Posted 14th August 2014 | By ExtraMile

Monday 11th August 2014

When I arrived at ExtraMile, I was greeted by Annabel Ross, the SEO Specialist, and then went on to meet Gabrielle Hadley, Managing Director at ExtraMile Communications.

Gabrielle then spent some time overviewing the business with me, in order for me to gain a clearer understanding of how the business has grown and developed over the past fourteen years that it has been running - and believe me, it has moved forwards it great leaps and bounds! For example, the business started with four people, and has since tripled, now employing twelve people.

Later in the morning, I was lucky enough to sit in on a meeting between James Roberts, Matt Preston, and a client. It was interesting to see how their meetings are structured, and the ideas and developments of a website that can occur in such a short amount of time; Matt and James' knowledge of their business and its vast array of capabilities is great, as I'm sure is the rest of the team.

Lunch at ExtraMile is a very laid back, pleasant atmosphere on comfy chairs and sofas, which is great, as everybody gets a chance to chat about what they have been up to, and relax before going back to work.

After lunch, I spent the afternoon with James Roberts, the sales and marketing manager, who began the afternoon with an explanation of his job on the sales team (alongside Mitch Wellings). Some aspects of his job are emailing, phoning, and meeting with clients and potential clients, and bringing in new business contacts.

I was given a tour of the software and websites that James uses to assist him in staying organised, such as Highrise and Tracks. They are both navigable websites (once you have been shown how), and are great for James' multiple tasks. I was then given the job of researching businesses in Derbyshire, searching for, essentially (and hopefully) potential clients. It was all very exciting that I could be finding a business that would later on be a client at ExtraMile!

Tuesday 12th August 2014

I began today in a meeting with Anita, Nick and Matt to discuss a project, and how to improve and develop it from its current form. The meeting included discussing potential developments, and then deliberating the pro's and con's of them. By the end of the meeting, there were several ideas in place, ready to be carried out.

For the rest of the morning, I worked alongside Matt (lead designer and project coordinator), and after watching him design/work magic on another website, I assisted him in developing the Donna Louise Trust site. Once Matt had demonstrated how to work the administrating page, I was put to work uploading photos to the DLT website, resizing them when we realised they were too big (with another website) and then re-uploading them onto the website. I found this interesting, as I was creating a part of a website (however simple it may be to the designers) which would then go live on the internet!

After all that work, I decided to treat myself to a sausage roll and a great slice chunk of chocolate cake for lunch!

After lunch, I set to work with Philippa, the lead online editor. My first line of business was to update the business' spreadsheet that keeps track of ExtraMile's current projects, and whether they are on schedule and keeping track of the hours of work spent on each project. After Philippa had given me a demonstration on how to work the spreadsheet and related website, I began updating. I did enjoy doing this, as it will later on play a part in the weekly business meeting.
Once I had completed this, Philippa briefed me on my next task, which was to write the ExtraMile monthly email, which would then be sent out to ExtraMile's 3000+ contacts! I didn't expect to be trusted with such a task, though I was glad to find out that it would be edited and proof-read by Nick, Gabrielle and James before being sent out. I really appreciated being given this task, and really enjoyed completing it, as I was writing about some of ExtraMile's many achievements, and several of the major websites that have recently gone live.

Wednesday 13th August 2014

I began this morning by taking part in a meeting between the majority of the staff at ExtraMile, which occurred in order to discuss the progress that had been made on each of the projects that week. The number of spreadsheets and detailed calendars that are used to keep track of everything is incredible!
The next few hours I spent with Nick, (technical director), showing me a thought-provoking presentation about marketing to the future, which featured ideas all the way from using social networking and the internet to promote your business, and how to "get personal" with your potential clients in order to improve the possibility of a deal, all the way to blending iPhones and futuristic bikes from the 50's! I found the presentation impressive, especially after hearing that Nick has presented it to a much, MUCH larger audience in the past!

Lunch was another chunk of chocolate cake (not quite as big as yesterdays *disappointed*).

This afternoon, I had an intriguing few hours with Peter Voss (account manager), as he informed me about ExtraMile's multilingual email marketing, and the many minute details that they have to examine, check and double check before the email can be sent out to contacts. I was surprised by the number of processes and minuscule, precise details that go into email marketing; especially when it comes to the translating into multiple languages!
Next, Peter showed me the folders of documents and certificates that make ExtraMile's ISO9001 and ISO14001 accreditation's official, including all of the paperwork and processes that went into getting the awards. It was great to see the extent to which these accreditations are deserved.

Thursday 14th August 2014

I spent the first half of the morning with Anita (Studio Manager and Web Developer), who gave me an overview of the website development process that she uses. I was shown several projects that Anita has been working on, and what is left of them to complete, at which point she set me the task of checking that the many links on a website were all functioning, checking for spelling or grammatical errors, and writing down any areas of the website that were in need of editing or completing. I enjoyed spending the time on this task, as it was clearly an important one.

I then spent the rest of the morning with Laura, (web designer). She spent a while going through the design process, and how a website's appearance develops from the preview (which is shown to the client at a meeting) to the final website design. It was fascinating to see the development of the appearance of a website as the process continues. I also got the chance to do some data insertion (or 'plopping in' as Laura prefers to call it), which was quite complicated to get the idea of at the start, but a few tries in and I was really enjoying it!

Yet an even smaller piece of chocolate cake for lunch! Hopefully they will make up for it tomorrow...

My afternoon was spent with Annabel (SEO Specialist), who presented to me how she successfully achieves Search Engine Optimisation, as well as some of the clients that she works with. SEO has always been a bit of a mystery to me, so I was glad to finally understand the basics of how it works.

Annabel then gave me a project - to write a blog to be put onto another website! I was provided with some facts and websites to gather information from, and from that, I wrote a short blog post. I very much enjoyed this task, as I like creative writing.

I then spent some time researching and gathering ideas for an ExtraMile future project... (very exciting!)

Written by Pippa Spencer, Year 11 work experience at ExtraMile Communications.


About ExtraMile

A digital marketing agency with international capabilities