think brands can benefit from having an ‘always on’ newsroom?
Just having the capability to tell stories that people actually want to read and being able to create fascinating stories about brands – that even people within the organisations might not have known about. It’s all about creating a rich and positive persona for the brand through storytelling.
What’s your vision for Speak?
An exciting period of growth as more and more brands realise how the corporate newsroom can serve their business – and working to recruit clients from different sectors while raising the profile of the power of journalistic content.
Tell us something you’re passionate about – we welcome the weird, wacky and wonderful.
I’m passionate about climbing and am currently the CEO of the Association of British Climbing Walls. My mission there is to improve the diversity within climbing, and introduce new people to the sport. It’s brilliant, but currently only a very narrow section of society enjoy it. It’s good for the mind and body and that’s why everyone should take part.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I’ve been campaigning to stop people idling their engines around schools. What’s exciting about this project is, it started as a grassroots campaign and we’ve got all the way to City Hall. The full campaign launches in November.
What do your weekends look like?
Often camping in a field with family. Our favourite spot is a farm in Gloucestershire. There’s a lovely café there that serves your food with edible flowers.
Favourite word: Monty (the name of my new puppy)
Favourite book: Currently ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr and historically ‘Watership Down’ by Richard Adams.
Favourite thing on TV:I don’t actually have much time to watch TV!
Magazine subscription: Livingetc
Find out more about how our newsroom can help your brand here.