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Kirsten Donkin

PR, Marketing & Communications Manager

PD Ports

PD Ports is one of the UK’s leading and progressive port operators supported by a strong logistics fleet under PD Portcentric Logistics. By the very nature of the business it can’t relocate, the Port can’t be picked up and moved. PD Ports is a key driver in the North East economy and Teesport is the Northern Gateway for global shippers serving northern UK markets. PD Ports is absolutely committed to driving sustainable growth for the region, generating new jobs, attracting inward investment and supporting the local community.

Sector: Ports and Logistics

Location: Middlesbrough

Employees: 1,350

What did you want to be when you were growing up? I wanted to be a TV presenter or primary school teacher. I was always interested in media and had a keen passion for creative writing.

Summarise your qualifications and experience: I did a degree in Marketing and a Masters in Multimedia Design, both of which I studied for at Teesside University. I started out in the IT sector within the marketing team before joining PD Ports in 2004. I have held a senior position at PD Ports since 2010.

When did you join the business? February 2004

What did you do before you worked here? I worked for an IT company in Stockton-on-Tees called Sapphire Technologies as Marketing Executive. I held my role there for two years.

What attracted you to your current role? The opportunity to develop my career, to challenge and test my skills as well as enable me to influence and support the growth of a business that helps drives the regional economy and cares passionately about the communities in which it operates.

What is your remit in your role? To ensure consistency and structure to all PR, marketing and communications both internal and external to position PD Ports as the UK’s leading ports and logistics business.

Do you manage a team? Yes I currently manage a team of 2 marketing executives.

Do you currently get involved in anything to inspire new marketers? In my role I am actively involved in our co-founded Charity, The High Tide Foundation and through work placements help to inspire young people into marketing-related roles. I am always keen to have a positive impact on young people we engage with as a business and would welcome the opportunity to do more.

How do you use digital marketing and social media in your business? We are increasingly active on social media having only taken the plunge on to Twitter last year. It is an increasingly powerful platform for engaging with young people to inspire them into a career within the maritime and logistics sectors, as well as a means for us to have informative and interesting stories out there in an instant. There is an expectation for a business of our size to be visible across all communication platforms and social media is one we will continue to integrate into our wider communications strategy.

Do you use social media personally? Yes, I am a daily user of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Why is the North East a great place to work and build your career? Its people are passionate and the region has a ‘can do’ attitude which drives innovation and progress. The support between industry and the wider community makes our region strong and well supported.

What’s your favourite thing about the region? Open space, lots of beautiful countryside and stunning coastlines within half an hour’s drive, which is fantastic when you have young families to occupy. And I can’t possibly forget the legendary parmos!

Words of advice to new marketers… Ask questions, however stupid, it shows you’re interested and you’re listening and you might well uncover something that others hadn’t seen.