Barbara Hallwood, Managing Director of Marketing Profile
So Altrincham recently met Barbara Hallwood, Managing Director of Marketing Profile, the highly successful Public Relations, Marketing and Events company based in the centre of Hale. Originally from Harrogate, Barbara established Marketing Profile ten years ago after a varied career in the travel industry. A great lover of travel, Barbara was in her element as her career took her across the world and included such high points as chartering Concorde then promoting and selling flights on it to prestigious events with leading dignitaries.
After a career break to have her two sons, Barbara began to take on freelance marketing projects and ultimately launched Marketing Profile in 2007. She chose to locate herself in Hale rather than Manchester as she wanted to be around for her family based in Bowdon. However, this decision has not prevented the agency from winning clients from across the North West, over the Pennines and as far away as London.
It was during this early period that Barbara was involved with the Altrincham and Sale Chamber of Commerce. Many local readers will remember the 2010 survey that revealed that almost a third of shops in Altrincham town centre – 78 units - were empty. Barbara was the person who had to face the BBC cameras to explain that the vacancies were due to buildings being put out of use prior to redevelopment. The boarded-up buildings on Stamford New Road and elsewhere were, in fact, the groundwork for the amazing regeneration of Altrincham that we are witnessing today.
Alongside Barbara, Kate Gerbich heads up the agency, her digital marketing experience coupled with her experience at the BBC complements Barbara’s expertise. Marketing Profile offers a boutique service and works with clients of all sizes from local family businesses to large property companies. Barbara and Kate have built a strong team to support them with photographers, local press, caterers and venues, printers, and designers that they can put together a package for an event, publication or campaign of any size with ease. Marketing Profile’s full range of services includes brand design, copywriting, public relations, traditional advertising, digital marketing, web services, social media, photography, media training and event management.
It was Barbara’s extensive range of contacts and her knowledge of the North-West business scene that led her to set up theProfileClub five years ago. The Club, which is now recognised as one of the leading private members’ clubs in the North West, provides a forum for senior decision makers to come together for mutual benefit. It is not just about networking but about enabling members to develop long term productive relationships. It has a Manchester wide membership, with recent events taking place in Spinningfields. Member events are high-end but informal and range from private lunches to breakfast meetings and from dining at the House of Commons to sporting fixtures.
Barbara, Kate and members recently celebrated theProfileClub's fifth birthday
Membership is usually by invitation. Her experience allows Barbara to identify people in the regional business community who will find value in being introduced to each other – it is always the person who is a member rather than the company. She is very selective about who she invites to join and ensures that there are never too many representatives from any one sector. Of course, sometimes people do approach Barbara asking to become members, however, if she feels that their membership would be inappropriate for the group at that time then she will decline, perhaps offering help with an aspect of their Public Relations instead.
Barbara also writes her own lifestyle and news blog, HaleandBowdon.co.uk which reflects her interest in food, restaurants, fashion and beauty and developments in local business. The blog originally came about because people would often ask Barbara for recommendations of places to eat out in the area, or , knowing of her background in travel, where to go on holiday. Barbara’s own love of travel endures. Barbados is a particular favourite and the blog includes articles about glamorous holidays in Antigua.
Barbara is involved in businesses from a wide range of sectors encompassing legal and finance, property, travel, and retail, all of which can act as barometers of future growth. As we all know, 2016 was a time of great turbulence with Brexit and the US election and plans for devolution for Greater Manchester are looming. Marketing Profile have recently worked closely with Sean Anstee, Leader of Trafford on the design behind the campaign for Mayor of Greater Manchester. Clearly the team at Marketing Profile like what they hear from Sean on his plans for the region as more decisions are taken in the north and not just London. The team remain confident for 2017.
For more details of Marketing Profile and theProfileClub go to the website here.