Almost a year on from when we first published a profile of John, we caught up with him to see what developments the last 12 months have brought.
1. What is your current job role and has this changed since your profile was last published? If so how?
My main areas of responsibility have stayed pretty much the same: leading on the Institute’s events programme, our interactions with the press, our web site and social media, our internal communications and the development of thought-leading content. However, in every single one of those areas we have increased our activity, with some significant step-changes in results. We are always looking at ways to refine our approach to communications or expand on the ways we connect with our stakeholders, so it certainly doesn’t feel the same as it did a year ago.
2. Have there been any significant developments over the last 12 months in your area of work?
The biggest development in the last year was the decision to hold the ATI Conference 2017 (28-29th November, NEC Birmingham). We’ve set the bar extremely high with our inaugural conference – with the CTOs of Airbus and Rolls-Royce speaking, and senior executives from Boeing, NASA, GKN, EPSRC and others as plenary sessions. We’re very excited about it but the planning that goes into it is immense. I am particularly pleased with the growth of our social media accounts too. We now have over 1,000 followers on Twitter and over 2,000 on LinkedIn; these offer us a fantastic way to engage and interact with our stakeholders. And we have published the first editions of our INSIGHT series of thought-provoking papers, covering digital transformation and the emerging technologies for propulsion and systems.
3. How do you see your role and work developing in the next 6 to 12 months?
We have the small matter of the ATI Conference in November, and planning has already started for our presence at the Farnborough International Airshow 2018 – building on the successful UK technology showcase we hosted in the Innovation Zone in 2016. Our FirstThursday programme of evening presentations and networking begins again this month, and we have some excellent speakers lined up into 2018. And we will be relaunching our web site and our fortnightly newsletter soon – watch this space!
John joined the Aerospace Technology Institute in July 2015 as Head of Communications, leading the ATI’s communications and events team. John is responsible for shaping and delivering the Institute’s communication and engagement strategy, advancing the ATI’s efforts in ensuring that we share news, insights and information in a timely and cohesive manner with the sector.
Another key focus of John’s role is to direct and oversee the successful design and delivery of the Institute’s external events programme, convening expertise and facilitating interactions sector-wide and beyond.
John began his career with PA Consulting Group, before moving to PR consultancy Shandwick, where he worked for clients including Digital, Compaq, Shell, and the Google of its day, AltaVista. Later John joined Inmarsat, the mobile satellite communications company, as its Head of Media & Analyst Relations – the first time he gained experience of the aerospace sector. He built on that experience with Thales UK before joining the ATI. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
So what does John enjoy doing outside of work? Having two small boys certainly keeps him occupied and entertained! As well as investing in quality family time, John coaches a team of under-9s (now under-10s) rugby at his local club in Bedford.
But that’s not all: John is also currently learning to play guitar – on the same model of Fender Stratocaster as his musical hero, Prince. To say that John is an extremely loyal and dedicated Prince fan is an understatement: his collection includes over 400 records, many of them rarities. And with Prince tracks as his ringtones, the ATI office is treated to daily Prince music too. So if you ever hear someone from the ATI humming “1999”, you can be fairly sure they’ve recently been around John!