Maggie Doyle, Worcestershire poet laureate emeritus
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the CGM Business Media Club, we’ve been speaking to members about how the club has helped their business.
Book your place at our landmark meeting at CGM Media Centre on Friday, September 28 by visiting Eventbrite.
I’d heard about the club and was pleasantly surprised when I attended my first meeting.
I didn’t know what to expect but discovered it was completely different to other business events I’d been to.
It wasn’t a seminar or business networking. It was more relaxed and informal than that.
And, as a newcomer, there wasn’t any pressure to brag and boast or pretend you’re something you’re not or being thrown into the spotlight as The Newbie to the group.
I felt immediately at home and soon realised it was an environment designed to develop relationships between people rather than pit them in competition against one another.
We’re all there for the same reason – to learn, share experiences and develop our thoughts.
People might be surprised to see a poet attend this sort of business-oriented event but being a poet is no different to running any other small business.
You have to get out there to market yourself and attract people to your events. You also need to understand new ways of getting your message out there and to communicate proficiently – not in a ‘down with the kids’ way – but practically to reach your target audience.
I had a marketing background so wasn’t daunted by any of this.
Obviously, as a poet I love the storytelling ethos of the club – and the brainstorming of ideas. I just think you get so much out of that freedom to express yourself.
I also think it is good being tested and challenged to learn new things.
What I’ve realised is that none of this is rocket science – everything we learn is real and believable and put into content by Chris, who always explains that there is space for traditional values in a modern setting.
Most of all, I think we are given permission to run with new ideas – which is exciting. I always come away full of enthusiasm.
As a result of attending the club, I now have a new website which was designed by one of the club members and I have also started blogging, which is something Chris encourages us all to do.
In the nicest possible way, we’re also held to account. Chris leads us gently by the hand rather than embarrassing you for not knowing things. There’s no confusing jargon which is a key feature of the club. Everything is transparent.
I love reciting bespoke poems at club meetings. The audience is always with me and it is a good chance to showcase my skills. I have got work out of it which is lovely but mainly I think it helps set the scene for Chris or whoever is delivering the session.
The club is five years old – but long may it continue.