I didn't get where I am today... without being bold

Hilary Cross, director of external affairs at Macmillan Cancer Support, explains why it is important that she makes a difference.

To keep ahead of the game, you need to be bold and think big. It’s a massively changing landscape – in marketing, as well as in health and cancer – and people’s expectation of brands is very different. They want to engage.

When Macmillan rebranded in 2006, it was quite a significant change in the charity sector.

Judy Beard was in charge of marketing and comms at the time of the rebrand and I was  deputy director of comms. Since 2007, I have been director and have led a brilliant team that has embedded the change and driven an ambitious brand strategy that has seen enormous success for Macmillan.

We were ranked 27th in public awareness of charities before the rebrand and are now fourth. We came first in the Third Sector Charity Brand Index 2013 as well as You Gov’s best charity brand 2013. Most importantly, awareness of and engagement with us by people affected by cancer has grown enormously.  

Never rest on your laurels or wait for others to catch up. Our rebrand was applauded but we never sat back – in fact, we’ve just refreshed our brand again.

It’s important that what I do makes a difference. Passion for a cause is more important to me than career progression. And it’s vital to have a balance between work and the rest of my world.

Most importantly, I wouldn’t have got to where I am without surrounding myself with inspiring and creative experts. Keep talking to your peers inside and outside of your own sector. I keep learning every day and I simply love what I do.

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