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Nicholas Ogden

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Nicholas Ogden

Consultant - Marketing, Communications & Fundraising

I focus on Marketing , Communications and Fundraising appointments for our charities and not-for-profit division recruiting Marketing & Communications professionals across all levels on a permanent, contract, and interim basis.  My client base consists of charity, not-for-profit and third sector organisations. 

Prior to joining Pro-Group, I worked for a global recruitment agency where I specialised in permanent Marketing and Communications roles for a variety of sectors. 

Outside of work, you will most likely find me socialising with friends or running myself ragged on a tennis court. If I was not in recruitment, my dream occupation would be to be a professional tennis player travelling the world and of course winning Wimbledon!

nicholas' latest roles

  • Product Marketing Manager

    £50000.00 - £65000.00 per annum + competitive benefits package

    Product Marketing Manager, London - up to £65,000 PA Are you an experienced product brand manager? Are you experienced in engaging international audiences in marketing product launches? Would you like to wor...

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  • Head of Major Gifts

    £30000.00 - £45000.00 per annum

    Head of Major Gifts, London Do you have a strong track record of developing a strategy to bring in significant income through major gifts? Are you an experienced line manager who can motivate and support a t...

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  • Director of Communications

    £40000.00 - £55000.00 per annum

    Director of Communications, London - up to £55,000 PA Are you an experienced communications professional with a strong mix of both external and internal communications? Do you have experience managing a team...

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What people say about Nicholas

I was first introduced to the Pro-Group in February 2018, and it has been a pleasure working with them on the recruitment of our new fundraiser officer.

Nick has been a really amazing help in getting me my fantastic new role at Starlight...


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Companies Nicholas has worked with

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Parkinson’s UK is a research and support charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for people who suffer from this condition.​ 

Cancer Research UK is one of the largest charities in the UK, using research and awareness to fight and eventually eliminate deaths through Cancer.

Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital is the largest centre for child heart surgery in the UK and one of the largest centres for heart transplantation in the world.

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nicholas' articles

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Career Development And You

Posted by Nicholas Ogden

Earlier this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to present a couple of evening sessions to many skilled charity events professionals. This was for a Special Events Forum on the topic of career development, and I also participated in a panel Q&A at the illustrious Churchill War Rooms. The evening was well attended and generated some interesting discussion points! Upskilling was a key theme of the night and with those that attended it was agreed that an upskilling mindset is something that many individuals need to adopt in order to enhance their career development. Following these conversations, I have identified four steps (modestly) that ought to be considered for a positive upskilling mindset: 1. Believe in yourself and be ambitious The charity events profession is traditionally very female dominant, and I was intrigued during my research to discover quotes such as “Men apply for a job when they meet on 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them” (Harvard Business Review). Now, this certainly is not a factor entirely reflective of men or women’s attitudes to the application process, but it did make me wonder if that is something that may be holding many people back in my industry from progressing. I always advise job seekers in my market to believe in themselves and go for things that are realistically within reach. You cannot always have experience of everything listed in a job specification, and often those that are starting roles that meet all the criteria are more likely to be less motivated when joining. This can then result in a low retention period rate as they leave in seek of more challenging roles. Short term contract roles can, of course, be an exception to this! 2. Be self-aware When reflecting on our skill sets we need to be honest about what our strengths and weaknesses are. It is quite common for people to hide or subconsciously delude themselves on what they are good at or not good at, to avoid admitting any flaws. To advance it is pivotal to highlight areas in your profession that you struggle with to tackle this head on to improve and help fast-track development. 3. Create a career plan Many do know what they want to achieve in their career, but few have this recorded in the form of a plan. I would advise having an open conversation with either your manager or a recruitment consultant sector specialist like myself to set a strategy. If you verbalise this externally to someone else and put this into writing, you are far more likely to make the efforts to achieve the goals you have set! 4. Discover your motivations Motivations are very personal, and this is not something I as a recruitment consultant can identify for someone. However, I can have conversations with individuals to help discover these. Setting personal goals can really help shape a career plan and assist with knowing what will appeal best for when approaching new job opportunities. I would recommend establishing on what is wanted from each of the following areas: • Family and social life • Health and fitness • Personal development (away from work) • Travel • Material • Community service • Spiritual To conclude: • Believe in yourself and be ambitious • Be self-aware • Create a career plan • Discover your motivations I work for Pro-Recruitment Group in the Charity and Not-For-Profit team focusing on mid to senior level Marketing, Communications, Fundraising and Events recruitment appointments across all levels on a permanent, contract, and interim basis. I welcome anyone to share their thoughts on this topic and please check out our latest roles!

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60 Seconds With: Dr Hugh Milroy OBE PhD, CEO at Veterans Aid

Posted by Nicholas Ogden

What does Veterans Aid do well? We prevent vulnerable veterans from becoming homeless and break the cycle of dependency that prevents those who have fallen through the cracks get back on their feet. We’ve tackled homelessness from both ends and our average success rate is 90%. There are now very few genuine veterans on the streets regardless of what you find on the internet or in the media. We’ve done a good job and people are coming from around the globe to see our post-modern formula for beating homelessness! What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago? Be very deliberate about wanting to be in the sector. I did my Doctorate with employment in the sector in mind. If not in charity, what would the dream be? It would still be to be involved in something that helped make the world a better place for all… What is your morning routine before work? I wake every working morning at 0430 as I have to be at the station around 5.30. I always fall asleep on the train! I was asked in a radio interview once how long my commute took…I replied, “two minutes – I get on the train and two minutes later I seem to be in London”. How would your team describe you? Difficult question but I suspect would be something about passion, strong-supportive leadership and moral courage. Who is your hero? Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy. What is your life hack / top tip? Empower people! What is the biggest challenge facing the Charity world at present? The use of sadness porn as a marketing tool must cease. It is immoral. The problem for those in the financial sector who wish to be philanthropic is that large charities can afford to create fundraising campaigns often based on exploitation and exaggeration. They suck up vast sums of cash…small charities can’t compete. The current situation does not guarantee that money from philanthropic sources will have the desired effect. The rich charities seem to be getting richer at the expense of smaller delivery charities.

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How can Marketing and Communications support the UK charity sector?

Posted by Nicholas Ogden

Following recent scandals, 2018 is going to be a transformative year for charities in the UK and there are prevalent challenges facing the sector – how can marketing and communications help? Global Corporate Social Responsibility Director, Frank Krikhaar, of global marketing agency Dentsu Aegis Network, has produced an intriguing article identifying what the charity sector could learn directly from the marketing world. In this piece Frank establishes 4C’s to be considered: 1. Consolidation Mergers and acquisitions are commonplace in the marketing world and it has been often identified that mid-sized charities are often competing against other similar sized charities working on the same cause for the same pot of money – why not consider merging? A recent example of UK Charities joining forces would be Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK merging in December 2017 – if charities have shared goals, executives ought to consider strength in numbers. 2. Collaboration If a merger is improbable then what about collaboration? Working together should certainly be considered more amongst UK charities. This concept is not absent from the sector as in big charities internal marketing, communications, events and fundraising departments collaborate together as they all work cohesively to build awareness and raise funds. Collaboration is encouraged in the marketing agency industry as seen with the Common Ground UN initiative bringing together some of the biggest advertising holding groups curbing competition to tackle the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals as together they support and promote global issues. Charities can identify opportunities to collaborate externally with other charities such as hosting challenge fundraising occasions such as long distance running events. Collaborating not only helps drive and increase support for each cause but also contributes enormously to the atmosphere, which makes attending memorable. 3. Content It has been consistently noted by numerous marketing leaders that content is going to be key for 2018 and the UK charity sector should also continue to integrate this. Charites of all sizes can participate as creating content can be inexpensive but still highly engaging. A great example of planned content is Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital’s storytelling with #OneDayAtGOSH consisting of hourly shots and snippets from the hospital - the use of Instagram stories can be excellent in supporting this and can help build a following in the same way successful vloggers use these tools. 5. Confidence Have confidence in digital marketing as these tools can be very progressive as seen in recent years with the rise of Crowdfunding and GlobalGiving which has changed the donor culture and landscape. The digitally savvy Generation Z are now entering the workforce and are earning, so incorporating digital trends will attract them and encourage donations. The younger generations are increasingly interested in how the money going to charities is collected – storifying this as a campaign can blend well in the form of content as mentioned above. To conclude: If competition is close and funding is limited – perhaps acquisitions or working together to achieve shared goals is the way forward Embrace digital to be a part of industry progression and additionally will attract the attention of the newly working generation Plan content and be creative with it as it allows to create a story behind the brand About Me: I work for Pro-Group in the Charity and Not-For-Profit team focusing on Marketing, Fundraising and Communications appointments across all levels on a permanent, contract, and interim basis. I welcome anyone to share their thoughts on this topic and please visit our new website to check out our latest roles!

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Organisation Survival! Why Crisis Communication is Critical

Posted by Nicholas Ogden

For every organisation, large or small, it is essential to establish a good crisis plan. Effective and consistent communication is crucial to the everyday functioning of a business and even more so during a crisis. Crisis communication is a hot topic right now with recent scandals prevalent in leading international Charities and NGOs. I have been partnering and speaking with some high profile Communication and PR professionals who have indirectly provided national brand media reaction statements following recent alleged wrongdoings. These conversations have given me a further insight into why crisis communication is critical and how it should be carried out to avoid further brand detriment. I have identified five steps (modestly) that need to be considered for organisation survival in such circumstances: 1. Have a Plan Don’t wait for a PR crisis, ensure there is an established template and format to be adhered to for when an emergency arises, Executives with a media presence especially need to be aware of any fixed processes. It is worth introducing a company policy where only authorised speakers are permitted to engage with the media. Understanding the potential audience is also key and make sure any message is in their interests. 2. Do Not Panic Stay calm and ignore the instantaneous pressure from the media to give an immediate response. It is important to consider the angles of the media and produce a clear message. A premature response could be inadequate and without knowledge of all facts – no knee-jerk reactions. 3. Address the Crisis It is imperative to respond and acknowledge a crisis. The major errors that are currently being challenged are the covering up of incidents, things need to be acknowledged and dealt with promptly after a thorough investigation (but not prematurely to pressure). It is also compulsory at this stage to demonstrate the perspective of any victims. 4. Bespoke Response Whilst having a plan is valuable, each scenario will need to be tailored to circumstance. Therefore, a bespoke response is needed and messages need to be factual, transparent and human. 5. Set Clear Actions Moving Forward! Establish a clear action on how to support the affected, whether it be compensation, help or anything else. This often means an organisation needs to take a step back from self-promotion and having the bravery to speak honestly about any errors. To conclude: Have a crisis communications strategy systematized to avoid shell shock and incompetence in responding to a critical situation. Be prompt in addressing the issue but do not rush communication. With the message show care and consideration towards any victims and then clarify a future policy showing lessons have been learnt. About Me: I work for Pro-Group in the Charity and Not-For-Profit team focusing on Marketing, Fundraising and Communications appointments across all levels on a permanent, contract, and interim basis. I welcome anyone to share their thoughts on this topic and please visit our new website to check out our latest roles!

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Happy New Year! Marketing Trends for 2018

Posted by Nicholas Ogden

2018 is now here and many of us will have reluctantly made New Year’s resolutions to better ourselves (myself included). Marketing Professionals also need to be self-reflective for 2018 and will need to be resolute with their approach to creating a marketing strategy for the upcoming year to avoid outdated concepts. However, this does not faze marketers. As a breed, they are experienced in being adaptable…Over the past decade, many (not all) industries have seen significant marketing changes with the rapid rise and growth of digital marketing which in addition has brought in a new world of painful marketing acronyms SEO, PPC and UX to name a few. So what is going to be trending this year? Award-winning columnist and marketing professor Mark Ritson has identified seven marketing bandwagons for 2018 in an amusing article published in December 2017. Mark’s 2018 checklist includes: 1. Be Artificially Intelligent (AI) AI-powered marketing tools used effectively enables customers to be engaged in a personalised and purposeful way – use data analytics wisely! 2. Be Virtually Real Virtual reality is undeniably a cool phenomenon, but it has not yet made itself into mainstream marketing. Some organisations are experimenting with this technology to create a more personalised and engaged customer experience. 3. The Chief Content Officer is King This is all about connecting with customers via content creation so the target audience can access it naturally. If there is no Chief Content Officer leading from the top, then ownership needs to be taken! 4. Storify Everything Storytelling is key to building a brand. It delves into our human emotions and can complement content creation superbly! 5. Target Millennials - and Only Millennials This is pretty tongue-in-cheek as other generations should not be discounted. However, what we can infer is that millennials are coming of age and having grown up with digital technologies, they are generally more receptive to these channels. 6. Have a Millennial-Friendly Brand Purpose When targeting millennials it is important to be aware that as a generation millennials are deemed to care about the culture of a brand and are particularly captivated by transparency. 7. Blockchain, Blockchain, Blockchain This has been continually mentioned towards the end of 2017 and many are still not sure what this is - it is a continuously growing list of records (blocks), which are linked and secured using cryptography (essentially it allows information to be stored and distributed, but not copied). The impact this has on marketing will enable marketers to communicate directly to their audience through adverts by cutting out the middleman. Mark’s humorous piece is entertaining and does really highlight the need for a greater focus around the customer journey and the desire for personalised content. I think the increased customer focused approach was seen in 2017 with the rise of customer experience marketing roles being introduced and recruited across sectors and is something we are going to see more of in 2018 – fingers crossed in the rail industry (I am looking at you Southern Rail!). About Me: I have recently joined Pro-Group in the Charity and Not-for-profit team focusing on Marketing, Fundraising and Communications appointments across all levels on a permanent, contract, and interim basis. I welcome anyone to share their thoughts on these trends and please get in touch to find out more about the exciting opportunities in 2018!

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